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How To Give Inner Peace A Chance

Living in inner peace has great value.  Under the influence of peace we can make wiser choices, enjoy our lives more deeply, maintain more loving and cooperative relationships and there are significant health benefits. 


It doesn't take much to sell someone on the idea of living with inner peace.  But when we really make the effort we often discover inner resistance to it.  A part of us fears that life will become boring, flat and meaningless; and yet, it is under the influence of stress that life really loses its meaning.


But at first the listener believes that he or she really wants inner peace, and then says, That sounds great, but how do I actually do it?


Inner peace, like inner stress, is really just a choice, so this question is like having in front of you a bowl of chocolate ice cream and a bowl of vanilla and asking, How do I choose? If you know that you prefer chocolate there really is no indecision about it.


Until we pay enough attention to our inner life we don't see how we are choosing to suffer our inner states of stress and strain while at the same time trying to always work our way out of those painful inner states in ways that only make us feel worse.  


We choose anxiety.  We choose to relive a past hurt over and over.  We choose to live in worry and regret.  We choose to take offense.


We don't really want these painful inner states.  That is why we go on the attack when we think we have found a person or situation to blame them on.


But with deeper inner awareness we see that we are simply choosing to feel badly.


We suffer internally because we unconsciously want to.  It is awakening to that secret desire that sets us free.  We then stop striking out at others for the way that we are striking at ourselves. 


Paying close attention to our feelings of inner angst reveals that we really don't want to suffer with those feelings a moment longer.  And we see that believing that we have to change someone else or manipulate some external situation to gain our inner freedom actually perpetuates and exacerbates our inner suffering.


As John Lennon said, we need to give peace a chance to experience the freedom from internal suffering that we crave so deeply and that we struggle so powerlessly with the external world to achieve.


It all comes down to what you place your faith in: living in peace or living in fear.  You think you will be more effective if you remain really miserable with the way things are, but that misery is really all that's wrong with the way things are.


We become so attached to our stress that we fear that we won't know who we are without it.  This sense of disorientation causes people to hold onto their stress because, though they suffer with it, at least they think they know who they are with it.


Living with inner peace means accepting the interesting state of disorientation about who you are.  It means releasing yourself from having to figure things out.  You choose peace because you can tolerate living with uncertainty.    


Living with inner peace is a practice that you can begin right now.  Choose to live and function in the degree of inner peace now available to you and you will find it possible to deepen that state.


When you feel like arguing, choose peace.  When you feel like defending yourself, choose peace.  When you feel like proving that you are right, choose peace.  When you feel like hurrying, choose peace.  When you feel like getting worked up over anything or anyone choose peace.


Give inner peace a chance to gain the inner freedom from stress you have been futilely seeking outer control to achieve.

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