Everybody wants peace but for many it seems as if they work to find it and it keeps eluding them. How do you think we come to be peaceful?
As a child you had no worry. You took things as they were, happy with the little and beautiful things of life. As you grew, your experience formed foreign layers around your core. It gets to a point you do not even know who you are anymore. To find peace, you have to establish connection with your core and that means getting rid of that foreign to it and bringing in things associated with it.
The primary thing you have to do to get peace is to establish a relationship with God. Now you may have heard about that. Yes heard about that but have you experienced God? We have come to know about God but we hardly know him. Consequently, we know about his attributes but we do not have that intimate relationship with him. You find peace with God. Establish a relationship with him. Make effort to deepen that relationship; make it intimate and your capacity to experience God grows. God made us for himself and that void we have within can only be filled by God and nothing else. Cars, money, property, man, woman cannot take God’s place in your life.
Lack of peace limits your happiness and growth. You get it by letting go of some things. Consider the following things you need to let go as being secondary to the primary thing mentioned above.
- THE THOUGHT THAT SUCCESS IS MEASURED BY MATERIAL WEALTH: The image of the celebrity with the nice car, nice home, nice looks hits us repeatedly in adverts. Society measures success by material wealth. It has gone as far as saying, “You are the materials you have.” Cars, houses, money are all transients. They cannot define man. Do not judge yourself with secondary criteria like the transients. Transients come and go but who you are endures. What makes you successful is how fruitful you are. Fruitfulness entails living your purpose and positively impacting others. So long as you are contributing to make the world and the people in it better, you are a success. Transients should be used to serve that purpose.
- REGRETS: You cannot change the past. So you are not supposed to dwell on what you did or did not do in the past otherwise regrets will control you. Let go of regrets. What you learnt from what you regretted has contributed to making you a better person.
- THE ACCEPTANCE THAT FULFILMENT IS A DESTINATION: Fulfilment is not a matter of attaining a particular target. Many people who believed that getting to a destination will make them fulfilled have seen that they were wrong. Fulfilment comes in stages; stages that are part of a journey. At the end of secondary school, you were fulfilled at that stage, so also at the end of tertiary education. You experience fulfilment as you work and progress in your career, when you get married, became a parent, and so on. The process in this journey should be enjoyed.
- WANTING ALL THE ANSWERS: Apart from being frustrating, wanting all the answers can rob of you of peace. You do not have to know all the answers. Accept uncertainty when you have to.
- WANTING TO CONTROL EVERYTHING: We are humans not omnipotent. You lose your peace when you try to control everything especially people. People change and circumstances do not remain the same. That is life. There are things that lie within your control and most of them relate to yourself.
- THE HOPE OF A LIFE FREE OF PAIN: Pain comes in different forms. As we experience life, we find the cycle repeating – joy followed by pain and pain followed by joy. Pain is part of life and we can do little about it. If you deny this, tell me you have never felt pain.
- THE OBSESSION WITH NEGATIVE NEWS: Yes, bad things happen in this world. We have more than enough from the media. We see them because the media beams its light on them. There are also wonderful things happening in this world being done by wonderful people. So for every crisis you see, there are hundreds of real and incredible stories which do not get as much attention as they deserve but have a positive ripple effect on humanity. Learn from the negative news and work for a better world. You deserve peace and you get it when you choose to do so.