An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind. ~Mahatma Gandhi
A warless world will come as men develop warless hearts. ~Charles Wesley Burns
I have spent years trying to achieve personal peace, and I think I my finally have a handle on how to do it, though it is a conscious decision that I have to expend a lot of effort on. I think it is because personal peace is a decision. We can decide whether to have drama in our lives or not. We allow people to make waves in our space. We allow others to stir the pot. If someone goes for the spoon, we do not have to let them stir the pot. We can choose to ignore them, and rob them of the victory of eliciting a reaction from us. By choosing a more zen-like attitude toward difficult people or circumstances, we can achieve personal peace.
I think that having peace on earth would be a more realistic idea if we internalized it more and less of it meant just being nice to other people; you can be outwardly nice and still seething under the surface.
The real peace comes from being able to let it go. If you don’t give difficult people and situations the power to bother you, you will have peace in your life. Then we wouldn’t need everyone on earth to want peace in order to have it, though most people would still need to want it.
So, how do you let it go?
When a difficult situation comes up, I cope with it when it happens, and I move on once it has been dealt with. If the situation is one that really tries my abilities in this area, I make sure I am breathing deeply using my diaphragm, taking care of the problem, and then I move on. I have found that the more I practice coping and moving on, the less I need the deep breathing to do it with a zen-like attitude.
Deal with the problem. Take the steps to fix the issue, whatever it is. It may mean finding a new place to live, overdrawing an account to pay a bill or simply allowing a difficult person who isn’t interested in a peaceful life to vent over something. Whatever the problem is, there is always a solution. If you internalize that, you can always find and enact a solution to your problem.
Do not allow yourself the luxury of dwelling on things that have been dealt with. If you focus on how frustrated you were about the problem, or how annoyed you are that the solution didn’t exactly suit you, you are allowing that problem to ruin your peace. You are permitting it to destroy something you have built. Do you really want to allow someone or something else that power over you?
This is something that can help you to calm down before you start with the coping step. In teaching my kids to use their diaphragm to take deep breaths, I tell them to breath into their bellies. When you take a deep breath, breathe slowly, pushing your stomach out the entire time you take in air. Then push the air out with your diaphragm slowly. The increase in oxygen and control over your diaphragm force you to calm yourself down. You can’t take this control over your breath and muscles if you are still upset. It also forces you to focus on something other than whatever is upsetting you.
Outside forces only have real control over our emotions when we allow them. Other people only have control over how we feel and respond when we allow them. These things are all entirely our choice. We can choose to be out of control and lack peace, or we can choose to feel peace. It’s all up to us.