“No one can create negativity or stress within you. Only you can do that by virtue of how you process your world.” — Dr Wayne Dyer
Inner peace, isn’t that what we’d all love to experience as we weave our paths through
everything life gives us? The good news is that it is far simpler to attain than many of our
outer (material or physical) goals. The bad news is that simple isn’t always easy! Attaining
inner peace is not easy because it means replacing old habits with new ones, and that requires
dedicated commitment. But the benefits are absolutely worth the effort.
Inner peace gives you the ability to live your life with a sense of happiness, satisfaction and
fulfilment which is not disturbed or influenced by outside events. So how do you acquire it?
By living your life your way, not how others think you should. By not worrying about what
others think of you – we all judge others (both positively and negatively) according to our
values, but if we try to live our lives in a way that honours somebody else’s values rather than
our own, we’ll always have a little gnawing discomfort going on deep inside.
To experience inner peace, we also need to be able to forgive and let go of guilt. Forgive
yourself and forgive others. Feeling guilty about past actions won’t change them and won’t
make anybody feel any better (either you or the person you’ve hurt). Instead, do what you can
to put things right, resolve to do better in the future and move on.
Likewise, letting go of anger or grudges will bring about an incredible sense of peace. Think
about it – how does holding onto these negative emotions help you? And do you think they
hurt those against whom you hold them more than they hurt you? Not at all. They are your
emotions, and you are the only person they can harm.
Of course, it can be challenging to forgive someone who’s hurt you, but I’ve realised that
most people don’t maliciously set out to hurt others, and those who do are deeply unhappy
themselves. The motivation behind their action was most probably some kind of fear rather
than deliberately wanting to cause hurt or pain. And thought of in that context, it’s easier to
let it go.
And with a little bit of practice at forgiveness, you may even find yourself getting less
annoyed or angry with people in future. You’ll have a greater sense of inner peace when you
can shrug things off and not take things personally (it’s really about them and not you at all).
When you take charge of your thoughts, you take charge of your emotions.
To achieve inner peace, you also need to let go of worry. Hmm, another tricky one! Worry is
similar to guilt. Worrying about what might or might not happen is completely unproductive
and totally destroys your ability to enjoy the present moment. A great shame that as the
present moment is all we have. So, how do we learn to let go of worries, guilt and anger?
The first thing is to become consciously aware of what we think whenever we feel worried,
guilty or angry. Notice what’s going on in your inner dialogue, and acknowledge that your
thoughts about the external event are causing you to feel the way you do, not the event itself.
Then reframe your thoughts to reflect on what’s going on around you in a more positive light.
Finally, whenever you catch yourself thinking about an old thought, banish it immediately
and replace it with the new one.
This will take a lot of practice, but with patience and persistence, you will develop a lighter
inner dialogue that promotes well-being and inner peace, and the world will feel like a far better place to live in.