How To Be At Peace With Yourself
What is about peace that we really seek? It is probably different for all of us. In all cases it involves current state and our future. Your default future is the one that will occur with no intervention or change. “What got you here won’t get you there.” (Marshall Goldsmith) In other words, if we want a different result we must must take different action. This begins with a careful assessment of reality. If one’s past is an indicator of future action then a careful review of the past is important in this process as well.
This review includes a careful look at our character. This will only work if you are committed to change; if you have the motivation, and are willing to take a hard look at yourself. Perfection is not required but a desire to become your ideal self is. Wise people are ready to take this step.
What Does It Mean To Really Seek Peace?
Peace is about living consistently with reality. It is about knowing oneself and what one desires from life and living consistently with these desires. Peace comes when we have fully satisfied the major questions about life, and again, living congruently with this worldview.
1. What is the Meaning of Life?
2. Who am I?
3. Could I be living in a Matrix?
4. What is Right / Wrong?
5. What is Time?
6. What happens after death?
7. Are human beings just machines?
8. Does God Exist?
9. Destiny? Free Will?
10. What is Philosophy?
Do the Inner Work: See Yourself Objectively
A wise person is one who desires truth, is willing to face reality and do something about it. The action required is to develop a plan. This is not to say to be perfect. There is a limit to our growth as long as we have any of the following character flaws. There has been much written about doing the work inside/out. Hence, work on self before working on others. Below are some traits you may want to address.
- Pride – to condemn others and become impatient with their faults. To compare themselves to others
- Avarice – they are never happy with the status quo. While this is good for a leader this fault can negatively affect one’s interior life
- Fame – their motivation is for fame not service
- Wrath – impatience, always on edge, lack sweetness
- Gluttony – resist hard work of becoming who God called them to be
- Envy – unhappy when others do well
- Sloth – running from that which is hard. The aim is sweetness and feeling good. 1
Now I must admit I have experienced each one of these but it is much easier to see them in other people. A wise person learns from other people’s mistakes so s/he doesn’t have to make those mistakes. A complete life plan must address our infirmities.
There are times when we need the help of a professional to help us sort through life. Counseling or mentoring is a good choice for some. Coaching may be the best choice for others. I have been the recipient of all three, and each offers a benefit unto itself.
Let Your Life Speak
Inner work works! Those experienced with coaching can attest to this. Parker Palmer’s, Let Your Life Speak, speaks to me in a fresh way every time I read it. There is much I could say about this little book; however, my biggest takeaway can be found in the title, Let Your Life Speak. Palmer’s journey was to find his “ideal self.” Palmer was a Thomas Merton disciple, and Merton’s writing caused me to fall in love with Christianity.
The journey begins when Palmer’s family and friends told him what he should do with his life. This is a little misleading because those words were never really proclaimed. Many a lawyer, engineer, code writer, government contractor, entrepreneur and professionals of all sort share this same story.
Now they are realizing fulfillment is fleeting. Status quo is no longer acceptable. This is a significant transition in life – midlife! But it doesn’t have to be a crisis. The journey to understand our ideal self is afoot.
Assessing one’s reality is a primary step in our quest for inner peace. Once we can accurately describe our current reality and our past, and why our past drives our current behavior, we are able to define our future. Next article that will help.
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazzero