Am I the only one who can provide me with inner PEACE?
Contribution by Isabel Hernández Negrín, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain.
I do not know if any of you have ever seen those programmes on TV where they do up houses. Lots of owners want to sell their house because they think the house has become too small for them. They call on someone who carries out a great make-over and when they go in they realise that the house is superb and they can and want to stay there. They did not need anything bigger, they just needed to organise things a little and change a few bits and pieces and there you go! But inertia and a lack of awareness can lead to confusion and make us feel the need for a new house. What they want is to get away from the malaise that is caused by living in such circumstances and therefore they consider the quick fix of selling up and buying a new house that is bigger and better appointed. Something like that happens to us. We do not feel at peace and we think that a solution lies elsewhere. We look for a doctor, a guru or a friend who will provide us with an escape route. It is hard for us to see our own mess or to see how to sort it out. By not seeing our malaise as something that we can resolve ourselves we look for external causes and search for external solutions. I do not mean that there are no situations that are complicated in themselves. What I mean is that we do not question the part we play in making us feel so bad on certain occasions or faced with particular situations. This leads us to think that it is the situation or others who must change and not us. I know people who flatly refuse to consider that, through their attitude, they aggravate their malaise or even provoke unpleasant responses in others, which leaves us with the impression that the problem is them or the situation. Trapped in this vicious circle we feel powerless and even depressed because we believe that we cannot do anything.
Returning to the metaphor of the house that is uncomfortable for us, we live there without wanting to open the wardrobes and get rid of the things that are no longer of use and arrange what still is useful in an orderly way. It is hard for us to move the position of the furniture and make it fit our needs because we have become used to seeing things in a certain way, and it does not seem that anything else is possible.
Although it seems a contradiction, it is difficult for us to get rid of, part from, so many things. The same thing happens to us and we do not perceive that we can be otherwise, however, we just have to open our inner wardrobe and take out and look at what is there.
Our attitudes, all of them, place us before the world and before ourselves in a favourable or unfavourable light. They help or hinder us. They form 50% of our malaise, like when we refuse to accept incontrovertible facts: like finding ourselves alone; the death of someone we care about; the end of a relationship; the loss of a job; a tedious meeting; problems we have with a relative; an illness; ageing; the behaviour of neighbours or other people or all manner of other things.
There are other items that we might consider as agents of our own malaise, like many of the judgements that we make, our interpretations of what we experience, our identification with, or clinging to, our beliefs, etc.
Now I just want to point out that peace always involves looking calmly inwards. Untying the bonds that we ourselves have created, is a source of freedom and peace.
Nobody can come and fix our lives that is our responsibility and our mission, since this puts the solution in our own hands. Do you not agree?