Is knowing ourselves a necessary step to attain peace?

Contributed by Isabel Hernández Negrin from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,

Spain.

Many will think that a good vacation would be enough to be at peace. However, at the first discrepancy with someone about whether we are going to visit this place or the other, a conflict could arise that would draw us out of the peace that we have so longed for. Each one will imagine some form: if I did not have to do a job, if I had more money, beauty, a comfortable house, friends, family…

However, in the above examples, we make our peace depend on external elements that may not be within our means. Or even after having all that, we may not find peace within ourselves.

We seek inner peace in external things. Perhaps we live too devoted to the external factors and are led by images that promise peace, happiness or safety to us if we dress up in a certain way, if we drive a certain car, if we have so and so partner, or if we buy a certain perfume, if we lose or gain weight.

Can we find peace in a way that only depended on ourselves?

I’d say yes.

Maybe we could start by being a little with ourselves, without longing for anything, without seeking anything, without wasting our energy on the thoughts that provoke us to do something, without wasting our energy on transient emotions.

Just being with ourselves, because we are not the transient things with which we distract ourselves.

Getting to know yourself can start by being in what you are doing, that is, if you are cleaning the dishes, do it with all your attention on that; if you are driving, do just that, without thinking about other things; if you are resting, pay attention to the sensations of your body without engaging in anything else; if you are talking to a friend, put your energy in that relationship and not in what you will do later; if you are playing with a child, attend to him without thinking that you could be doing something else; even when you have a job in front of you that you do not like very much, you can calm yourself if you stop thinking that you do not like it and that you could be somewhere else. You could start there, to be where you are and in what you are doing, intentionally present in yourself and in what you have at hand.

This brief commentary cannot be a conclusion for peace and self-awareness, but if you intentionally put yourself to be in what you are doing, you will have begun something important that will give you trails about yourself and about your inner peace.

If you stay with only this commentary, nothing will happen. But if you decide to do what I am suggesting, that will certainly be a step in a different direction.

You are the one that always decides how you want to live.