Is my peace the same as everyone’s?
Contribution made by Isabel Hernandez Negrin. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
“They don’t leave me alone” we are used to saying. We don’t usually feel inner peace, and if said like that maybe would say that is not that bad, that there always are peaceful moments in their own ways. The peace I’m talking about is not the calmness of the moment or of a dreamed vacation, or enjoying the agreeable company of someone, or not having concerns to upset you. No, this peace is about living every moment without saying, if the moment or you, had a positive or negative value. Without putting conditions in the moment I’m living (e.g. “I deserve something else”, “I wish I could be away from all this.”) We’re always making judgments of everything (even about ourselves) and wishing to be somewhere else or being in different circumstances to the ones we are now. But I’m not talking not doing anything and not making choices about things that require a choice. I’m talking about my attitude about living the present, what I have in front of me in that instant. When I live like that, which it usually is, nothing fits my wishes because I’m always judging that it could be, or it should be, better. That attitude of rejection toward what’s in front of me (too much work, my child’s school problem, a neighbors meeting, an impatient boy/girlfriend, cleaning the house, something I feel, etc.) it’s what makes me feel anxious. It’s what makes want to run from that situation and, above all, run from that feeling because if I feel good about a problem, I wouldn’t want to run from it.
Rather, it seems that the annoying thing about the judgments I make about everything is how those judgments make me feel. Look at it closely. Analyze this seriously, because your inner peace depends on that error we are used to making. Believing that others are responsible for my discomfort is an error that may cost me an ulcer, and even my life. Thinking and behaving as if life is obligated to make me happy is very common. But now imagine it’s the other way around, would it be reasonable for other to demand the same of you? Are you directly responsible for making others happy? Maybe you would think that’s too much to ask of you and that they contribute to their discomfort, no?
So then, where are the error and the solution to find peace in each one of us? The error is in trying to appoint the responsibility of our discomfort outside of ourselves. We, you and I, are the only ones that can make a change in our attitudes, stopping our lamentations in the face of every small or big setback and assuming our responsibility over our way of being in the world, in our worlds, and in our lives. I am responsible for my own inner peace. Each one of us is. It would not be reasonable to demand peace from other when I can’t lavish it upon myself. We all act while ignoring this fact, but you have to believe me. It is best for you to examine your own attitude when you grumble, lament, and get mad because some things make you feel uncomfortable or upset. Stop on the spot, kindly observe what you are feeling and what you are demanding from others and yourself. Let go of that attitude, let it pass and choose how you want to feel.
Then you will see that your peace is yours alone, and it can be everyone’s peace.