By Alexa Keating
It’s the age-old quest, this desire to find peace of mind; although most people cannot pinpoint when they lost this treasure. We begin to experience this malady when we encounter negative emotions expressed about us by others. For many this begins early in their childhood through abuse or sibling rivalry, but for most it begins in our preteen years through comments from peers or authority figures who don’t really appreciate who we can become. And there goes our peace of mind as we wonder what is lacking in us that others find undesirable. It can be a crushing blow for many, leading to suicide in the extreme. The loss of peace of mind is serious; what are some of the symptoms and causes?
1. Correctly identify the loss of peace of mind – Many people are aware that their mind is busy with multiple issues occupying their mind at once. We call this a busy mind; many even imagine they are ‘multi-tasking’ and consider it an asset. Yet busy minds are rife with confusion about most things that are occupying it. Good solutions rarely arise from this state of mind yet those thoughts persist like bad tenants we are trying to evict. They absorb the most powerful resources we have preventing us from focusing and finding a clear path to real answers. Peace of mind is missing, mired in messes both real and imagined in the busy mind.
2. Refusing to accept the reality of a situation – Many times it is easy to arrive at a reasonable conclusion but we find it unacceptable. It is akin to seeing the handwriting on the wall but simply refusing to believe it. We prefer to keep searching for an answer that is more palatable even while continuing to run head-on into truth that affirms what we refuse to accept. Peace of mind arrives with clarity that is truth only to be kicked out for further examination.
3. Imagining that we are trapped – Animals are frantic when they believe they are trapped; humans feel desperate. When we imagine there is no reasonable exit from a painful situation we wallow in regret, examining every other option that we could or should have tried. We become mired in guilt and self-recriminations that occupy our thoughts from the moment we awaken. So deep is this trench that many prefer to give up and let go of their hopes, dreams and even the life force. It is essential to recovery to understand there is always a way out. Many times we imagine we can see every option available and believe they contain something we simply cannot accept. Recovery requires faith and the acceptance that whatever lies ahead can produce far better results than we can see while caught in these emotions.
How can we recover something so essential to our happiness? We have to recognize and learn to love our own truth. A lot like feeling good in your own skin, this requires self-acceptance of who we are, regardless of past choices or influences. We need to simply be still and stop searching for a spin that makes us more acceptable to anyone, while learning to love even the choices that were painful because they allowed us to grow from the lessons. Rarely will you meet anyone who has been severely challenged and forced to grow who did not need those very lessons somewhere down the road. Oddly enough, the lessons learned prevented something far worse from happening in the future. Accepting that even the most embarrassing and painful events were a necessary turn in the path to complete the journey successfully requires faith. And so does maintaining peace of mind!