Choose Purpose. Choose Peace.
There's a storm going on all around us and we stand in the center of the storm in complete peace. We are at peace. We embrace peace. We are not the storm. We are peace.
Healing is hard work but with daily intentional effort we can live lives where peace and pain co-exist. No life is completely without pain. Some have more than others. But there are many lives completely devoid of peace- even those who have less pain. I carry pain and peace around with me daily. I cannot imagine how I could make it through the day with my pain if it weren't for my healthy dose of peace.
"There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." -Thich Nhat Hanh
We can travel to the farthest edges of the earth seeking what's been inside us all along, never finding it because we looked for it in places and things instead of inside of ourselves. The present moment allows us to accept what is with no comparison or judgement. It's not good or bad...it just is. It's not fair or unfair...it just is.
In order to live fully, we must connect to the present moment. My mind when left to itself will constantly drift to the past wondering what I could've done to save my child or it drifts to the future hurting over all the memories we will never get to make together. Neither thoughts of the past nor the future bring me peace in these scenarios. Neither the past nor the future can be controlled fully by human beings. I surrender to the fact that I am not in control. There are things that have happened in my life that I did not cause. I am not being punished. I forgive myself for not knowing what I did not know. I surrender to what is. I accept my reality. I allow myself to be.
In meditation, I connect myself to the present. Staying present helps relieve anxiety and the debilitating pain of grief. It doesn't make the grief go away but it neutralizes its paralyzing power. Meditation helps us acknowledge that we are not the things that are going on in our lives. Those things can exist and we can exist in a state of peace, simultaneously. I can sit on a bed of rocks and feel the pain of the rocks but I don't become the rocks nor do I become the pain. I don't try to adjust my body because no matter where I move I will still feel the poke of the rocks so instead I accept what is. Acceptance and Surrender are instrumental in finding peace. I can relax my mind and feel the pain of the rocks while feeling complete peace and contentment. I am not the rocks- I am peace. I am not the pain- I am peace. I am not my grief- I am peace.
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I incorporate affirmations at the end of my meditations to remind myself of the thoughts that serve my peace. I also do affirmations throughout the day especially if guilt or fear invades my space. The affirmations calm my mind and remind me to be at peace with what is and what I have chosen to focus my thoughts on.
I also use an affirmation bowl. I write out affirmations while in a place of peace and place them in this bowl and whenever my mind starts to focus on the pain, I pull out an affirmation and read it to bring myself back to a place of peace. I write out as many as I can while in a peaceful, grateful mood. That way when I am feeling down the words to help lift me up are already in the bowl ready to help me make the shift.
They say focus on what you can control. If we all surrender to that thought then we would truly be at peace because none of us are in control of life and death. God is in control and if we submit to His will then we must make peace with what He has allowed in our lives. Ultimately, our loved ones are His and He allowed us to enjoy them for a time. We must ask ourselves this... if we had the choice between having them for the time we did and keeping all the pain associated with losing them or never having had them and losing all the joy and memories we experienced with them... which would we choose? I would choose to have them every time even if it means having this pain. This pain is a reminder of the love that we shared and I thank God for allowing me to ever experience a love so pure- allowing me to enjoy His beautiful gift! This life is just a preview of what is to come. We will be reunited with our loved ones and we get to choose how we spend the time in between. Will we curse God for taking them? Or thank Him for blessing us with them? Will we try to rush our departure? Or will we be patient and let our lives be a testimony? A testimony is not what we say- it is what we do. We don't speak a testimony, we live our testimony.
Peace is possible. Let peace reside and let peace abide. Peace is in every breath we take, every prayer we utter, and every moment we live. We are not the storm. We are peace. Peace becomes you.