There is this idea that Inner peace is like a destination, where, upon reaching, you become a brand new person and nothing upsetting or discomforting can get to you anymore. In this “Inner Peace Land” (if we can call it like that), there is no stress or any uncomfortable emotion; there is no conflict, there is no pain, there is no fear. And we even believe that if once something upsetting comes, we will not even blink, due to our “zen” zone that we have successfully acquired.
Reality Check: is there such a place? NO.
Then, what does Inner Peace mean?
Pema Chodron said that suffering, staying in pain and other self-destructive habits is an addiction.
Looking for happiness and trying to get what you don’t have now is an addiction, as well.
Inner Peace comes when we get off the hook.
When we stop expecting something else than what it actually is.
Happiness is not a reward and pain is not punishment.
They are just ordinary occurrences.
Are we divorcing from our partner? Yes, it hurts a lot. We don't need our Inner Peace when we forget them and move on.
Are we stressed about our next career move? Of course we are. We don't need our Inner Peace after we are done with the decision.
Are we worried about our kids and their development? No wonder why. We don't need our Inner Peace when they become adults and leave home.
Inner Peace is what we need when we are already in pain and it comes when we accept this painful/stressful/uncomfortable reality in our life.
Inner Peace is needed when we are in the middle of the Storm, not when we are eventually out of it. When we stay with the pain and try to see what our body, our feelings and our thoughts are trying to say to us.
The opposite of pain is not “no pain”. The opposite of stress is not “no stress”.
The opposite is the ability to see the pain and the stress, to feel it and to understand it.
It’s the ability to accept and tolerate uncertainty.
It’s the ability to choose our battles.
It’s the ability to let go off our unrelenting standards, our high expectations and our perfectionism.
It’s the ability to not regret about the past and not fear the future; to just be in the present moment.
It’s the ability to share our pain with others. And they can share theirs. And funny enough, the story may differ, but the pain is the same. And the need for Inner Peace, as well.
So, let’s repeat the question: Is there such a place as “Inner Peace Land”?
Inner Peace is the accepting of the struggle, while struggling; it’s the allowing of the chaos, while confused; and of course it’s the ability to see how we can grow through this, and not after/out of/around it.
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