It’s an illusive feeling. I find that I chase after peace at times. Why? Because I’ve been victim of the illusion that I could find peace if only some situation were the way I wanted it. Have you ever changed situations (like a job, a relationship or a location), hoping that things would be different? Only they weren’t? What was the problem? Certainly it couldn’t be me. It had to be something else that was robbing me of inner peace. Finally, I had to recognize that if I believed something outside myself would bring me peace, I would never find peace.
I used to complain a lot to my spiritual advisor about how awful people were to me. I’d point out that they weren’t treating me correctly. Or, that they were talking about me or not talking about me enough. (Depending on the situation.) Never could I find true peace in any situation. I kept attempting to manipulate people, places or circumstances to suit my desires. And I kept coming up short every time.
My spiritual advisor would listen to me for a little while. Then she’d say, “Honey, it’s not them. ‘They’ are not your problem – YOU are the problem!” (The real truth is – she’d listen to me for less and less time with each phone call. Finally, as technology changed and Caller ID was invented, she’d see it was I who was calling and she’d just pick up the phone and say, “Honey, it’s not them!” And hang up the phone!)
I Am The Problem?
Needless to say, I didn’t like hearing that. How could I possibly be the problem when it was so clear that ‘they’ were not
- Acting the way I thought they should.
- Treating me with enough respect
- Doing my bidding whether or not I had even articulated my desires to them. (Sometimes I expected people to read my mind!)
Real Peace vs. Temporary Happiness
It is human nature to desire situations to be as we want them. Who among us doesn’t have a ‘picture’ in mind about how things should be. What would make something the perfect holiday celebration or the perfect date with our spouse? (Fill in the scenario) But is that really reality? Are we really happy when things turn out our way? Maybe for a short period of time. But I have found that even when I get what I want, it is short-lived.
Real peace does not come from getting my way. Lasting peace comes from knowing that I am in spiritual alignment with the Universe.
When this is the case – nothing and no one has power over me. I know that “they” are not my problem. Therefore, “they” cannot make me happy nor unhappy. My problem is within me. And the solution is a spiritual one.
What Do I Have To Do To Find The Spiritual Solution?
- Identify the problem
- Make peace with it
- Understand it within the spiritual context – usually, it is a lesson from the universe that is leading us to a higher teaching
Years ago, my spiritual advisor shared with me that she was experiencing a very painful situation at work. Some of her co-workers were gossiping about her and undermining her work. She wanted to go to her superiors and report them, but her spiritual advisor recommended that she not do so. Instead, she was to hold her head high with dignity and pray for her co-workers. It was not easy. Her ego was bruised by the indignities. She felt as if she were back in middle school. But still, she went about her business, ignoring her unkind coworkers and doing her job to the best of her ability.
She really wanted to leave her position, but she truly loved the work she was doing. So, she prayed and stayed. Knowing that if she ran from the job, she would find the same problem at her next job – with different characters. And sure enough, her spiritual endurance paid off! One of the trouble makers was fired for some other reason. And la few months later, another trouble maker approached her to not only apologize for her former bad behavior, but also to ask for her help.
By not leaving she was:
a) Able to find her inner strength
b) Able to keep a job she loved.
c) She now knew that she could overcome the problem by working through her own issues, and ignoring ‘them” and their unkindness
D) Later on, was able to be useful in helping her coworker (and me too!) through her example of dignity.
My spiritual advisor also said that it is okay to leave only when it is okay to stay. That I cannot run from something – it will just find me again later on. (Of course, in the case of real abuse, this does not apply. If one is being abused, one should run from that, but I am speaking of situations where one is not in danger of physical or emotional abuse.) When I am okay to stay in a situation, I can find real and lasting peace, because it doesn’t matter what ‘they’ do or say. I remain free.
I hope that this helps someone find peace today. Until we meet again – may you be blessed along your spiritual journey!
Other blog posts about Peace: