We do not have to go to the foot of the Himalayas to attain inner peace. We also do not need to renounce everything before attaining quietude. Instead, we can live day to day in inner quietude. If we look at all of life’s experiences and their disturbing content with inner eyes, the disturbances we undergo will remain at the periphery. Deep down there will be an emotional quiet.
Inner peace is all about coping. If the unpleasant and painful memories remian too long with us, we will not make the transition that we are called to make from restless non-acceptance to quiet acceptance.
We are in a win-win situation when we accept the challenge of living, discriminating how far we should go along a certain track, who we should relate to in more intimate terms and those we need to distance because their values are so desperate from our own.
If we are self-sacrificing and wise, we will remain calm and tranquil despite the provocations we face. We do not avoid difficult people and circumstances, but learn to deal with them by distancing ourselves from them and building on relationships that bring happiness.
Withdrawal is an option but it would lead to disengagement and non-involvement and that does not bring required results. The inner peace we crave comes after traversing a long passage. Learning with experience, we begin to take things in our stride. It’s not all that easy, though.
There are many ways to cultivate and build on inner peace. We could set some time aside daily for prayer and neditation. Disproportionate understanding can blow up the way we perceive things. We could spend quiet time in the garden, in silent communication with plants and trees. We endure life’s storms and learn to absorb its shocks and we find that we are, in fact, in the midst of all these circumstances, communing with God, a tangible presence in our lives.
Coping is not just reactive, it’s proactive too. We pick up the mantle thrown to us and practice patience, detachment, endurance, serenity and acceptance of all that comes our way. To overcome obstacles and difficulties we need to develop coping skills that encompass mental and spiritual needs.
The only difference between the wise and the foolish is that the wise learn to cope with reality and transform it and the foolish get swept away by the ups and downs of life.
Life is uncertain; it is unpredictable. It is also unfair, it seems. But in learning to cope with all the ups and downs of life, we begin to live a full life.
There is the parable of the wise man in the gospels who built his house on rock. It withstood all the rains and storms. On the other hand, the man who built his house on sand watched his house get destroyed in the rain and storm. Hence, we need to cultivate rock-like resilience and welcome attributes that will help us to cope. The reward of inner strength is inner peace. Right here, in your living room, your workplace in your family will find inner peace. We do not have to look too far.
Once we learn to cope, the going will be easier and there will be no need to hide our real selves. We will be able to stand up and meet life on our own terms. And experience the fulfilment of a pilgrimage well weathered.
chakravarthy – About the Author:
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