Some people believe that when you have your health you have everything. Yet I know healthy people who are miserable. Others seek to acquire wealth only to discover that, while money can buy things to enjoy, it is not, in-and-of itself, fulfilling.
Based on the 15,000 books Amazon sells on this topic, there’s an overabundance of people seeking to be happy. Many have found random moments of happiness: “I’m thrilled when my grandchildren come to visit.” “I have an amazing career!”
Yet each condition is transitory, thereby potentially altering our state of mind when change occurs. If your industry folds or your grandchildren move away, do you relinquish happiness? When bliss is dependent on whom you’re with or what you’re doing, any variation in circumstance can be distressing.
Health, happiness and money all have value but for me nothing matters more than being at peace. Inner peace is a state of mind, a lifestyle choice, a conscious decision not to be adversely affected by what is occurring around us.
My forties were a tumultuous decade laden with addiction, betrayal, abuse, blackmail, estrangement and domestic violence. Through it all, my deep faith in God provided me with the strength and guidance to endure my burdens. The overload of emotions from anger to fear, to guilt and shame was robbing me of my ability to enjoy life. I turned to God for guidance.
“All is exactly as it is meant to be. Be at peace. Trust in Me. In time, I will reveal the purpose of all your suffering.”
As promised, God eventually explained that each situation and individual that entered my life, particularly the difficult and painful ones, were there for my benefit: perhaps to teach me a valuable lesson or redirect the course of my life. I learned, when life does not cooperate with me, to not resist the challenges but face each as they appear. I decided to allow life to unfold naturally, as God intended, instead of forcing it to be what I wanted.
I chose to be more compassionate and patient with people as well. Each of us is struggling with our own personal issues and it’s not mine to determine when and how those issues should be resolved. When I remove all expectations and demands of others, when I judge less and label more compassionately, I free myself of frustration and anger towards others. This allows me to live in peace and harmony with those around me.
“Letting go and letting God” is an unpopular life choice for many people. We all want to be in control, yet only when we truly learn to let go and accept that which we have no control over (which is everything external of the self) are we able to experience genuine peace.
In God’s time and in His way, everything works out exactly as it is meant to be. In the meantime, I have learned acceptance and patience. I now live in peace. It’s a lovely state in which to reside, and not very crowded either.