This year we face a Christmas like no other. In past blogs, I’ve reflected on the gift of words and the gift of memories, both are gifts we give to others. http://susanneeden.the gift of words. http://susanneeden.com/the-christmas-cake.
Perhaps what we now need is to give ourselves a gift that will sustain us in these chaotic times. For my part, I can think of nothing better than to give myself the gift of peace.
Making a Difference
Christmas is synonymous with peace. At this time of year, we sing the prayer of peace on earth and good will to all. But how is this to come about? For most of us, the idea of peace on earth is nothing more than wishful thinking. Thus we feel powerless and wonder what difference one person could possibly make? As it turns out, we do have the power to bring peace on earth because peace on earth begins within the heart of every person.
Inner peace comes from being contented with who we are and what we have. It is founded on faith in a higher power. When we are at peace for example, we are not buffeted by every dire prediction that the experts forecast. This is because, we trust that the universal intelligence that governs existence on the planet will prevail.
Finding Inner Peace
How do you give yourself this gift of peace? Keeping the gin bottle handy or popping pills won’t do it! You begin to cultivate deep inner peace by giving yourself the gift of time – time to restore your body; time to refresh your mind; time to reconnect with your soul.
Having a healthy body is a good starting point. As we age, we don’t have to buy into the belief that it’s all down hill from here. There are many doable ways, as I’ve described in earlier blogs, to keep our body agile. However, being healthy does not necessarily mean the absence of illness. It has more to do with finding meaning in the midst of pain. This is the essence of inner peace.
Peace resides in the mind, not in the external circumstances in which you find yourself. This is why it is so important to retrain your thinking through practices like meditation and journal writing. Again, I’ve written a number of blogs on these practices that you may want to revisit.
I’ve learned very late in my life that preserving time to quiet my body and my mind provides the space to connect with my inner self. It is here I find true peace. If you haven’t yet discovered the power of meditation, however, you are depriving yourself of a gift that surpasses all others.
When your body and your mind are balanced and in harmony, your spirit opens to receiving peace. Therefore, by giving yourself the gift of peace, you will be giving more to your family and friends than you can imagine.
Inner peace requires that we love and accept ourselves. This is more difficult than we realize. When, through negative self-talk, we put ourselves down, we lose sight of who we are meant to be. Only when we can love ourselves are we able to love others.
It goes without saying that connecting with our inner self flows from the practice of meditation. As part of your meditation, affirmations are a means of nourishing inner peace. Affirmations are positive statements used to change and strengthen our belief system. As such, these mantras replace the negative self-talk that feeds fear and anxiety. You can begin to use affirmations in the following way:
- Retreat into your personal quiet time.
- Relax as you do some deep breathing.
- Repeat affirmations that address your needs.
With practice, you will want to make your own affirmations. The following, however, are sample affirmations based on a guided meditation available on UTube “Build Emotional Resilience- Experiencing Inner Peace and Clarity” by Sara Raymond of the Mindful Movement.
- I love and accept myself
- I am compassionate toward myself.
- When I make mistakes, I forgive myself.
- When I experience painful experiences, I choose peace and trust that the higher power of the universe will keep me safe.
Something to Think About
“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
Traditional Christmas Carol
Inner peace brings contentment and faith. When we have peace within, we are not buffeted by the chaos around us. We trust in the infinite power of the universe.