The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become peaceful inside.

peace1This is my favorite 2 quotes on peace. I can’t share with you all that I know of peace, but I can share how I got there. I grew up in a household divided. My dad was loud, mean, drunk, abusive, and rude. My mom was quiet, soft spoken, scared, and passive. It was like living with 2 people that had no idea why they were together. And that came up a lot. But yet they stayed together until my dad passed away. I didn’t realize inner peace until I moved out when I was 16. I simply could not take it anymore. The fights were getting worse, my dad was getting louder, my mom was getting sadder, more quiet. And my little brother was always upset with everybody. When I left home I found that I really enjoy and crave the quiet. It’s where I can do all of my prayers and reflective thinking. I have never really focused on what I don’t have going on in my life. I focus most of my prayers on the good works I am and want to continue doing. I focus on asking God to use my life in service to others. And in doing so, I will find my own peace. It’s all I have ever wanted. Every birthday wish was please God, let me parents not fight today. I asked for peace constantly. And I did get it sometimes. It wasn’t all chaos, just mostly.

When I started going through therapy after my fiancee and baby passed away, I realized how angry I was. I was really angry about growing up in that household. I was angry that God had taken the woman that I loved and the son I had wanted so badly. I was angry that I let my life be guided by doing what everyone else wanted me to do, instead of doing what I wanted just once. I found that anger started coming out in rages with the therapist. Instead of going in there crying, like I really thought would happen, I would leave really pissed off and looking for a fight. I lost my sense of stability, foundation and love. And I was trying to get it back. But I had to find a new source of love. I had to start with myself.

I found out through reading so many books and really digging into the Bible, that I am the teacher I’ve been waiting for. I am the one who can end my own suffering. If I kept beating myself up for the things I lost, I would never find the things I needed. And that was love, companionship, trust, and peace. I had become focused on what I thought shouldn’t have happened to me. But God taught me that it should, because it did. I was trying to make my mind believe that it didn’t really happen. It took me a few weeks to realize she really, really wasn’t ever coming home. And that pissed me off. I wanted her home. I needed her home. And I suffered greatly not letting that thought go. Much of my stress came from mentally living elsewhere. I was not living in my present life. I was looking back, or looking forward and feeling lost both ways. All of the answers I ever needed were always available inside of me. I know what’s best for my life. I know what I want. I know what I need. But I wasn’t living for that. I was living for anger and suffering. I was playing victim 24/7 because I shut myself down. I wasn’t talking, I wasn’t hanging out with my friends, or doing anything other than working and coming home. I didn’t want to have people over, I didn’t want to answer the phone so I could be asked “How are you holding up”. I wanted to be quiet, still, and alone. And I suffered greatly.

What I found out, was that every stressful moment I experienced was a gift that pointed me to my own freedom. Then I found a book that changed everything. I learned to start looking into my own thoughts. I found that the questions in the book made me really stop and think. A powerful way of prompting myself was to add “and it means what” to anything that I was angry, sad, or hurt about. I learned from this book that I was doing this to myself. People were being nice to me, asking how I was holding up. I was getting pissed because I didn’t want to talk. And I found out I didn’t want to talk because that would mean I would have to let her go. The more I talked about her and our son, the more they became accepted as gone forever. And I didn’t want that at all. I was suffering greatly in the thought of what I thought I should have in my life. I had to ask myself how did I react when I think the thought, she shouldn’t have passed away. My son shouldn’t have passed away. I got upset. I got angry.  I cried. I didn’t want them gone. I wanted them with me so I could take care of them and love them. But that was no longer true for me. I began to notice the internal cause and effect of that question. My human nature is for truth, and when you oppose it, you don’t feel like yourself. I would never be myself again. And I knew it. And I suffered greatly.

But I also became a character in the pages of a myth of my suffering. I told myself all these crazy stories about what I could have done to save them, even though there was no possible way I could have. I told myself what if I was driving in the car with them. Maybe I would have gone and they would be okay. Which I asked God about day after day. Why them, why not me. She didn’t deserve this. Our baby boy didn’t deserve this. I reacted to these myths by living in a stressed body, seeing everything through fearful eyes and not living.

I had to begin investigating this suffering. I had to start inquiring all of these questions about myself that I really didn’t want to answer. I had to start noticing, not dropping the thoughts. I’m really good at not talking about my feelings. But that doesn’t cultivate any type of healthy relationship with anyone.

Who would I be without the thought?

Who would I be without the thought my fiancee and our son should not have died?

This one was tough. I didn’t want to write those words, let alone think about them. But this book said I needed to. So I did. I thought about it and I would be more at peace with reality.  I would stop suffering and realize they died. I died inside too. And letting go of the should, as hard as it was, freed me. People can barely recognize themselves freed from the limitations of their stories. What I learned was a heartfelt apology to myself was a simple way to undo an error and being again on an equal and guiltless basis. Apologizing and making amends to myself was for my own sake. I had to stop thinking they shouldn’t have died, and start thinking I should live. Because that’s what I was missing. I was missing my life. I was missing all these wonderful gifts God had for me. I was missing love, companionship, trust, and peace. And it’s all I wanted in my life.

I learned that I am willing to create openness, creativity, and flexibility in my thinking. My inner freedom became an expression of love and ease in the world. I began to tell everyone how much I loved them. Because I learned that life is short. And tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Not them, not me, not my family, not my friends. No one. And I became humbled by my experiences. I became kind, and loving. No longer angry and scared. I was living in fear, but loving the fear for teaching me lessons.

You have to answer the questions about your life without anyone elses judgement. Don’t we already judge ourselves too much? All those shouldn’t you tell yourself, are they really true? You shouldn’t change jobs? You shouldn’t talk to someone? You shouldn’t be angry and hurt? Is that really true?

I love my life. I love everything I have lost, I love everything I have found. And I love this book. It taught me what I needed most, that I was causing this suffering all on my own. It also taught me how to stop suffering by re-writing my new story. And after 10 years of staying alone, angry, and scared I found happiness and inner peace.

Then I found love 😉

God loves you guys and I love ya’ll too! Have a great weekend!

 

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