My whole life I have been driven to find answers to the things the majority of people seem to just accept. We all 'know' certain truths and agree with them. However, it seems few actually put them into action. Why is this the case? I cannot settle for the status quo or, "That's just the way it is."
When it comes to finding inner peace, everyone agrees it is an inside job. But then we all go and try to arrange our outside world with the goal of this leading eventually to peace: when X is taken care of, then I can relax. Sound familiar?
Many "know" but few "do"
The reason many 'know' and few do is because doing is hard. Facing down your inner demons and feeling painful emotions is demanding and requires courage. To undertake this task demands a motivator. For most people, this is pain. As human beings, we are pain aversive. We will do almost anything to avoid it. However, evading pain comes with a price.
One of the costs is the loss of peace. We use various things to numb ourselves, which provides us with a temporary sense of pseudo peace, such as food, alcohol, medications, and spending. But in the long run, the pain only increases. This leads to an ever greater desire to escape.
The first step is to become present
The way out is through. Trying to structure your outside world to lead to peace is a dead end and exhausting. Many of my clients are terrified to look within initially, and I can understand why. There is past trauma and painful emotions, such as grief and shame. If this describes you, reach for support from someone like myself to help you through this part of the process.
The first step in journey towards peace is to take the time to stop and be present. Then just notice what you are feeling inside without judgment or labels. You may experience anxiety at first, but this will subside. As you learn how to sit with whatever you are feeling, tolerate, and accept it, slowly it will begin to diminish until it releases. You will eventually experience positive emotions that are energizing and lead to insight and effective action.
Experiencing core state
In therapy, we call this core state. It is an experiential place where you feel calm, confident, clear, and compassionate towards yourself and others. It is often transcendent and spiritual. Moreover, it is real and can be intoxicating. The way we access this state is through feeling your core emotions through to completion. Riding the rapids leads to calm waters.
Take some time today to put this into practice. If you choose not to, this will be a nice post to read with a twenty four hour shelf life. Don't just be someone who 'knows'. Do! This is what makes the difference. If you have the courage to take these steps, you will be richly rewarded with a life of more peace and serenity. In addition, doing this practice consistently will also allow you to tap into and manifest your full potential. Then your motivation will move from avoiding pain to the positive feelings you will experience from a life filled with purpose and fulfillment.
John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C.
John has helped thousands of clients overcome the hidden internal blocks which had kept them from achieving their maximum potential. Furthermore, he has assisted them in gaining clarity of their true life purpose, identifying their gifts and talents, and developing lives of greater meaning and significance.