Shannon was in the military, and her family frequently transferred to different locations. They moved to a new place shortly after they put down roots in one spot.
One day, a long-time friend asked Shannon how she coped with the constant change. Shannon explained, “I’ve learned that peace isn’t something that comes from outside me like ideal circumstances. Peace is something that flows from within.”
Sometimes, thinking you would feel at peace if you had ideal circumstances is tempting. Maybe you say you’d be at peace if your job wasn’t so stressful. Perhaps you tell your friends you would be at peace if you had a better marriage. Maybe you say you would be at peace if you didn’t have that chronic illness.
But as Shannon has learned, peace doesn’t stem from your circumstances. You can live in the best or worst moments of your life and still choose to be entirely at peace. Let’s go on a journey to explore what peace might look like for you today…
Inner Peace Starts with You
Inner peace can seem elusive at times in your life. Maybe you’re going through a crisis or a season of chaos. Everything feels unpredictable and outside of your control. But the secret to maintaining your calm and feeling serene lies in remembering three important truths…
Truth #1: You Can Only Control Yourself
It’s easy to be at peace when your romantic relationship is flowing smoothly, your teenagers aren’t being moody, and your boss is having a string of good days. But what about when those things aren’t happening? Is it still possible to have peace even then?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes. You can have peace — but only if you rest in the truth that you can only control yourself.
- You can’t help it if your spouse is having a bad day and trying to pick a fight. You can respond with a soft answer to prevent the argument.
- You can’t help it if your teenager is moody. What you can do is let them know that you’re here to listen when they’re ready.
- You can’t help it if your boss is having a bad day. You can focus on doing your best to complete your position’s tasks.
When you focus on what you can do during a situation instead of what everyone else is saying and doing, you can tap into a well of inner peace. Your serenity won’t depend on anyone but you.
Truth #2: You Can Make Different Choices
A hard truth to swallow. But if you are consistently surrounded by chaos and uncertainty, it might be time to consider making different choices.
- Maybe you’re in a marriage where your partner constantly has one foot out the door. Perhaps you’re living in a small home packed with clutter. Maybe you’re in a job you hate that drains you.
- You can’t help the choices others are making — you can’t change your partner or force them to make a decision. What you can do is make choices that protect the interests of you and your children.
- You may not be able to change the size of your home, but you can make different choices regarding the clutter. You may not be able to leave your job right now, but you can start building an online business that will give you freedom one day.
Accepting that you can make different choices often brings up internal resistance. That’s because even if you don’t like where you find yourself, there’s still a feeling of safety in what’s familiar.
Your marriage might be painful, but it’s a familiar pain, whereas the pain of separation or divorce involves an unfamiliar pain. Your clutter might make it challenging to live your envisioned life, but it’s a familiar pain. Discovering who you are without that retail addiction would involve confronting an unfamiliar pain, just as leaving the job you hate.
Truth #3: You Can Embrace a Neutral Mindset
Sometimes, a lack of peace stems from a negative mindset. Before you’ve even had a chance to see how the situation unfolds, you’ve already projected negativity and pain onto it. You’ve said, “My boss won’t give me that raise. He hates me.” Or you’ve said, “Of course, my spouse will be grumpy with me today. He’s never happy.”
- When you have a negative mindset, you walk into a situation with your shield already up. You’re so busy anticipating a terrible thing that you can’t possibly find peace.
- Instead of choosing a negative mindset, you can try a neutral one. It isn’t like positive thinking, where you expect the best (though that can be helpful).
- Instead, you’re training yourself to approach situations with a neutral mindset. You might say, “Maybe my boss will give me that raise. He did give me a favorable performance review this year.” Or “Maybe my spouse will be in a better mood today. He didn’t get enough sleep yesterday.”
With this perspective, you’re staying open to all possibilities- good and bad. You can choose peace because you’re not anticipating the worst or the best. You’re simply choosing to be open.
Your Peace = Your Choice
The simple fact is that peace is not only a choice. It’s your choice. You are the only one who can deprive you of peace. Your spouse can’t. Your parent can’t. Your best friend can’t. Your moody teenager can’t. Your cat can’t.
It means that you have a powerful choice you can make each day. You can choose to walk in peace or not. It’s entirely up to you!
- Do you believe you are in charge of choosing inner peace? Why or why not?
- What do you need to make different choices in your life?
- How do you feel about the statement, “You are the only one who can deprive you of peace? Do you agree or disagree with it?
Women’s Group Topics
A great topic to discuss is managing the chaos in your life. Share ideas that support how to create more peace in your life. What does it mean to have a neutral mindset?
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
Other Topics You May Be Interested In
Do You Compromise or Negotiate More?
Becoming Aware of Your Expectations
12 Reasons to Choose Self Compassion
Do you want to download a PDF copy of both of these books, then go to: