Inner Peace: What Is It and How Can We Attain It?

Inner PeacePeace. A simple word, yet with so much depth. What does this word mean to you? What comes to mind first when asked this question.

I asked myself what peace meant to me and I hesitated at first and then something came to me: presence. When you stop your mind from running from you and take a minute to get back down to earth, peace occurs naturally. That feeling of serenity and trust in the universe is enough to stop violence.

Harmonious solutions present themselves, clear perspectives become apparent, and positive transaction is a side effect. All of this can happen when the mind is quiet and turmoil has settled. I’ve learned this first hand because I have struggled with overthinking from a young age. I saw two different paths as I began experiencing these mental obstacles and I started to figure out why peace was being taken from me.

My mind would time travel into experiences that I had already had and to experiences that had never happened to me before. I lost the ability to find my center and it came out in negative thoughts, and bad moods. It has ruined friendships.

When I found peace once again it was amplified and apparent in all areas of my life. While I still struggle with maintaining a peaceful lifestyle due to the turbulence in my mind, I have realized that peace to me is the sound of my breath and the feeling of my heart beating in my chest. Peace is gratitude for the things that I do have and the things that I no longer have.

Peace is love; it’s seeing my mother smiling when she gets home from a long day of work, it’s my boyfriend landing his first real job, it’s the memories I have of people I’ve loved and lost. Peace is not worrying about my future, or bringing my baggage from the past into my current circumstances. Peace is not wishing things were different or begging for things back. Peace is about being here now and being grateful for the opportunities that present themselves at all moments of my waking day.

Now this is all good and it makes sense on a small scale being that we are only addressing my life but when it comes to community and the world as a whole the definition of peace may be more complex. I do believe that if everyone spent more time being present and coming back to themselves, they would realize that love is, above all else, most important. When we love we rid ourselves of hierarchy, of materialism, of hatred. There is space to create harmonious environments and to brainstorm efficient and peaceful solutions.

We can make an effort to fix the economic system if people would turn to themselves and say, “What would I feel like if it were me in this situation?” If we all resorted to empathy in the present moment, our world may not suffer from as much domestic violence, world hunger, homelessness, racism/sexism, or any of the negative situations that occur.

The word peace is multidimensional and should never be underestimated.

PHOTO TAKEN by Nicole Riddle