Practicing for Peace
We all want peace. We want freedom from worry, anxiety, fear, and anger. We want to be free to decide our own fate, determine our own destiny without being weighed down by the “sin that so easily besets us.” I feel like I have found that way. However, it does not happen everyday for me, but I have found a way to live life with more freedom, joy, happiness, and power than ever before in my life.
In my last post I mentioned the need to be open, vulnerable and accountable to ourselves through therapy/counseling/life coaching. It has been through this, constant and consistent reading, meditation and prayer, exercise, and practice I have found a way to live life and live it with abundance. I am not talking about abundance in the sense of material things, but in the sense of more freedom, love, prescense, and joy. I have practiced every opporturnity I get, and i get them everyday.
I started by just noticing when I was worried and anxious. I just noticed the feelings, the thoughts, and the energy that was present when I began to worry. I then decided to “set it on the self,” to take that “thing” I was worried about and sit it on the book shelf like a book was not reading and no longer pay attention to it. I would take my attention and focus it on the things I could do something about. I could make a phone call, do some paperwork, write some thank you notes, read a book I was interested in, text a friend to say hello, etc.
Now at the beginning I found that I could only keep my attention off the worry for a few seconds, seven months later my practice has led me to notice almost immediately when I am worrying and “sit it to the side” and move on to something else and never look back at it. This has taken consistant practice, talking with my therapist, reading, and meditation – and some days I still am not able to focus on anything but my worry.
However, I have noticed when I do not worry and focus on what I can do something about an amazing thing happens. That “thing” I was worried about goes away and usually gets taken care of when it needs to be taken care of. I commented to my therapist recently that this has probably always happened but I have been so focused on the worry that I never noticed that I was already taken care of. As I have increased my awareness of and the knowledge of things will take care of themselves as I focus on what I can do something about, and also accepted that life just happens sometimes and there is nothing you can do about it – I have become more and more aware of how God and the universe are truly taking care of me. I get to truly look up at the sky somedays and laugh in the face of circumstances that once took me to the place of unimaginable worry, fret, pain, and anger. it has truly been the living out of Jesus’ truth that you cannot add anything to your life by worrying about tomorrow! I really am like the flowers and the grass – I get what I need when I need it and not before or after.
This has truly been an amazing experience! One I hope to live as best I can for the rest of my life. It will take continual practice, as it took me to get this far, but the experience is so worth it. I hope you will begin to practice and not just hope that you will no longer worry one day, but actually practice what you know to be true. This is the only way to peace.