Everyone wants to live in a world of peace, love, and happiness. Even though it may seem far out of reach, it is possible to live a life of peace. It is possible to embrace every living thing with love. It is possible to be happy, no matter what life throws your way.
During times of uncertainty or unrest, we are sometimes forced to make a choice. We can stay where we are, we can move backwards, or we can move forward, but make no mistake, we are choosing to be where we are. If our current situation is no longer serving us, it is time to make that choice.
Look around. Where are you? Physically, what position are you holding in your bones? Are you indoors or outside? What town are you in? What city? State? Country? Do you want to be here?
When you look around at your surroundings, do they make you smile deep inside? Does your soul flutter when you greet the people around you? Do you feel a sense of peace in your home? Are you happy? If not, it may be time to make a change.
Change can be scary. Fear has a way of immobilizing us. We want to make a change, so we make a plan and carry it out for a day or two. Then we begin to walk to the edge of our comfort zone and suddenly we feel the anxiety growing in our chest, causing us to waver a bit. Next thing you know, we are right back to our old patterns of thinking or behaviors.
It takes courage to be peaceful. It takes guts to love and be loved. It takes fortitude to be happy. The path to achieving these ideals is not always easy, but the road map to each of them lies within us.
We must choose to be courageous enough to seek peace. We have to be the ones to exemplify peace to others through our words and actions, but in order to show others peace, we must have peace in our own hearts and thoughts. It is easy to be provoked by confrontation or graphic images, yet we must not be shaken. We must go within to access the peace in our own hearts and respond in a manner that is becoming of the Peaceful Warrior. We must not retaliate. We must rise above the provocation and show everyone what it means to BE peace.
We must have the guts to love and be loved. We are worthy of love. The love we seek most is that of ourselves. Until we love ourselves first, we cannot love others. Not in the way they truly deserve to be loved, without condition. As Whitney Houston once sang, "Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all." Once you've seen a glimpse of that deep self-love, it is hard to forget. We recognize it in others who also love themselves. They are confident. They are peaceful.
The path to happiness is paved with fortitude. Happiness is fleeting for those who place conditions on it. Gratitude is the most efficient practice to becoming truly happy. When we strip away all the trinkets and shiny objects that fill our spaces, we get down to what really matters in life: safety, health, and family. Once we realize that material objects and money do not bring happiness, we can focus on what really makes us happy. Happiness is not the same thing as gratification. True happiness is a sense of security, a sense of well-being, and a sense of belonging. Everyone deserves to feel safe, healthy, and included.
So how do we get there? Start where you are. Take a long look at your thoughts and beliefs that are keeping you from knowing peace, love, and happiness. Begin to take inventory of what brings you closer to these ideals and what moves you further from them. Once you know what is holding you back, you must then make a choice to change.
Start small. Make one change in the direction toward peace and see how it feels. Choose love every day for a week and notice if anything changes. Be grateful for everything and everyone around you and see if your perspective shifts.
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