It’s no exaggeration to say that 2020 and the start of 2021 have been challenging to many. Maybe that includes you, as well. You may be feeling anxious, apprehensive, or just overall uncomfortable with the world around you right now.
When you’re going through a tough time, it feels like a peaceful life is close to non-existent. Even if it does exist, it feels impossible to find and hold onto it. In order to cut through the noise and live in peace, you’ll have to put in a bit of work, but it’s worth the effort. A peaceful life, and all it takes to hold on to it, comes from within, but you don’t have to go it alone. It’s okay to reach out to your friends and loved ones to help you along the way.
As you work on finding your peaceful life, and living it 24/7, here are some tips to help you with your journey.
Give yourself some grace.
First things first: Lighten up on yourself. Give yourself a break. Whatever truism you prefer, the basic idea is that you cannot be so hard on yourself when you’re going through tough times. You have to be willing to accept and give grace.
Grace can have many different meanings, but the one I think applies most here comes from Merriam-Webster:
“a: APPROVAL, FAVOR stayed in his good graces
b archaic : MERCY, PARDON
c: a special favor : PRIVILEGE each in his place, by right, not grace, shall rule his heritage— Rudyard Kipling
d: disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
e: a temporary exemption : REPRIEVE ”
Grace isn’t necessarily something you deserve, it is something you extend. It is a gift and it starts with forgiving yourself. Once you’re able to do that, you can work towards being at peace with what is going on around you, who you are, and your circumstances at this moment in time.
Get help if you need it
Sometimes you can feel isolated when times are hard. Rather than bury yourself under a pile of loneliness and self-doubt, reach out to friends and family. A human connection could be what you need the most in this moment, but it has to start with you.
It’s okay to share how you feel with those you trust. Share your thoughts and your concerns, allow yourself to be vulnerable. Tell them what you’re going through, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how what they are able to offer in the way of advice and other assistance. Often, just knowing we have someone to fall back on if we need them will make our search for inner peace less elusive.
Just a word of caution, though – this is your journey. Your friends and family are human. They are doing the best they can as well, so if they are unable to offer you what you need or expect right now, extend grace to them as well. Sometimes we are going through challenging times to be able to share our struggles and be a support to others going through similar times.
Find the positive
When one door closes, another one opens. You’ve heard that, right? It seems cliché, but it’s an age-old saying because it’s true. Look for the positive in each situation you face. It doesn’t mean you should be unrealistic, but if you can take a step back, look at your situation from a different perspective, and seek the good, it will help you through your difficult times. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, but it will be helpful.
Listen to your heart
It’s a great idea to seek advice from friends and family, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to you own advice. Try this exercise out: Imagine someone else was going through your situation and they asked you for advice on what to do. What would you tell them? Then ask yourself: Am I following that advice? I quite often have to remind myself of the phrase I heard repeated at least a million times while I was growing up, “physician heal thyself.”
We often know the answer already in our heart. It’s easier said than done. Following the advice you’d give to a loved one is a compassionate way to change your perspective and potentially your mindset so you can tap into your inner peace more easily.
Walt Disney spoke about adversity in a way that we can all relate: “The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” That flower is you. That struggle is only temporary.
Find your purpose – find your joy.