Maintaining Your Inner Peace In The Midst Of Outer Dissonance
In a world that is permanently transformed by recent events, we are daily challenged by the need to restore and maintain inner peace amidst external conflicts. And dissonance is everywhere.
In a world that is permanently transformed by recent events, we are daily challenged by the need to restore and maintain inner peace amidst external conflicts. And dissonance is everywhere. Maybe the youth of living at home is over. Or maybe the world we are entering into is not the same as the land we left behind and it does not sound right. The distractions we may have been using to ease them during difficult experiences are lost.
We may try to meditate in order to regain our inner sense of peace, but once we are out of the abyss, the reality of the situation takes us back to anxiety and resentment. It is only natural to want to be free from these unpleasant situations. And yet, true freedom is not found in the distraction, hatred, or judgment of external dissonance; it is achieved by changing the way we respond to this.
Inner peace does not have to be complicated or elusive; instead, it lies in finding a way to live with the very things that do not suit us.
Deep wisdom requires that we learn how to be uncomfortable. To put it another way Pema Chodron, one of the misconceptions of the human mind is to think that real freedom comes by making ourselves more comfortable. The truth is the exact opposite!
When our efforts to relieve ourselves or to avoid external conflicts fail, we are, in effect, ready to find a lasting solution. This is a great opportunity to find inner peace amidst external dissonance. We can maintain peace in the midst of turbulent times because we have complete control over what we focus on.
Instead of resisting or fleeing from external dissonance, we begin to change our response by using dissonance as an opportunity to know better internally. We turn to our inner feelings of discomfort and draw closer to them.
How does it feel when our outer world seems chaotic, and there is little apparent freedom? What happens when we stop running and allow ourselves to listen to what lies below? How do we feel when we shift our focus away from external dissonance and internal institution instead? Asking ourselves questions like these helps us to keep our senses completely in the present moment.
As we ask inwardly, we will probably find all kinds of mixed emotions in the beginning - our parts that are not allowed, that are damaged, that are not allowed to be right and that are wrong. These are the orphan traits of our personality that motivate us to seek out a goat for a pension or a way of revenge by expressing our pain and anger to others. These factors can distort the truth to reinforce our common account of injury or abuse.
When we go inside and recognize these damaged features within us, we ultimately touch the power of healing and peace. It is by accepting the darkness that dwells within, that we begin to develop true honesty in all our aspects. And it is by seeing the discomfort, the pain and the anxiety within us, as we develop empathy for ourselves and all other creatures.
This process brings us to the realization that we are all connected to a certain level. Connection becomes a means of existence and is no longer just a theory. We begin to understand Pogo's possum in Walt Kelly's cartoon when he said: "We met the enemy, and we are." We see that there is good in our bad and bad in our best. And we cultivate compassion for ourselves and others.
This openness of our experience enables us to be more open to others. We find little need to turn away from the foundation of life - for ourselves and for others. Instead of judging others harshly for failing to stay on the same path, we can look at them with compassion. We become more honest and comfortable with our unrestricted traits - knowing their true nature - and being able to interact with others