Is this easy for some people? What kinda magic do I need to master to make this happen? Seems like it would be easy to achieve, right?? Outside circumstances and even my own thoughts screw me up on this. I’m trying, very hard, to be more mindful and selective with my thoughts and reactions to things outside of my control. I know I can’t force someone to respect me or to be considerate of my feelings. I can’t force someone to take an interest in me. I control myself, that’s it only me and honestly that’s enough.
I was raised to be kind and considerate to others, to put them before me. To sacrifice my own needs/wants in an effort to make someone else happy or loved. I haven’t always done this, there’s been plenty of times I’ve acted selfishly and had buckets of guilt because of it (I am Catholic after all). I do tend to be more of a people pleaser and extending kindness and compassion comes easy for me, which I’m thankful for.
I don’t fuss when someone cuts me off in traffic ’cause I’m thinkin they must have an emergency they need to get to. I don’t know why they did it and I don’t really care, maybe they’re just an a**hole but I tend to think otherwise. I do my best to avoid gossip and rumors or others who complain too much. (Those are people I love from a healthy distance)
Here’s the thing that gets to me eventually…constantly giving and sacrificing for others can be exhausting when it feels like you seldom get anything in return. That’s a selfish thought though, right?? I mean, if you’re gonna do good then just do it and don’t expect it to be returned to you. But we want it returned, somehow and someway otherwise we start feeling like these people are taking advantage of us because they know we won’t say no.
Peace doesn’t mean to be in a place with no noise, hard work or trouble; it means you’re able to be in the midst of all that with a calm heart.
So how do I get that inner peace I need to stay calm? How do I keep extending kindness without wearing myself out? Some things that help me are these:
- I’ve try to keep my opinion to myself unless asked for. Most people don’t want it anyway. I interject my opinion with my kids and husband and even then it’s not necessarily welcome.
- I try to avoid negative people, the people who gossip, spread rumors or complain, some people can only be loved from a healthy distance. A negative attitude is just as contagious as a positive one, so I prefer the positive one.
- I try to allow myself time to recharge, time doing things that I find joy in, even if I have to do it alone. This one is important. If you feel like you’re around people who won’t give to you what you need, maybe you need less contact with them. It’s okay to take time for yourself, you deserve peace.
- Walking and deep breathing. I don’t know why this helps me find peace and contentment but it does especially out in nature. A wooded area with more trees and animals than people. It’s just naturally relaxing for me and helps me achieve that peace that’s needed.
- My faith and praying. I pray for myself as well as others. I gave thanks and turn my problems over to God. He always has a way of taking care of things exactly the way I need it most.
My list is ever evolving with my age and right now these are things that work for me. I have no problem giving kindness and even receive tremendous satisfaction from it but it’s important to have peace in your life. Living in the present tense is difficult, the world can be overwhelming and stress builds up, that’s just a part of life. I think everyone has a different way of achieving peace and maybe it takes trying different things to find what works for you, but keep trying to find it. You need it to keep extending kindness in this world. Kindness, gratitude, peace and joy I believe all go hand in hand. What works for you?