Peace happens as a result of acceptance.
It’s been occurring to me lately that many of us crave a sense of peace in our lives. We crave control over this peace. However, somewhere along the way, an idea, school of thought, belief, or person comes in and suddenly, the peace we thought we had control over, is put into question.
Do you know that feeling — being unsettled or shaken — because of something outside of your control?
I do. It can be torture.
Here’s my question to you: How can we achieve peace or become more at peace when we rely on others for acceptance?
When we hold on to the ideas and narratives that we have no control over, we hold ourselves back from finding peace in our reality. The truth is, as humans, we don’t have control over many things — especially the thoughts and opinions of others.
In these situations, you can fight against what those thoughts or opinions are, or you can respond by accepting what it is. When you accept, you stop fighting for things outside your control and start to become more at peace with what is, creating more room for true self-expression and growth.
Don’t know where to start? Let’s try these five together.
1. Everyone is not going to like you.
So you’re not everyone’s cup of tea, go figure!
Maybe it’s my personality type, or maybe you feel the same way, but I’m going to be honest with you anyways… I have always wanted people to “like” me.
I grew up in a military family. I was always the “new kid,” and it stuck with me into adulthood. I also know a lot of people who have lived in the same place their entire lives and they feel the same way. So, my understanding is that humans want to feel like they fit in somewhere. Social media has definitely added pressure to these feelings, but I don’t think there is much we can do about that now.
What can we do? We can accept the fact that no matter how hard we try — no matter what we wear, say, do, you name it — we will never be able to please everyone.
Sure, it’s a tough pill to swallow, but I will tell you from experience; the second you recognize the only person that has to like you is YOU, the pressure is off.
If someone doesn’t like you, it’s on them, not on you. Find peace in the fact that you can’t control that. It’s their loss anyways, because you are an incredible person and they are missing out!
2. You won’t always get closure.
Remember that one that got away? They got away with out a word…and probably for a good reason.
Let’s face it, humans desire to have closure or resolution in any given situation. Truly, it is human nature. There is something about having things come full circle or getting an explanation for things that we don’t understand that makes something easier to put behind us.
It’s only fitting that when we don’t get the type of closure we want, we can find it very difficult to move forward with our lives.
If you think about it, though, seeking closure is only giving someone else the control over your sense of peace. Basically, you’re saying, “I can’t move past this until YOU give me closure…”
We can’t expect the outside world to take care of our feelings — we get to take ownership over them ourselves.
Sometimes you have to let go, let God handle the rest, and don’t look back.
3. You don’t always have to know what you want.
If you want to know the truth, I still can’t decide if I like pink or blue better. It’s as simple as that. Okay, well maybe the adult word is a little more nuanced… but you get what I mean.
We are held to an expectation that we need to have it all figured out by [enter age here] OR ELSE you are — falling behind, lazy, incompetent, indecisive, and a whole list of other adjectives that will lead you into a spiral of self deprecating thoughts.
What if I told you that all that pressure you are feeling to make up your mind is completely made up?
Well, it is.
At some point someone probably asked you, “What you want to be when you grow up?” or, “What is your five year plan?” Great questions… I still don’t know the answer.
Humans are meant to change. What we want changes and that is okay. Don’t get caught up in not knowing. Instead, take a step back and reflect. Now is a great time to find peace in the opportunities ahead and ask yourself some questions to find clarity.
4. You’re allowed to let things go.
Except kites, hold on to those…. way more fun that way.
Forgive me, I had to lighten the mood somehow.
In writing this, I just realized how many puns could follow this heading *enter Frozen meme here*.
Elsa had a point though — letting go of what we can’t control is one of the most powerful things we can do.
There are going to be many things in our lives that may serve a purpose for some time, but there may also come a time that we outgrow that same thing. Kind of like a hermit crab and a shell.
In scenarios that we feel distress, or pressure, sometimes the best way to find relief is to let go of what isn’t serving us any more.
5. You are responsible for your own happiness.
The second you start to depend on something or someone else to cultivate the level of happiness you feel, you’re setting yourself up to be let down.
Read that again.
Your happiness cannot, will not, and should not depend on anyone else but who? — YOU.
Accept it and lean in to it.
If there is one life lesson I could teach myself sooner, it would be this one.
Taking personal responsibility for your happiness means not blaming others for your unhappiness. It means figuring out ways in which you can be happy despite what is going on around you.
When you accept and recognize that your happiness depends much more on your attitude, you can stop worrying about the rest.
Moral of the story: You have control over your life. Don’t let objective, external circumstances steal your peace.