How Do We Find Peace?

The last three weeks I will admit, I have been feeling quite low again with this nagging feeling of discontent mixed with frustration mixed with sadness. Before these three weeks, I really actually have been doing very well emotionally and mentally, considering all that has happened. I definitely didn’t have any form of depression plaguing my life, I had enough energy to exercise almost every day, I was doing well regardless of immense stress in my studies and with my husky’s epilepsy and overall, despite a lot of things going wrong, most things were going very much right on the inside. I don’t think one’s state of mind and heart is defined by the presence or absence of difficult circumstances, disappointments or stressors. I think one’s state of whether you are in a good place or not is determined by how well you deal with all the chaos around you and I believe that comes from the ability of being able to separate viewing things from your feelings and viewing things from a realistic and objective stance. Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is rather than as you think it should be. It’s like I could be at peace and yet somehow on fire, because it truly was possible for me to be incredibly hurt, yet at peace. Then there are times like now where there is no chaos around me, but there’s a storm brewing inside me.

I hold myself fully accountable to this brewing storm- or whatever it is… As I wrote previously, something inside my heart and mind is busy transitioning from one place to another and along with it, my perceptions are shifting. I have become quiet. I remember going to a theme park with friends when I was little and one of the rides we went on called, “Tower of Terror” was me personified. The ride was created to slowly move forwards about a metre towards the edge from where it would suddenly drop at an incredibly fast, stomach-being-propelled-out-of-your-throat speed as you dropped. But when the ride reached the end before the drop, it would just stop and sit there for an unknown period of time, up in the air, all quiet while you’re in terrifying suspense of what is to come – and might I say with a hint of humor, that’s just sadistic torture. But during those moments, I was highly verbal and expressive. I couldn’t stop talking out of fear and knowing ‘something wicked this way comes’ and I’m just gracefully hanging around in the air before it does, while those around me were more quiet. Then, just when I became a little more comfortable up there, the ride just dropped. The feeling that came over my body and mind was the most out-of-control, immensely terrifying and physically unpleasant feeling. But what changed from my overly verbal state as it dropped was that I became silent and just braced myself while my friends were screaming their heads off. Quietness has always been my refuge. When I grow quiet, I can focus on survival and recenter my thoughts and draw from it whatever strength I need too. It is in quietness that I am able to stop kicking and slamming my knuckles against an unmovable wall in front of me. It is in silence that I can sit down in front of that wall. It is in silence that I can fall and navigate my mind.

I believe the prerequisite and building blocks for any platform of growth beyond yourself in any way – whether it be to fall in love, whether it be to overcome inner turmoils, whether it be to conquer fear and in order to grow your character, you need to be able to sit in solitude all by yourself and find solitude if you never truly have. When we are in solitude we face our demons, however uncomfortable it is. We confront whatever needs to be confronted and we have to start taking ourselves accountable. We need to start being accountable for multiple things, because let’s face it – you are not a victim of circumstance. Take accountability for your depression and any other mental illness – anorexia, severe anxiety, paranoia, distortions of perceptions as a result of some personality disorder or whatever else it may be… Take accountability for why your relationships failed and the roles you played in it. Yes, sometimes people are just aweful and misuse you but did you let them do it? Did you encourage it? Did you provoke it? Did you do it because you were lonely? Did relationships in any other form of your life fail because you were ignorant? Yeah, sometimes you are the one doing whatever you possibly can and you tear yourself to pieces to keep it together and then all that comes from it is you in pieces and them not bothered much. But you should’ve walked away a long time ago and you knew that. You know whatever it is going on in your personal relationships, you truly deep down know, but what are you doing about it? Take accountability for your health, take accountability for your responsibility to get up and fight.

I want to talk more about taking accountability for your depressive relapses or even ongoing depression. I know personally, that I have an illness that may wax and wane and that I have to take meds for for the rest of my life and damn, have I made a crap load of progress this year… but I will always be more vulnerable and at risk of mild depression rearing its ugly head and I need to take accountability for that. I need to recognise the signs, I need to take action when I notice the signs and I need to evaluate triggers and what I will do about it. I need to do what is good for me no matter how much I feel like not doing anything and I need to not let my emotions dictate my actions. I know that it will pass again. It always does. Because if you get proper treatment and you do whatever you need to, to fight it, I garuantee you, you will rise far above it. It took me ten years to figure out what worked and didn’t and tons of experimentation and meds, but I had to go on, because I had no other choice. You are responsible for your life and your well-being. Only you. So take it!

I’ve given up on fullblown, exhilirating happiness in life. There will always be some sort of problem or some sort of inner struggle, and that’s why you have to strive for peace. When you are at peace, you are able to live and love regardless of chaos around you. You are able to genuinely smile in moments that offer you the opportunity. You are able to genuinely live in moments because you’ve learned to dissociate from overwhelming emotions that don’t reflect your reality. It is a practise. A daily persistent practise and you need to truly commit to practising that dissociation if you are to find that peace.

3 thoughts on “How Do We Find Peace?

  1. I’m reminded here that in every spiritual path or discipline I know of there is some practice of that silent (Silent, even when it includes verbal prayer or chant.) sitting with solitude, seeking peace in the midst of turmoil and change, inner or outer. Veronike, your growth and your writing about it is a thing of beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

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