We discussed previously the goal of attaining inner peace. And we covered the first step in this process. That step is to learn, little by little, to let go of the control we so desire over every little thing that happens in our lives. Both the good and the bad.
But that is not the total summation of achieving the long term goal of victory. It is the short term victories that help reach the long term gain.
But what is the motivation to achieving the goal of inner peace?
Is the ultimate goal to gain inner quiet? A quiet that remains unruffled through thick and thin?
That is an honorable desire.
But what is the motivation? Is it for the sensation alone?
Or is it for something higher?
When we love someone, we get to know them. We spend time with them, learn what they like and dislike, what they need to be happy and content. It is the time needed to be taken if we want to truly love someone. It is in this we get to know, really know, who the person is and learn to love them. Even in times they irritate us.
Tru lasting inner peace.
Learning to gain inner peace is laudable. But if we do it for an altruistic reason, then we will not truly gain the peace that will last. For the weight of carrying this attempt lies solely upon our own shoulders.
But what if we were to set our mind to realize that we do not control our lives? We do not set in motion the stars in the heavens let alone the events that occur day-by-day in our own little world.
So what if, perchance, there is something “out there” that is greater than we are? And what if that same “thing” that set the universe on its course also set our own universe on its course as well?
And what harm could it do to us if we were to try – just try – to picture that greater external “thing” as something that is actually what is in charge of everything?
Would that be any more unreasonable than trying to believe that we, imperfect as we are, can handle every objectionable event that happens to us?
To what would you truly object?
Just try it…
Imagine there is Something outside of you controlling everything that happens. And that this entity, whatever you call it, allows all things to happen to you because It knows that if you go through an event, however horrific or pleasant, it will, in the end, be beneficial to your benefit and the benefit of those around you. Even if, at the time, it doesn’t seem so.
Looking back on your life, if you approach it all in a way that shows the opportunities you could gain for personal growth, those things that seemed so awful at the time – including death, disability, physical or emotional wounds – as times of choice. You can choose to remain bitter and have it poison your outlook and personality, pushing everything and everyone aside as a personal affront.
Or, you can choose to see everything that happens as an opportunity to better yourself by rising above it.
Now take that same attitude and extend it a bit further outward…
If that choice to rise above it goes outside yourself, how many people will you affect by your choices? Will you be the example, or even be able to provide others, of solutions that might assist them to rise above similar problems?
One look at the autistic community and you can see an ever growing support system developing organically. The struggles the early pioneers endured are now the leaders of those who are coming after them.
So choosing to be better than your circumstances may not change your situation, but, like the accident victims who have lost use of all their limbs, you can become better than your suffering. And your choices regarding your own suffering will inspire others to surpass their own seeming limitations.
Take this a little bit further…
So when you have anything that is a difficulty in your own life, if you were to choose to see this as not only just an opportunity for growth, but as coming from something outside yourself, that might give you the growth you may not have ever considered that you need, the burden then becomes that much lighter.
Not only are you doing this as an example for others, but you are doing it because you trust that what is happening is done out of love. The love of a parent to their child who is learning not to touch the hot stove, or to face life as it happens and not be crushed by the weight of it all.
That is what is meant by Perfect Acceptance. It is a value that cannot be attained in human relationships because humans are going to let you down. And it is not a value that can be attained by just willing it, for we do not know the very things that will be painful enough to make us better. Just as we could not perform surgery on ourselves to fix a defect on our heart
without relying on the hands of a skilled surgeon who is not us.
In order to let go, we must trust fully in the entity to which we are letting go. Similarly to the game used by teams to learn to trust each partner, we learn to fall backwards into the arms of something greater than us. Something that will catch us when we fall. And will uphold us lest we hurt ourselves in the process.
It isn’t a physical concept. It is a spiritual one. An eternal one. Something that affects our soul, the very part of a human being that animates the body. Something that is not visible. And, once removed from the body, leaves for that which is beyond the physical realm of this world.
It is for eternity…
The Christian concept of Perfect Acceptance, then, is one of overcoming the trials of this physical world. As humans, we should be fully aware that we have never nor WILL ever, achieve Nirvana in this lifetime.
All throughout our history we have people who believe they will achieve perfection and immortality in this lifetime.
And every time they have failed.
But the Christian view isn’t to see this lifetime as our eternal destiny. It is for something beyond the scope of this physical world.
So falling back onto something beyond ourselves, that which we have learned to love, is a trust in that something which we must spend a lifetime getting to know.
By talking to that “entity”, we learn to know Him. And we learn to listen to Him. His heart, His desire, His Will.
Not just regarding ourselves, but those to whom we are entrusted. We love for the sake of That Which we have learned to love…and trust.
In doing so, we are able to show to others that this Being exists. For in everything that we have happening to us in our lives, we are able to remain at peace.
Perfectly? We are, after all, human.
Perfectly insofar as we remember to keep our eyes fixed on Him Whom we love. For when we, like Saint Peter, take our eyes off of Him, we focus instead on the storms around us.
It is then that we lose our inner peace.
In gaining of the greater victory of inner peace, the Christian knows that it is only found when we have something greater than ourselves to lean on. It is learning that leaning on anything less creates disturbance in our hearts and minds.
And we also learn that the small victories practiced everyday to refocus our hearts and minds back on God, we will retain that inner peace.
For what we give to God, He amply rewards us with that help to keep us focused beyond our own strength.
That inner help is called Grace.
And it is freely given when we give of ourselves to Him.
The more we give in trust to Him, He, in His love for us, gives far more than we, in our imperfection, could every ask for.
In so doing, we gain that which we, in our humanness, have attempted to gain under the weight of our own doing.
We will gain that illusive inner peace.