My Way To Peace: Doing The Work In The Present Moment.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Know That You Matter
The way to peace is not always peaceful. First you must figure out what you want. That could be the most difficult part of the simple but super-complex condition of just being human and living in this crazy world.
Peace is clear and somewhat effortless when you live with integrity, kindness (to yourself to others), and a true sense that you matter. You matter to yourself, and to other people. That your ideas matter, and your journey matters. And sometimes what you want can change along the way.
Sometimes what you think you want isn’t what you want at all, and this too is uncovered when you finally do the work.
Do The Work
For most, the way to peace is bumpy, dark, and filled with pitfalls. The way to peace is lengthy, and can involve a bit of drama.
And by drama, what I mean to say is that in order to find peace within your own true self, and within your life and your surroundings — your day-to-day doings, comings and goings — you must be able to do the difficult things.
The hard parts where you piss people off and they piss you off and it becomes a heaping, hot mess of dysfunction for a while. You have to muddle through the muck so to speak.
These are the parts where you do the things that you don’t want to do, and when you say what you need to say even when it’s scary and could create repercussions and a bit of upheaval in your life.
Rocking the boat creates waves for sure. But in due time, it will all somehow calm down a bit, and you will find yourself floating, blissfully, in a peaceful place.
People live their entire lives not speaking up, not saying what they need to say, not asking for help, not doing the work, and not understanding what it is they really want. There is no peace in that existence.
Put The Past Behind You And Grow Up
The way to peace is a bit foggy until you have a good portion of the path behind you. The way to peace becomes very clear when you can see where you’ve been and how far you’ve come.
Almost two years ago, I stepped forward, skeptically, and began my way to peace. For me, attaining peace was definitely about losing weight and becoming fit, but it was mostly about not letting the vicious circle of my food addiction control me.
My way to peace was about finding strength within myself to do the actual work — the boring, excruciating work that leads to a better quality of life. I begrudgingly took the baby steps necessary to get my life back. And yes, I was afraid to fail.
But when my begrudging steps became determined ones instead, I saw my path, my way to peace, more clearly. Getting my life back became a choice.
Before making changes, I wasn’t miserable all the time, but when I look back at my day-to-day struggles, my depression, my shameful secret, my fear, my low self-esteem, and all the hiding how I truly felt from my loved ones and the world, I can say without a doubt that it was a back-breaking load to carry.
On a dreary, frosty February day, my knees finally buckled, my shoulders slumped, and I humbly begged for mercy from the most primal source of pain within my soul — the little girl screaming inside me who needed and wanted to grow up.
Love And Respect Yourself First
What comes with mind-, body- and soul-fitness is the self-awareness, and self-assurance of being able to have profound opinions and ideas that are kindly expressed. And by kind, what I mean to say is that you must first be kind to yourself.
Being kind to yourself is about forgiving self-sabotaging behaviors, and then simply and mindfully moving on to bigger and brighter things.
Being able to express my needs and frustrations assertively but with kindness (to myself and to others), has led to rock-solid relationships (with myself and others) and to the state of well-being and grace that until now I could only imagine.
Self-esteem comes from being able to respectfully communicate your feelings and needs. And it’s fairly easy to be kind, but assertive, when you love and respect yourself first.
You Are Enough
So what do you want? What do you want for yourself? How will you find your way to peace? Think about it. What I wanted for 28 long years was to get through one whole day without throwing up.
Having finally found my way to peace, I do know what I’m talking about when I poetically write about climbing mountains, stepping out of trenches, and living authentically. I know a thing or two about lying to myself and to loved ones, ignoring my own needs, and making people believe I was fine when I clearly wasn’t.
I know about emotional pain. These days, I’m inspired to write and speak honestly about what I know to be true. The way to peace, for me, has been about discovering again and again all the ways in which I am enough. I am absolutely enough.
Trust Who Has Been Inside Of You All Along
The peace, my peace, has always been there, deep within me. All I ever needed to do was trust that little girl, the little girl who carried around way more than she could possibly handle. Peace? There is more than one way to get there.
My way was, and will continue to be, about doing the work in the present moment, and courageously venturing down dark and bumpy roads to find it.
Kimberly Valzania practices mindful gratefulness. She feels creatively driven to write about and share her personal experience and opinion on weight loss, fitness, life changes, adventures in parenting, day-to-day triumphs (and failures), and the truth-seeking struggle of simply being human. She believes that life is indeed a journey, and that precious moments appear (like magic) when you surrender, hold hands, and fling yourself into the great, wide, open.