Finding peace can sometimes feel like an elusive butterfly. We see it. We know what it looks like. It seems within reach, but when we get close it moves away…not far away, but just out of reach.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.”
If nobody but you can bring you peace, doesn’t it stand to reason that nobody but you can take peace away?
5 THINGS WE DO THAT INHIBIT PEACE
We all have things in our past that we should have done differently, or perhaps not done at all. We cannot change the past; we can only change the way we deal with it. If we fret over mistakes, we hinder our ability to improve and move forward. You can’t start a new chapter of your life if you keep re-reading old ones.
2. EXCUSES AND NEGATIVITY
Often when we dwell on old mistakes and live in regret, those regrets turn into excuses. They can become excuses for continued poor behavior, or they might become excuses for not being the person you want to be.
Benjamin Franklin said: “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
When we are busy making excuses, we take precious time away from making a life.
3. RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
Living in the past can ingrain in us a resistance to change. We start to feel comfortable in the familiarity of regret, regardless of how truly uncomfortable that past may be. When we accept that things will change, and better yet, when we embrace change we can set aside regrets and excuses and move forward improving everyday.
4. EXPECTING YOUR LIFE TO BE PAIN FREE
When we hold onto regret and wallow in the pain of the past it can make us gun shy about trying new things. The painful memories of past mistakes can become a warning flare keeping us from venturing into what might be an exciting and fulfilling future. When we expect life to be pain free, we tiptoe rather than dance. On the other hand, when we accept the fact that life can be painful, but rewarding, we accept the difficulties as lessons learned and wisdom gained.
5. THE BELIEF THAT THE INITIAL GOAL IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OUTCOME
Sometimes things don’t work out the way we planned. To be honest, things rarely work out the way we planned. Have you ever been on a journey, a holiday, or vacation and gotten lost? You were heading to see a particular site and you took a wrong turn and found yourself miles away from where you were heading. If you kept your nose in your map and complained and regretted the wrong turn, you missed out on an unexpected scenic wonder. However, if you kept your head up and looked around you found you had wandered into something wonderfully exciting. Life can take wrong turns. But often those turns are “wrong turns” only because they were not according to plan. More often than not, those turns, when seen in a positive light, can be the beginning of an entirely new and thrilling journey.
If we start down the road believing that the original goal is the only acceptable outcome, we will likely be disappointed. And sadly, we may find ourselves regretting the “wrong turns” that could be the start of a wonderful new adventure.
Copyright © 2014 by Energy Media Works LLC
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QUOTES ABOUT PEACE
“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa
“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.” –Virginia Woolf
“Let us so live that the spirit of our religion will live within us, then we have peace, joy, happiness and contentment, which makes for pleasant fathers, pleasant mothers, pleasant children, pleasant households, neighbors, communities and cities. That is worth living for, and I do think that the Latter-day Saints ought to strive for this.” – Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 15:135
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Butterfly photo by: Energy Media Works LLC
This article was originally published on MormonMediaNetwork.com in 2014