The late Dr. Wayne Dyer stated, “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” He challenges us to see peace as a way of life rather than a destination. Those who are serene make distinctly different choices in how they live. Here are five steps to create a more peaceful life.
- Refrain from judging. Judging others is arrogant and self-righteous when we assign value to individuals based on looks, intelligence, social recognition, etc. Labeling some as less worthy, wrong, or bad creates a hierarchy of value leading to conflict and difficulty between parties. Native American philosophy states, “Do not judge me until you have walked a mile in my shoes.” Acceptance is a much wiser choice.
- Be grateful. In all that you do, no matter how insignificant, find something to be thankful for. Gratitude wards off bitterness and resentment and allows joy to flourish. It enables us to find value in every situation, including hardship, loss, and betrayal. Repeat: “I am at peace with all that is. Everything is exactly as it is meant to be in this moment.”
- Reevaluate. Put everything into perspective. Very little that occurs in life is worthy of distress. Situations only have the degree of importance we assign them. Ask yourself, “Will this matter in 10 years?” If the answer is “no,” let it go. In doing so, we eliminate worry, fear, anxiety, anger, and other stressful emotions. What appears to be damaging may eventually reveal itself to be a great blessing. Look beyond the obvious to the value within.
- Be kind. In any situation, we have the option to be either kind or mean-spirited. Choosing kindness shows respect, values the other party, uplifts, inspires, encourages, and heals. Being polite enables us to feel good about ourselves. Even when others are rude, extend respect. Be the example to which others aspire.
- Live for God or a higher purpose. Many people make decisions based on what feels good or what is right for them. Living to serve God or to aid humanity gives a deeper meaning to life. It broadens our concerns beyond the self to consider equally the rights and needs of others. It allows us to make righteous choices that bring long-term and far-reaching benefits. Living life with high moral integrity decreases mistakes, engenders feelings of fellowship among us, and supports thoughtful, peaceful living.
When driving, we must always pay careful attention while navigating the roadways so as not to lose our way or cause harm to any living creature. Choosing a peaceful life likewise requires acute awareness of the decisions we make – always opting for those that are kind, loving, fair, and cause no harm to others. It is not hard and well worth the effort. Remember, peace is not a destination; peace is the way.
“Peace isn’t the absence of fighting; peace is the presence of kindness.” ~ The Secret Side of Anger by Janet Pfeiffer