You possess an internal force that guides you through life, which brings you down paths that brings you joy. In childhood this internal force was clear, it directed you toward activities and subjects that sparked a primal source of peace and joy. As we grow older our anxieties, peers, and authority figures begin to wear on you and rob you of your peace. The first step to reclaiming your peace, joy, and happiness is reconnecting with that internal force, who you are, what makes you unique, and rediscovering everything that brings you bliss. It is never too late to start this process.
As I began helping myself, other doors in life were revealed. One day a letter arrived at my house indicating that the hospital has recommended physical therapy for me and a date was set for my initial evaluation. At this point, we did not have a vehicle to get to my therapy appointment so my mother borrowed my sister’s car, both my mother and my step-dad muscled me into the front seat, put the folded wheelchair in the back seat, and we drove to the rehabilitation center, which was located inside of the hospital. Upon intake I fully committed to making a full recovery and do whatever is necessary to achieve my goal. With that said, my name was called and I enthusiastically made my way into the therapist’s office. I was radiating positive energy as I entered the therapy room I was met with my grim therapist who introduced herself by sa by telling my family and I, “Don’t be too excited, you will remain in a wheelchair for the rest of your waking days.” This was a grisly introduction to say the least, however, I certainly learned a lot about maintaining peace despite adversity and chaos from this encounter. With that said, I am sharing with you what I learned and call, “The Four P’s Robbing Your Peace:” Place, pace, people, and problems.
Place: Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” Perhaps you are unhappy where you are living, or, maybe life has become mundane and stagnant. Life is created by a collection of experiences and it is difficult to find peace within a miserable existence. Additionally, being in a place that is robbing you of your peace mentally will drain you physically, emotionally, and spiritually as well. With that said, you might want to consider leveraging this moment as a turning point to close the door on the past and find happiness in a new beginning. Joseph Campbell said to “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” It is never too late to be kind to yourself, open your heart to life, and pursue your path to bliss. Additionally, where you are might be robbing your joy but it may be acting as a necessary stepping stone to put you onto a path of purpose.
Pace: There is a Ralph Waldo Emmerson once mentioned, “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” Maybe the pace of life is moving to fast with it’s relentless demands, increasing cost of living, and bills that come faster than our paychecks. Or, the case may be that you have been putting in to much effort into life and the fruit of your labor has not materialized fast enough, if at all. Frustrations induced by the pace of life can rob our joy, happiness, and cause further suffering. With that said, If you are unhappy with the way things are, change it and, if you cannot change it, you have no other choice but to learn how to enjoy it. For example, when I was unhappy with the pace, and direction, that my physical therapist was taking my recovery I enrolled myself in a personal training program, studied, and began creating fitness plans that would manifest the results that I wanted in my recovery. With that said, if the pace of life is robbing your life of joy, change what you can, let go of what you can’t and move on with acceptance. Sometimes you have no other choice but to let time take it’s course and let time take it’s course until new opportunities reveal themselves. As Dr. Wayne Dyer once said, “Remember that our desires won’t arrive by our schedule.”
People: Donald Trump said, in his book Think Big, “Animals kill for food, people kill for sport.” People are vicious creatures and many of our problems in life are man made. The bottom line is, many of us associate with people who replace our mental peace with garbage. Would you allow me to go into your kitchen and continually dump extra large bags of garbage on your floor? Many of us willingly subject ourselves to toxic people who litter our minds with mental garbage and, worst of all, some of us criticize ourselves to point of when our dreams die and our destiny is lost. This act results in the, “Grass is greener on the other side” state of mind. The truth is, the grass is greener where you water it. Imagine criticism as weeds, unwanted, tough get rid of, choking life and productivity out of plants that would otherwise blossom and flourish. If you came to my house and saw me watering a patch of weeds and neglecting my my flowers, you would think I was crazy. Additionally, my blossoms will die, decay, and decompose as the weeds will grow tall and take over the yard. The same principle applies to your mind when you doubt yourself, criticize yourself, or, associate yourself with suppressive people. Do not give your weeds anymore water. Overtime, the undesirable things in life holding you back from blooming, flourishing, and thriving will dissolve. Apply this natural principle to life and you will experience a greater purpose, increased production, and a boost of morale as you disconnect from people who rob you of your joy.
Problems: Confucius once said, “The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success only comes later.” After I was shot in the head, robbed at gunpoint, and became a parapalegic, I knew that I was not going to recover by crying about it, I had to put in the effort to achieve the life that I wanted for myself. Essentially what this experience taught me was that if you are unhappy with the way things are, work hard for the way you want them to be. This concept is crucial because everybody has unfortunate circumstances, problems, and has made mistakes however, it is not your problems that matter, it is how you leverage your problems so they positively impact your life, or someone else, that counts. Additionally, every problem is an incubator for opportunity, you need to learn to see the good in every negative scenario and you can only do so by confronting your problems. A friend of mine, Doug De Long once told me, “The way out of your problems is through them. You must confront your problems, establish a line of communication regarding the trouble source, and then you will have a better grip to take control of your life.” Problems never go away if you hide from them, in many cases they only escalate. With that said, the best remedy to reclaim your joy in the face of adversity is to confront your problems and become proactive in overcoming them.
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