“You find true peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”~ Eckhart Tolle
I am alone in the woods, surrounded by a seemingly endless sea of birch and aspen trees. There are brightly colored leaves all around me; many of them have fallen and crunch beneath my feet while others cling to the branches overhead providing shade from the bright sunlight streaming down in rays all around.
In front of me, there is a small stream with water quietly babbling as it makes its way downstream around large, grey rocks. Everything is silent – peace lives here.
I don’t know this place in my real life – in fact, I’m not even sure whether or not it actually exists. Rather, this is the place that I come when I sit in meditation.
This natural space of my own making is the home of peace, where I can bring my fears, my worries, my needs, and my prayers.
“True Peace” has become somewhat of a buzzword in our society since we have all set out on the somewhat allusive search for our own portion of this state of being.
But what, exactly, do we mean when we speak of it?
Perhaps our definition of peace involves a state of absolute calm or tranquility, or maybe it is the absence of war, disease, or conflict. Those ideas are a good start, but peace extends so much farther beyond our limited, narrow mindsets and encompasses deeper connection to the energy around us.
The Beauty in the Stillness: 3 Characteristics of True Peace
There are three distinct characteristics of true peace that we can pursue with open hearts:
1. True Peace Is Felt, Not Seen.
As we search for peace in our world, we often look for tangible evidence of its presence. We recognize peace on a now-empty battlefield that was once full of war or destruction, or we see peace on the quiet streets of a neighborhood that was previously plagued with violence.
Deep, lasting peace, however, is not something to be seen, but to be felt in the very depths of our heart and soul. There is no overt expression of true peace starkly spelled out on a billboard before our eyes; we need to turn inward and realize that peace dwells within us through our sense of inner knowing.
While we will not be able to see visible indications of this peace in our every move, we can lean on the understanding that the presence of peace within us can help us to cultivate a life of mission, purpose, and change.
2. True Peace Requires Trust.
Lasting peace is dependent solely on our level of trust in the God of our own understanding (whether that is an actual spiritual entity, the energy and vibration of the universe, or something in between) rather than on our own capacity to create serenity. Peace, in its richest form, is much different from any iteration of external peace that we can create in response to our own circumstances.
We must understand that the peace that is brought to each of us through our spiritual relationships is eternal; it will never be influenced by the worries of our fragile emotional state, but rather, is a gift of something much greater than anything we might find in our pursuit of worldly contentment.
3. True Peace Means Giving Up Control.
The peace that is created by our effort alone is a direct result of our very human desire to hold control over others. We have been trained to believe that peace can only be attained when we have the power to overcome another and that in a space of control we will earn for ourselves a sense of tranquility.
But with this mindset, true peace is far beyond our grasp.
We do not need to involve ourselves in the management of perfect peace because it is freely offered to us if only we would choose to surrender ourselves to the beauty of its presence.
There is nothing we can do to interfere with the energy that surrounds us, so our time is much better spent letting go of our need to be an authority figure and relying instead on the promise of peaceful presence.
Friends, I am hoping that each of you may experience the fullness of peace in your lives, and I encourage you to do the same as we support one another in finding abundant peace in its purest form.