There is no Peace without Courage
When all is said and done, no matter what we think we want: money, health, possessions, relationships, travel, success, consideration, good looks and a great body, it all comes down to the bottom line…. we want peace of mind. We believe that when we get what we want or arrive to that precise destination, we can finally experience peace of mind.
Years ago, at a workshop on spiritual and personal development, I participated in an exercise intended on reaching the bottom line of what truly matters in our lives. Of course, a very personal matter, each one of us has specific desires shaped by our background, environment, education, lifestyle, beliefs, and our mental and emotional capacity to foresee a future of joy and peace.
In the exercise, we were asked to make a list of wants and desires. After several minutes and dozens of items on the list, we were asked to choose only 3. From the 3, we chose only ONE. And the exercise went as follows with a series of questions and answers.
For the sake of this article, I will choose ONE of the items on the list of many: Financial Independence.
Q. If you were financially independent, what would you have?
A. Freedom to travel, give, help, support, own, play, buy, have a chef and an exercise trainer, etc. etc.
Q. And then what would you have?
A. I would have what I want and desire.
Q. And when you have what you want and desire, how would you feel?
A. I would feel happy.
Q. And when you feel happy what would you have?
These questions and answers would go on until the bottom line of attaining what truly matters is the peace of mind that comes in knowing you have accomplished and arrived to a state of internal harmony with your circumstances. No matter what you have or where you are. And then came the rest of the exercise. In order to get what we want; we must have the courage to ask. Asking is difficult, especially for women. But there is no Peace without Courage.
In her book, In Order to Live, A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom, Yeonmi Park writes her heroic story of escaping North Korea. As she unravels the physical challenges of escaping, one can feel her deep desire for peace and freedom for her family. And just as there is no such word as ‘freedom’ in Korea, there is no expression for peace in her mind. She can’t even imagine either word. She writes,“All you know is what is in front of your eyes.” North Korea does not allow for personal wants and desires.
Peace of mind is elusive. . . just when you think you've attained peace, another level of challenge makes its appearance. As in Yeonmi Park's life, we must continue to look beyond what is in front of our eyes. We must decide what we want to see and create in our lives. Ultimately, we must ask and move toward what we truly want and desire: peace of mind. And until every opportunity is exhausted, and there is no place else to find your peace of mind, arrive at a state of internal harmony with your circumstances. That is, until the next challenge makes it appearance, and one needs more courage to continue. There is no Peace without Courage.