Do you feel like you keep trying to get closer to who you really are only to feel further away?
Do you read self-help books, take courses, try to meditate, but keep feeling like none of it is making your life easier?
I think a lot of us feel this way.
One of the problems is that we really want to “feel” better. But the process of healing, and learning about our own being, often has us experiencing difficult emotions from our past that we would rather avoid.
The easiest thing in the world is avoiding our inner emotions.
Want to experience less of your true self? No problem. Just look at your phone, computer, television, celebrities, sports, or video games. Or focus your energy on your friends, family, colleagues, or acquaintances and get all caught up in their lives.
There are a million ways to run from your inner world. But there are also some not difficult ways you can come closer to yourself, and I list three of them at bottom of this article (and don’t worry, they aren’t self-help books, courses, or meditation).
Making peace with who you are is a much larger task then most of us think, and that is why it can be hard to keep going with it—even when we truly desire this peace in our heart.
We all spend an enormous amount of time wondering about the rest of the world, while all too often avoiding the place where our power and strength truly resides—inside of ourselves.
This pull outside of our own being is constantly tugging at us.
And honestly, most of us don’t work that hard to fight this pull. Why look inward when it is so easy to focus on the outside world around us?
However, it isn’t only because the external world is so shiny and tempting that we stay magnetized to it. One of the main reasons we keep our attention on external elements is because looking inward almost always involves being honest about our own grief.
This experience of grief is unpleasant, and something people want to avoid at all costs. Loss hurts. We all know it. But we also all experience it. There is not one being on the planet who doesn’t have grief within their being in this moment.
It could be grief from death, heartbreak, loss, sickness, or it could be ancestral grief or the all-too-real grief of living on a planet where suffering is ever-present.
Whatever, the cause of grief may be—we all have it, and therefore going inward requires a willingness, and an ability, to approach our own grief with clear eyes and a compassionate heart.
It’s impossible to make peace with who we really are without taking the time to go inward, and it is impossible to go inward without facing grief.
This is just the way it is!
So, that is the unfortunate news. But the exciting news is that the most fulfilling experience you can create for yourself is a sense of peace with who you are. To give yourself the chance to look clearly at who you are, who you have been, and accept all of it with a true heart is the most exceptional gift you can give yourself.
Remember though, this process of pulling away from the magnetic attraction of the external world, and committing to the inner experience of facing your own grief—for the ultimate result of making peace with yourself—is not easy. It takes work and focus. But the results will be worth it.
Here are three powerful ways to make peace with yourself:
1. Spend Solitary Time in Nature
Let’s start with the easiest way. Spending time in nature. Nature is our true home. It is our DNA, our matter, what we are made of. Spending time in nature with no headphones on, and no company, just alone, will naturally bring you closer to yourself. You don’t have to have a big plan or have any expectations. Just being alone in nature pulls you inward but also supports your process with the sounds, smells, and energy it provides.
If you are looking to start with a small step toward making peace with yourself, see if you can commit to being in nature, alone, a few times a week even just for 30 minutes.
2. Neutral Awareness
All day we have opinions and judgements. These opinions and judgements are so constant we don’t even realize we are doing it. I like this, I don’t like that. I agree with this, I don’t agree with that.
Every moment, our mind runs a narrative about anything and everything. This narrative is limiting. This narrative can also be painful. It hurts to be wrong, and to fail, and to feel like you aren’t enough. If your inner narrative is going to be critical of everything then you aren’t going to feel safe to expose your true inner grief.
In order to make peace with your own being, you must be able to tell your own truth to your own self. Neutral awareness is the skill to make this possible. Neutral awareness asks of us just to have no opinion about our inner experience. To just state, “Okay, that’s the way it is,” and not label anything good or bad, right or wrong. The state of neutral awareness will make it possible for you to heal those inner wounds and feel peaceful with who you are.
3. Let Go of Comparing
As humans, we love to compare. We are all about competition and rating systems and giving prizes for who is the best. Could there be a more quantitative race in the galaxy than humans? We literally make everything into a contest. Unfortunately, this is so limiting. It is not possible to figure out what is the best with a score. We are all keeping score in little and big ways in our mind and this is connected with the constant looking outward.
When you look inward, what you experience is just for you. It isn’t about anyone else. It is only about you. Your life is unique and the outcome of your life is special and suited just to you. Looking at what other people are doing is only going to restrict your expansiveness. Keep your focus on who you are, and what you need, and don’t worry about what other people are doing.
The most important person in the world is you! This is not selfish. When you are at your best, you will give your best to the world. When you feel peaceful with who you are—there won’t be drama in your relationships or so many hurt feelings all the time. You will feel at peace with your choices and decisions and just keep moving forward on your own path.
Developing this type of inner confidence takes time. It takes facing the demons within you that you believed you could never face, and using all the tools in your personal development toolbox to get through.
This task of inner-peace making is a solo journey. Other people can encourage you, give you suggestions, remind you that you are loved, but in the end, there is only one person who can complete the task of inner-peace-making—and that person is you.