“Do” Does not Equal Peace

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate” -Carl Jung

To be at peace means to have freedom FROM disturbances…

What is peace? We’ve given peace a space in our lives where in order to obtain it, something must be done. Meditation, reading, journaling, exercising, yoga, silence, all come to mind when we think of being at peace. Does it mean that we don’t have peace if we don’t do those things? And with such a busy schedule, how can we even maintain peace with adding more to-do’s to my already overwhelming week!? There’s a reason it’s called “being at peace”, and not “doing at peace”. It’s internal not external. So I wanted to explore this further.

Societally we’ve conjured up what peace means to us, but instead of it being a space where we are, we reside, it’s downgraded to a tangible item we receive after or while accomplishing a task on our to-do list.

There are activities that calm us but being calm and relaxed are not the same as being at peace. You can be calm and relaxed while living in a peaceful state of mind, but we confuse the idea that if we aren’t calm and relaxed, we can’t obtain peace. This is not true.

To be at peace means to have freedom FROM disturbances; a state or period in which there is no war.

Freedom FROM means a release of something that keeps you bound. It is in fact the opposite of doing/obtaining, it’s surrender; letting go, instead of acquiring. When we release, the internal war has ceased. The war is in the DOING, the attachments, and the inner vows we’ve committed to that cause us to act from a place of neglect, fear, lack, survival, etc.

What are attachments?

Attachments can develop when needs for intimacy, companionship, validation, or anything else go unfulfilled. When you find someone or something who fulfills those needs, you might develop a strong attachment to them. The attachment is birthed from lack.

So what is an inner vow?

Inner Vows are often preceded by words such as; “I will, I won’t, I will never,” and “I will always.”

An inner vow is a self-directed and self-focused promise that we make to ourselves in response to our difficulty, frustration, or pain.

Again, the war is in the DOING, the attachments, the inner vows we’ve committed to as children that cause us to act from a place of neglect, fear, lack, survival, etc. We replace the neglect, fear, lack, and survival with DOING something to patch up the wounds and help us feel more peaceful. When in reality it’s a release that unlocks peace.

The attachments and inner vows create identity. Now these identities and personas come at a cost and most times that cost = doing. The upkeep of the identity we are trying to maintain showcases itself in what we do. Look at your routine and schedule. You do the things you do because of an internal vow you’ve made based on past experiences, painful memories or learned behavior in your childhood.

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Context:

Have you ever been in what society would deem a stressful situation and been so calm to a point where people make you feel you should be more explosive or disruptive? Whatever you’re experiencing is just that; an experience. It doesn’t dictate your life or outcome. It’s temporary because you realize and see there’s a bigger picture here. This is an example of maintaining peace instead of going outside of yourself to obtain peace.

Have you ever been in an emotionally life altering experience and you run to the beach, grab your headphones to listen to calming music, or seek counsel from a friend who helps relax you? These are all great environments to be in. The error that we make is that we run to something external, feel more calm, and then once outside of that environment the chaos floods back in. We continue to build the habit loop and teach ourselves here that peace is outside of us.

Let’s backtrack a little. We realized that peace is not found in doing (feeling calm, sometimes yes) but in release and surrender. What is it that we are releasing and surrendering? We are releasing the attachments, and inner vows but more specifically control. It’s the control. The control of what is known of your past or the unknown of what is coming in your future. When we act from our past we practice control and when we act from the future (what has not yet happened) we act on our fear or worry. Both do not yield peace. When we release control of the narrative (the story we tell ourselves) there’s less internal war, less fear, less neglect, less lack. We operate from a place of peace because we are not bound by the control of what we know or fear. Realize, what we know and fear is not always, if ever, truth.

Philippians 4:9 — “ Whatever you have learned (been taught) received (given) or heard from me (something spoken)- or seen in me (an internal posture) -put it into practice and the God of peace will be with you.”

He says whatever you’ve seen IN me. Not seen me do. It’s an internal posture. It’s not about running to something to get peace. It’s about release and having enough space after release to allow Him to change your posture to something only He can maintain within us.

Isaiah 26:3 — “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”(INTERNAL)

Steadfast means unwavering. It does not ebb and flow, it remains. It’s maintained. Here we’ve released attachments, inner vows, control, and fear. We trust in the bigger picture. The need to control the situation and practice escapism from what we are experiencing stems from lack of trust. We control because we don’t trust. Somewhere along the way in a specific area of our lives trust was broken and now because we don’t trust we control the narrative so when we are peace-less we run to things outside of ourselves that we know help us feel calm. We DO things. We exercise control instead of exercising trust in WHO can grant peace immediately.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

“As the world gives” meaning external peace that comes and goes. Anything outside of you can come and go at a moment’s notice. Here He states, He GIVES it to us. There’s nothing we have to DO outside of ourselves to have peace.

If you find yourself going to external things for peace and have found it fleeting or momentary, it won’t hurt to give it a try and go inward. I promise what you’ll find there is so much less temporary and fleeting.

Use your voice and speak what it is that you need.

“God, I don’t see the reason for what I’m experiencing right now. You say in your word, not to worry, and that you don’t offer the peace that the world gives so I’m willing to surrender my way of controlling peace to Your way. Show me what real peace feels like in the midst of chaos and during more calm seasons of life. Show me what it looks like to live in peace through all of life’s changes. Grant me peace that goes above what I see around me or what I understand. I believe you for it. Give me perspective and a new perception on my situation and allow me to live in peace through You, not based solely off of what I do.”

It’s never been about doing.

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