Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you”. That’s the NIV version. Whether you believe in what is written in the bible or not, that’s on you and may have heavy consequences someday. Regardless, what you do in life, physically and outwardly, to satisfy your thirst for peace may all be done in vain.

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Many people choose work, money, travel, sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, adventure, etc. to fill them with that peace. The funny thing is, once you have peace on the inside those external acts will become unnecessary. That doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you enjoy but they are just unneeded. Basically, once you have peace on the inside you don’t have to do anything to fill your peace tank. Jumping from one activity or habit to another will wear you down. You can do that but your peace tank will still be empty. That’s an issue that many combat soldier with PTSD struggle with. Finding that peace. The process doesn’t have to be a long process at first, but it is a lifestyle that must be practiced or that peace can fade and internal destruction and sadness can take over once again. This doesn’t only relate to combat veterans but to people who are “lost” in everyday life as well. For me, I use techniques or “practices” that I have learned to deal with unsettling situations.

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First of all, I have peace inside simply because I wholeheartedly believe in “The Trinity”. That’s right, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe in God. I believe that if I die rig…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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Just kidding. Anyway, I believe that if I die right now I know where I’m going, Heaven. That gives me peace. You may not believe the same and I won’t judge. I was born and raised in church so I have those beliefs deeply rooted in me. Now I’m 42 and continue to attend regularly with my family. So, being a believer and follower of Christ, first and foremost, gives me peace. But I also do things, daily, that help to give me peace in times of stress. First of all, I’ve been subjected to some pretty gnarly stuff in my life. I’ve experienced and seen some craaaaazy things. That being said, it takes quite a bit to ruffle my feathers. Having a gun jammed into my face or someone shooting at me will get my attention but I won’t lose my composure cause I’ve experienced that. If that happened now I’d simply start off by taking my “4, 7, 8”. That’s my breathing; in for 4, hold for 7 and out for 8. That would allow me some time to create some space between me and the situation. I “practice” not reacting but with responding using my mind and heart. In the past I’ve always just REACTED cause that’s how soldiers are trained. Now, that’s not to say that if you slap me I won’t immediately slap you back. After I slap you I’d take my 4, 7, 8 and we’d work it out.

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Meditation. WHAAAAAT??? Yeah, that’s right. I was taught TM (Transcendental Meditation). It has helped me IMMENSELY! That doesn’t mean I’m some Buddha worshipping, cow loving dude and I’m not praying or giving a sacrifice to some god. That just gives me my time to clear out trash from my thoughts and to clear my head. I’ve been able to think much more clearly and stay calmer through my daily walk. I can always tell when I’ve missed a practice session cause I get all bound up and tense. It is a huge relief to me and I know my family can tell when I’ve done it cause I’m pretty mellow. The first time I did it was kinda weird but after my first couple I could actually see color more brightly, smell more powerfully and love people harder. Coming from a world that is filled with nothing but grey colors, it’s pretty liberating.

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Judging people is bad. I still give people the “once over” when approaching or dealing with people. I wanna see their hands and I analyze their posture, etc. but I have learned to stop judging people. That is another relief. I don’t let things bother me as much as I used to. When I used to see a kid with long hair, an eyebrow piercing and pants around their butt I’d think, “Pull your freakin’ pants up and clean up your act or you’ll never amount to anything you stupid punk kid”. What I didn’t know about that kid is that when he goes home at night his dad and uncle rape him. After that, he goes down the hall and rapes his sister. Think that doesn’t happen? You’re wrong. See, everyone has a story; we just don’t know it until we connect with them and learn their story. Being vigilant and “profiling” is different. But judging people you come in contact daily is a downward spiral that leads to hate and anger. Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. I don’t see color or people’s skin. I just see people. There is only ONE race and that is the HUMAN race. Just like there are many kinds of fruits. Apples, oranges, grapes are all fruits. They are not individually different fruits. They’re still a fruit. We are all God’s children. Brothers and sisters. People are people and everyone deserves to be treated with the same respect. That’s not to say that a decision can be made about them in the first five seconds. Just remember to try to love people in general. Doing that has made life so much more enjoyable to me.

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There it is, folks!!! Once you find that inner peace, seeking outward peace is a waste of time. Outward activities just become hobbies. Life just happens and it’s much more enjoyable.

Peace out, homies!!

 

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