It’s International Day of Peace and it’s a timely reminder to reflect on what peace really is. My absence over the past three weeks has something to do with that, but I’ll get to that.
People generally associate peace with military conflict – war, fighting, terrorism etc. Whilst this is certainly a large factor, it starts even simpler than this and runs far deeper.
Peace begins with love.
Love is acceptance not exclusion – treating all others as equals and not bullying, not being judgemental, racist or sexist. Love is not displaying envy, jealousy or bitchiness – like sending screen shots to your friends for mere mockery or making fun of the way someone looks. It is building someone up and not treading on their triumphs .
Love is forgiveness. Forgiving others and forgiving yourself. We all make mistakes and as long as we grow from them that is the lesson learnt.
Love is unconditional, pure and has no ill intention – not driven by money, status or ego.
As a society we have become so quick to judge, mock or ridicule others, we have become so competitive and envious instead of sharing others joy and success. I found this even more prevalent after having a child. It became evident that people were so open to criticising your child or parenting methods.
Society has hardened us in believing there is a certain way we ought to act, feel or look. Peace is ignoring all the outside noise and being content in your own skin and life.
For me, the expectation of society suddenly weighed on me – what I thought I ought to be doing as a mum, what my body should look like after five months, what my house should look like, what I should achieve in a single day, what my child’s development was like, when I should go back to work, keeping up my previous social life – it was all very suffocating.
On top of that, I was so used to being control in my corporate role that I suddenly found the unpredictably of parenthood overwhelming. Structure was difficult with a newborn. I found my list of ‘to-dos’ piling up and I froze! But why did I put so much pressure on myself? Why did I care what people thought? It’s what society had conditioned me to believe. It certainly taught me a valuable lesson.
Peace begins with loving yourself. It begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event control your emotions.
Peace does not mean being a place where there is no noise, stress or hardship. It means being in the midst of all those things and still being calm in your heart.
I believe our pursuit of perceived perfection is what robs us of true peace. The want for more power, money, popularity. It’s only when you are true to yourself that you are completely at peace and that to me is to be free.
Peace starts with YOU!
Wishing you all peace and love – Happy International Day of Peace!