How to Create Peace in Your Life

1.

Spend some serious time thinking about and preparing for some changes. Look inside yourself to understand more about what finding peace means to you. Ask yourself if peace means letting go of some people, things, location, job, money or status. Does peace mean uncluttering your life of fragmented demands of all kinds?

2.

Make a list, even if it is a simple one on the back of a napkin. This list is made up of the things you would like to let go of, if only for awhile. Do you find something on the list that you would like to get rid of but can't? Ask yourself why not. Ask yourself again why not. If you find yourself stumped, put it in the mental "pending" file.

3.

Decide which things on the list you feel comfortable letting go of first. Choose those areas that would be most easily released. It doesn't have to be everything all at once, pick two or three. If you can only pick one, that is ok. If at any point you feel burdened by the letting go of something and you feel resistance inside you, remove it temporarily from your list. You are not ready for that one.

4.

Think about getting a counselor or joining a support group during this process. Sometimes a church group, social group, therapy group, etc. is needed. Keep this in mind. For some, a good friend who can encourage and support you will be enough. Validation and perspective is crucial.

5.

Accept your feelings in this process. You may feel guilt, fear, obligation, cowardice or anything and everything else. This is probably temporary. Keep in mind that the changes you are making are for your health, both mental and physical. Do not doubt your intentions.

6.

Notice positive feelings as you make changes. Ask yourself if it felt good to refuse something to someone who wanted more of your time than you were willing to give. Did it feel bad? Why? Beginning to draw your boundaries with others is one of the most important things you can do in finding peace. Saying "no" to people is part of that process. Do not feel guilty.

7.

Redefine who you are to others as you need to. Do you need to be less to one and more to another to feel some peace? Do you want to bring something else into your life that is not there now? Begin to do that as is reasonable and manageable. If anything starts to make more conflict because of what you do, back away from it temporarily and regroup.

8.

Keep timing in mind. Everything works better when the time is right for it. If it is forced, it will create more conflict or problems possibly. Do not force change. Bring it lovingly into your life as it is suitable and comfortable.

9.

Make changes gradually. People know you for your patterns, your thoughts and your life as it exists now. When you make changes, it can confuse your friends, family and co-workers. The change you wish is to have peace, and that is inside you. What others see outside you may reflect that peace, but they will be curious. Do not feel obligated to discuss your inner workings in response to the casual inquiry. Most people don't need to know the details, and the less you talk about it, the more control you will maintain over the process itself.

10.

Do regular inventory of your feelings. Does the peace you are finding outweigh the discomfort of the changes you are doing? Does it feel OK? Is it working for you? Are you beginning to see the changes you want?

11.

Revisit your list. Make a new, revised one, as by this time you will have changed some of your ideas about what will bring you peace. You will make discoveries that surprise you. Perhaps you realized you want to go back to school, join a church, move out of state or area, sell your home, learn a new skill or start new relationships. When changes start to happen, your whole life picture may begin to shift, as the foundations that held it in it's uncomfortable state are no longer there, and pieces begin to slip into another position. This is natural and a bit scary, as we are creatures of habit, no matter how painful they may be.

12.

Be true to yourself and the ones you love. Beginning to clear away the "noise" in your life is going to make you a more loving, responsible and happy person. When you find some peace this way, you can give it to the others in your life and be more present for them, knowing that you are not being worn out by those things that held you bound and unhappy.

13.

Realize that staying in any situation that makes you miserable is never good. If you stay in a job, a marriage, a relationship, a city or a role far beyond the point of healthiness, nothing is gained and time is wasted that could be put toward positive moves in a better direction.

14.

Do not permit guilt to keep you immobile. When your peace is stolen because you feel obligated to continue holding a piece of your life in place that someone may need, it is time to find either someone or something else to hold that piece if it is so important. It is amazing how you will discover that when you put a piece of your life down, others manage quite well without you. None of us are indispensable, in spite of what we tell ourselves. Do whatever you need to do (that is healthy) to put those pieces down if you cannot carry them any more. Modify your role in people's lives.

15.

Make time for yourself. That is an overused statement, but do it. Really. Go walking, go to the library, out to lunch, down to the lake or beach, to a park. It doesn't matter where you go. Just go. Make some space around you that is not filled with demands from other people. Turn off your cell phone.

16.

Find your peace. For whatever it means to you, design your day, your week, your month in a way that you will find more peaceful and manageable. It takes a bit of time, but if you get started, you will find that you don't have to look for peace, as it will have found you.

If you ever feel as though your life is not your own, that everyone has a piece of you and that the light at the end of the tunnel may be a train, you are not alone.

You may have kids, a husband or wife, a job and other family responsibilities and think that any minute now, you will drop from sheer exhaustion. Even if you are single with no kids, family duties, job pressures, relationship stress and finances can all drain you of energy, enthusiasm and hope that it will ever get better.

Someone said once that they wished they could just walk through a door into another dimension, leaving all the stress and emotion behind.

You can walk through that door, but you will have to do some serious talking to yourself to start putting down what your priorities are, and ways to begin the change.

You can deliver yourself onto another shore, but it will take a bit of effort, hopefully some support, and an ability to let go of some things that are keeping you a prisoner. When we let go, it is very scary, as the people we know are off balance in their relationship with you. It's ok. Once you have started your new journey, holding on tight, you will find that the new freedom is worth every effort you are making. You might want to call this "tough love within yourself" because it will take some discipline and a gamut of emotions.

To be carried through life at the beck-and-call of other's needs is to give too much of yourself away. What is left for you? The steps below are a start only. Make sure that you really want to change your life, and know that in your heart, not just in your mind. Otherwise, people's demands will weaken your resolve, and you will find yourself adrift again.

You can reclaim yourself and your peace. It will take being honest with yourself, however, and asking yourself some questions that you have been suppressing the answer to.

Again, this is just a place to start. Best luck on your new journey.