Thursday, September 03, 2015

Inner peace

The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:12-13,
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

And Jesus said (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.

Those are such grand statements. They can also seem rather lofty achievements at times. But that's what I want.

I had a coaching session the other day (where I was being coached), and I first thought I wanted to address whether I should look for a new job or not. We quickly discovered that wasn't the real issue though. What I was really after was learning how to be at peace with myself. That way, whether I stay at my current job or start looking for another, not only will it make me a better employee (or hire), but I will be a better person regardless of where I work or what I do.

In the end I determined to do 3 things to begin this journey toward contentment/peace with myself:

1. Read Brene Brown's book 'The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.' A co-worker read it and it has been staring at me from the corner of my desk ever since she loaned it to me. I thought this would be a grand place to start (and there was probably a reason I'd been avoiding it).

2. Focused prayer on seeking contentment and peace. I printed off the full 'Serenity Prayer' and stuck it on the corkboard on my desk, so I can pray through it several times a day, as well as intentional prayers asking God to do this work in me.

3. Positive self-talk. I believe in self-talk. I need to be diligent in countering all the negative talk about myself floating around in my mind. Already in Brene's book I found a statement worth repeating to myself. On p. 1 is the following quote that I will keep with me and try to remind myself of every morning and night:
Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, 'No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.' It's going to bed at night thinking, 'Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.'

So, that's where I'm at. It's a start.