At Peace with Myself

This is a topic that I think about...frequently. Perhaps too frequently.

For the sake of discussion let's define this as being my quest to find inner peace and happiness with myself and let's add that I have had it, lost it, had it and lost it.

What I am talking about is the feeling of calm, of being whole, of being one with yourself in all areas of life. It is the feeling you have when you are happy with who you are, what you do, what you look like, feel like etc. It is being able to go to sleep feeling fulfilled.

I know what it is. I have been to that place. I have had moments in time in which I was happy with everything and all was right in the world and I have been in places where I felt as if I could not be any farther away from it.

The secret to this zen like state is not something I can share because it is different for all of us. I have always hated answers like that but in this case it really is true. You cannot tell me how to live because you don't know what drives me. You don't know what brings me peace and what brings war.

Ok, you can know some of these things, there are clues and there are some answers but in the end it always comes back to me. I have to be comfortable with myself. I have to accept my strengths and my weaknesses and it is not always easy to do so.

Within the last couple of years I have been frustrated with a number of things. And the hardest part about some of this is that some of these things have truly been outside of my control. I have written about my graphic imagination many times and it has come in handy during these moments of frustration.
When I was a younger man that kind of frustration frequently turned into white hot anger, some might even classify it as being rage.

And I admit to enjoying that anger, to responding to the rush of adrenaline. At times it was exhilirating. When I was serious about lifting weights there were moments where I spent time upsetting myself because I used that aggravation to push myself into the next weight class.

But as I have aged I find that these moments have decreased. Slowly they become fewer and fewer.
And that makes me happy because the reality is that the anger was not something that had great utility, what it gave me also took something out of me.
So now I return back to the focus of the post, the quest for being at peace with myself. At the moment I am not there. I am not in the place that allows me to rest and be fulfilled. There are many many blessings in my life and much to be thankful for, but there are still some pieces that are missing.

For now I am working on being content with what I have while trying to acquire the things that I need to bring the sense of quiet and security that I seek. Some days are good and some are bad, but the one thing that I can guarantee is that I will not give up. Some things are worth waiting and working for.


rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Rabbi Abraham Twerski says that when ever we speak of or pray for peace we mean only physical peace, lack of conflict. But he says that in this world it's a myth to speak of inner, spiritual peace. Not sur I agree, there are levels and then there are levels.

Jack Steiner said...

I have to believe that innner peace is something that can be achieved.

Isn't there a line in pirkei avot that says something to the effect of:

"Who is wise,he who is happy with his lot."

Possum said...

an interesting post, and even more interesting comments!

If you can achieve peace with what you have it will break and then you'll have to get new peace. That's what this world is about. We are not wired to be content. Nor do we exist where true contentment can happen.

Peace is a fixed state which cannot exist in this transient world. There is only one way to achieve what you are looking for, and that is a spiritual peace. There is one source for spiritual peace, and that is Jesus.

anything else just breaks and you have to get a new one...

Jack Steiner said...

Hi Possum,

You are welcome to post here all you want but I have to tell you that this is a no proselytization zone.

I am a deeply committed Jew. I respect your beliefs and I expect mine and that of my readers to be respected and that means that there is no Jesus talk on this blog.

I found happiness without him as have many others. I believe in multiple paths to G-d and I also am highly antagonistic towards people who witness.

I find it offensive.

I want to clarify that I do not think that it is your intention to offend, but that is what happens when you engage in witnessing.

And I can speak on behalf of many who feel the same way.

So like I said you are welcome and invited to post and hang out as long as you can do so without going to that place.

Kashrut News said...

that's just pure xtian rhetoric. Not based on anything but "feel good" xtianity. Certainly not based in reality.

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