Find Peace In One Difficult Step

  1. Stop.

As one of my favorite quotes goes: “Don’t just do something, stand there!”

If you can simply stop what you are doing and thinking, you can find peace.

It doesn’t seem to be widely acknowledged that stopping is excruciatingly difficult.

Stopping sounds so easy. It requires so little physical effort. But of course, anyone with an addiction knows how difficult stopping can be.

The real surprise is the sheer scope of what we’re addicted to. It’s not just caffeine, sugar, and smartphones. We’re addicted to thinking! We’re addicted to doing!

As is the case with every addiction, we don’t like to stop thinking and doing because it distracts us from our inner terror that we’re not enough, we don’t belong, and we can’t be loved.

But no matter how much we think, how much we do, how many 7-step self-help guides we follow, we can’t find peace while that inner terror lurks. We lounge on a beach while worrying about sunscreen and seagulls and promotions and lovers. We rush from smoothie to salad to yoga to therapy and fall into bed exhausted.

To find peace, you need to confront the inner terror directly. This usually involves feeling a lot of very unpleasant feelings. I recommend getting guidance from therapists, who have many useful tricks up their sleeves.

Is it even possible to stop thinking and doing? This is kind of what meditation is all about. You sit still and you do nothing. When a thought arises, you let it float away like a leaf or a cloud.

Meditation is easy. What’s excruciatingly difficult is stopping what you are doing to actually meditate!

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

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