Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Definition of Inner Peace

“The effect of righteousness will be peace,

and the result of righteousness,

quietness and trust forever.”

~Isaiah 32:17 (NRSV).

Inner Peace: the process of reconciling the past, accepting the present and seeing a calm future—living righteously—all harmonised in the mind and heart of the person achieving it.

Many grapple for inner peace without understanding that externalities will always impinge on it. We cannot know peace of the soul without dealing with our cabin baggage of the past, being at peace with our everyday life situations in the present, and being calm for the future. This ushers the concepts of healing, acceptance and hope into captions for planning toward execution.

The passage of ancient Isaiah’s wraps up our understanding of the above, but more on that later.

Healing – We Must Deal With Our Pasts

Inner peace—that “quietness and trust forever”—cannot be reconciled without coming to terms with the baggage we’re carrying. This occurs at two simple levels; a bit like for salvation (first the event, then the subsequent experiences).

There is first the event of healing and, second, the ongoing reconciliation of hurts as the patterns of memory recur. The former is the gift of the Holy Spirit, however it personally comes. The latter is a skill of both awareness and access to God’s grace.

Bridging our pasts with our presents and futures is also critically important. Without burden of past, the present and future are freer and new.

Acceptance of Present Situations

Defying rationality has no point. Yet, instead of trouble-shooting daily situations to make the most of them we’re tempted to refuse the truth and denial takes us worse than nowhere—actually to a place far from inner peace.

Acceptance of present situations is about maturity to realise the status quo; it’s then a platform for transformation—for all matters of mind and heart are transformable. Acceptance is freedom; the mind unencumbered by dissatisfaction.

Past and Present Propel the Future

Concepts of the future relate to hope. Inner peace has been achieved by the person who’s dealt with their past—those who continue to deal with it—and who accept their present. They’ve reached an appropriately utopian mindset for pondering a hopeful future; that achieved, inner peace is the outcome—calmness about the future. Both heart and mind are of one accord.

The Definition of Inner Peace

What good is there in defining something if we can’t describe what it looks like and map our way to get there? This article proposed to define inner peace. It’s hoped that we’ve gone farther than we hoped.

If it’s worthy quoting Isaiah 32:17, it’s worthy describing its role in the present discussion. “Righteousness” is both the cause of, and the effect experienced in, dealing properly with our pasts, presents and futures. That’s what righteousness looks like in practical terms. Then, the effect of such righteousness is peace; the definitive result: quietness and trust forever.

The following formulas show it pragmatically:

TRUTH + APPLIED HEALING = RIGHTEOUSNESS = PEACE

(acknowledging that)

RIGHTEOUSNESS = APPLICATION of TRUTH

Inner Peace: the process of reconciling the past, accepting the present and seeing a calm future—living righteously—all harmonised in the mind and heart of the person achieving it.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Credit: CARF.

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