2001-12-22 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

By Marilyn Gelfand

By Marilyn Gelfand

As the New Year approaches, we can make a resolution to choose to be in as peaceful a state as possible. With all the events of the last few months, it may seem impossible to choose peace. However, to the best of our ability, it is important to recognize that one can feel pain, sadness or fear, and accept ourselves in that state, and still feel the peace within us.

Acceptance often means just stopping the resistance of acknowledging what actually is. Live in the present moment, and look around you. What do I have; what do I need; and what do I miss are just a couple of questions that may pop into our heads. Let yourself see what your reality is without all the thoughts of I wish it was different. With the acceptance of reality, comes an inner balance with the opportunity for understanding. When one says, "I give up," what it really means is I won’t fight what is any more.

We can feel our pain, and then choose to do what makes us feel good in the present. Whether it’s listening to music, eating good food, being with new good people in your life, there is at least one thing you can do for yourself. One reader suggesting rolling up into a ball and rocking from side to side or back and forth to release tension.

I just saw an uplifting movie called "Pay It Forward." I felt so good after watching it, I’ll probably watch it again. The theme of the movie is when someone does something good for you, rather than repay the one who helped you, help four other strangers who need it. If people help each other, this concept spreads out to reach many. It was wonderful watching people giving with no strings attached. The giving was not a business deal, but rather brought a feeling of joy to the giver. In the movie, this concept reached even the most cynical. It was truly a movie about hope.

Whatever you can do for yourself is important. It is not selfish to care for your own needs, or to give yourself pleasure. There is nothing wrong with realizing that life is bittersweet. We were intended to feel both the joy and sadness. If we can truly live in the present, appreciate every moment as special, we will be choosing peace.

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