We each have the power to cultivate sustainable personal peace, build greater confidence and create fulfilling relationships. It’s a journey that can begin with intention and a willingness to love YOU, that much. Love yourself as if you are worthy of the greatest gifts life can offer. From my point of view, what greater gifts are there but a heart full of peace and fulfilling relationships?

Do you believe it’s possible for you to cultivate sustainable personal peace? That’s not to say that you will not encounter suffering in your life. You will. I am suggesting that you can meet this suffering with grace. You can meet suffering with the Awareness that you are so much more than whatever temporary state of mind or heart that presents itself in the moment.

If you go deep enough in the stormiest of seas, there is a point of stillness. In the same way, if you go deep enough into the human heart, there is a point of still peace. Going deep into the human heart means transcending, ending the trance of petty grievances that rob you of peace.

Even as you read, “petty grievances,” you might be saying to yourself, “my grievances are NOT petty.” After all, you might be facing deep emotional pain, profound grief, or ferocious fears. And there, right there you encounter one of the essential qualities that will make your journey to sustainable personal peace a very real possibility. Compassion.

Self compassion and compassion for others will not only enrich your relationships with others but will open you unfolding a life where you feel worthy of the good things life has to offer. Compassion brings the gift a kinder, gentler approach to life – an approach that will begin to turn your life into a garden of peace.

Accessing this kind of compassion can begin with increasing your awareness of when you are being judgmental of yourself and others. Practicing compassion in this way can open you to moving out of auto-pilot into living fully, being present for your life. It can become a way claiming and reclaiming your birthright of peace. Just for a while, practice cultivating compassion for yourself and others.

It can be as simple as reminding yourself that there is always a back story.

I recently went for a walk with a dear relative. On the walk, she was talking about how another relative had not yet put his child in braces. The child clearly needed braces and she seemed angry and somewhat horrified that he’d not taken steps to attend to his child’s dental needs. She was miles away from compassion.

Keep in mind, when you are miles away from compassion for others. It’s likely that you will scream for others to have compassion for you or you will treat yourself with that same judgmental attitude you offer to others.

As we talked, I shared with her that I’ve learned there’s always a back story. In other words, there is always something going on with the one we are judging. If we can lean into the awareness that there is some pain, some back story driving the other person’s behavior, it’s a little easier to come back to compassion. Even if we don’t know what the back story is.

I shared with her what I know of the medical rights of some non-custodial divorced parents. Essentially, the parent she was judging may not have any medical rights with the child.

After a moment or so, she took a deep breath and said, “You’re right. I judged too quickly.” I could see by the softening in her face and the quietness in her voice that for that moment, she found the peace-filled gift of the heart – compassion.

Sustainable personal peace is not a myth. It begins with and is sustained by a commitment to claim and reclaim peace. If you’ve ever played on a teeter-totter, you know that our experience of life is dynamic. It’s not static. So it is with peace. Learn to recognize when you’ve lost it and learn to find your way back to it. One route is compassion.

Author's Bio: 

Melanie McGhee, L.C.S.W. is an award-winning author, relationship expert, psychotherapist and spiritual coach. She is also the founder of Abhimukti Yoga Coaches - providing coaches training to yoga teachers.