Go slowly, breathe, and smile.
Thich Nhat Hanh
The most valuable commodity in the world is inner peace. Health, wealth, fame or fortune cannot be enjoyed or appreciated when life is filled with emotional turbulence. Yet, we are human, and things happen in life.
Sometimes, despite our best intentions, determination, and affirmations, we find ourselves caught up in an emotional reaction to a person or situation. If only things would just turn out right, and people would behave as expected, then we could be at peace, or so we think. The problem with this thinking is that we are waiting for things to be peaceful on the outside before we can be peaceful on the inside. Actually, it works the other way around. When we create stillness and calm within, then our lives become more peaceful. Emotional upset occurs when things do not go the way we want them to. Struggle is created when we try to make things go the way we want them to.
Emotional peace, on the other hand, comes when we learn to accept things as they are, and let go of our need to control them. Of course this does not mean that we put up with abuse or inappropriate behavior. It does mean that we are more accepting of things we cannot change, more respectful of boundaries (ours and others), and more realistic.
Sometimes we just have to accept people and situations as they are, and sometimes we have to bless them and move on. If we know a situation or relationship is not good for us, we cannot hope to find peace until we do something about it. In the meantime, we can still cultivate emotional peace. Imagine a beautiful, peaceful sanctuary. Think of it as a safe, healing place. Hold it in your consciousness, perhaps in your heart, and, quieting the mind, go there regularly. When you practice this often, you come to know that peace is always a choice. You can always tell yourself, a well of peace exists within me, and I can choose to be there any time.
Emotional turbulence is generally fuelled by thoughts, so if we just stop the thoughts for a time and drop into this peaceful space, we see that it is the ego-mind that is having the problem. Without the thoughts, peace returns. Achieving emotional peace does not mean that everything in life has finally settled into a state of perfection. Nothing does. It means that we have freed ourselves from the entrapment of the mind, we are no longer held hostage by our thoughts. We can observe them, see them for what they are, and then let them go.
We will still have to deal with the stuff of life, but then we can step back into our place of peace. Practice this, and notice how much more peaceful your life becomes, both inside and out.