Peace Comes From Within

Kelsey - Orland Park, Illinois
Entered on September 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that peace comes from within. Daily life is a hectic mixture of ups and downs, but if we can find peace with ourselves, it is easier to stay focused and ready for the challenges to come. To me, peace means being happy with who I am, where I have been, and where I am going. Having this type of peace with myself allows me to achieve confidence, control, and happiness every day.

I came to this idea of inner peace in my junior year of high school, which was by far one of the toughest years for me, both academically and mentally. I gave up on myself and started to mess around in school, and weekends consisted of partying to get my mind off of things. I ended up getting in trouble enough where I was sent to a counseling sessions. It helped somewhat, but I was still not the happy person that I always had been.

The same year, I attended a three day retreat required by my Catholic high school. Over the course of the three days, we heard speeches from many girls who shared their most sentimental stories. The one speech that really stuck with me was called “Know Yourself”. The main point of it was that knowing who you are helps you make decisions that are right for you. People are always going to judge you, but when your mind is made up that the person you are is the person you want to be, it is easy to shake the opinions of others right off. I took this speech to heart and it’s something that I now live by.

I could certainly understand if someone told me my type of thinking is too idealistic. I live in a country that has been at war for eight years, with people living on the streets as the economy weakens. I understand that the world is no fairytale and that we all are faced with tough situations sometimes. Peace is what keeps me going.

I am not sure where I’ll end up five, twenty, or fifty years from now. I am currently a secondary education social studies major, so maybe I’ll be a teacher. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll end up living in Arizona for the rest of my life, or maybe I’ll move back to my favorite hometown on the south side of Chicago. I can’t be sure about any of these things because I can’t predict where my life will take me. If I get a chance, I’ll take it. If it changes my life, I’ll let it. What I do know is that whatever I do, wherever I go, I will go with all of my heart and mind and try to keep my peace. War may be overseas, violence may be a few miles away, and hate may be right in front of me, but peace will always be inside of me.