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Conflict vs Peace

These photos of me were taken only 11 years apart, and look so different.

What is really astounding though, to me, is the difference I feel on the inside. I'm hardly the same woman that I was, and yet so much more me than ever before.

I was happy with how I looked on the outside 11 years ago, and even that was fleeting to be honest. Like many women I've spent the majority of my adult life trying to measure up to impossible beauty standards set by those who only have power, control and money as motives. On the inside though, lots of conflict. And what's interesting now that I have found peace, is that I'm not sure whether I would have identified it necessarily as conflict back then. I always knew that I didn't feel "right" - I was too much, not enough, swinging between joy and depression (the latter I was diagnosed with in my early 40s and now is no longer part of my life thankfully). But I can definitely identify now that I was in conflict with myself. Imagine how we feel when there is conflict in our lives with other people - it's uncomfortable, unpleasant and can be very stressful. Those times are usually short-lived, or can be cut to a minimum by avoiding contact with whoever we're in conflict with. But if that person that we're in conflict with is ourselves, then we can never get away and it can only be cut short by working on resolving the conflict. And we need to identify that it's there first...

Edit: I'm not unhappy with my exterior now, just that I don't give it the same focus I used to. For me, who I am as a person is so much more important, and attention to my body is now mainly concentrated on how it functions...

I am so happy to report that it is possible, with time and effort - putting the work in - inner peace can definitely be achieved. The first step is noticing that conflict exists. Love, kindness, acceptance, curiosity, nourishment and balance then all form the processes to achieving a calm and peaceful self.

Thank you for listening.

*if you enjoy the themes of these musings and would like to learn more, or join in similar conversations, please head over to The Listening House.

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