The Key to Maintaining Peace of Mind

Lee Jampolsky | Healing Together:How to Bring Peace Into Your Life and the World

Hope is a state of mind, not of the world -Vaclav Havel

It would be naive to think that the problems plaguing mankind today can be solved with means and methods which were applied or seemed to work in the past -Mikhail Gorbachev

Bad things happen, and to good people. Some of us seem to attract more than our share of tragedy, and often without obvious reason. Seldom do we know when tragedy will come, and no amount of preparation can make the world a crisis-free place. The key to maintaining peace of mind in such an unpredictable world is searching for purpose and opportunities to grow no matter what life brings us. We should not look to the tragedy itself for purpose, but rather to our response to the disaster. It is here that we have choices and can discover a purpose that make us better individuals and brings us closer to one another.

I want happiness for all beings, and don’t wish tragedy on anyone. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t prescribe a completely pain-free life for someone I love. We certainly need to work toward a world that is free from devastation and avoidable suffering, from the pain of poverty, hunger, and senseless violence. However, I wouldn’t opt for a world where pain, grief, and loss didn’t exist. I am always deeply saddened when someone close to me passes on, but I also realize that pain and loss are a part of every life, and that there is no escaping our mortality. The human experience is not pain-free because through our anguish, no matter how great it is, we can learn to be more compassionate and aware, to become healthier as individuals and as a society.

I write these words from having had the personal experience of a challenging life and of being a psychologist. There have been times when I have thought that my life has been filled with more hardship than the average person’s. Yet as I reflect on my life I become grateful for what each challenge has taught me.

I believe there is more depth to my spiritual life and my happiness because of the obstacles I have faced. Each decade has seemed to bring a new challenge. As a young boy I had a pronounced speech impediment and was teased a great deal. Throughout my adolescence I had a serious spinal disease and as a result spent many months of each year in a body cast, in traction, in a hospital bed or bedridden at home. Complicating this experience was my increasing emotional pain and isolation, which was largely unrecognized by others.

By my late adolescence and throughout my early adulthood I was heavily addicted to a variety of drugs. In my thirties I developed an autoimmune disease that resulted in the loss of most of my hearing. In my forties I faced potentially life-threatening prostate problems and underwent surgery. Like many others, I have also had the challenges that come from relationships, including divorce, being raised in an alcoholic home, and dealing with the inevitable loss that comes from the death of people we love.

Although there is certainly a part of me that would like to not have such challenges, from each one I learned and grew spiritually. In this book I will share this process of healing with you. For now it suffices for you to know that I write this book from both having been in the trenches and tragic times and having helped others rise out of them. I know that healing is possible because of the life I have lived and from those I have had the honor of helping heal from their own personal pains

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