What “Inner Peace” Feels Like

Life has really been getting to you lately.

You feel overwhelmed — from the inside out.  Things are manageable, but somehow not right.  Something is wrong.  You’re feeling the pressure, and you know that something has to give.  You can FEEL it in your body, in your chest, in your breath.

Something is brewing inside you.  It’s right there, but just out of sight, like something underwater near the surface.  Your breathing is quick and shallow, and you’re sighing a lot.  Your brow is furrowed.  You do not feel peace.

All you want to do is be alone.  You need to get by yourself, away from people, in a quiet place where you can do whatever you need to do.  But you can’t.  Not yet.  So you compose yourself while you can, for as long as it takes, until you don’t have to be around people for a while.

Until you don’t have responsibilities to tend to.

Finally, you’re alone.  You don’t know what to do.  You pace the floor, wringing your hands.  You want to call somebody and talk, but you don’t want to talk to anyone, so you don’t.  They wouldn’t understand where you are right now anyway.

Hell, YOU don’t understand where you are right now.  You just want it to stop.  You just want relief.  You just want it to end.  So you give up fighting it.  There’s nowhere else to go, and no way to escape yourself, so you surrender to what you feel is about to come.

Then what’s inside you comes bubbling up out of you.

Like melting ice, the tears come first as a trickle.  Then, like a dam breaking, the pain comes along with them.  You drop to the floor, to your knees, and submit.  The hopelessness of your defeat brings self-pity, then feelings of loss and heartbreak.

But your heart is not breaking.  It was already broken.  The grief of loss is coming out of your broken heart, where it sat like mortar among broken bricks, hardened and misshapen, probably for a long time.

Injustice was done to you, and you FEEL it.  Beneath the pain, you feel anger, and you rage to the Heavens and the Earth.  You clench your fists and grit your teeth.  You writhe and pound the floor, eyes closed, face grimacing, tears and snot flowing.

After the anger come sorrow and agony.

Your wailing is like labor contractions, like you’re pushing something out of you with great effort.  Every inhale brings a long, contracted exhale that tightens the muscles in your chest and belly.  Your whole body tightens, then releases, again and again, with each breath.

You might even scream at the peak of the depth of your suffering.

Layer upon layer of toxic and painful emotion is leaving your body.  Sadness, then anger.  Grief, then rage.  You suffer your own suffering, seemingly all at once.  You’re feeling the pain NOW that you didn’t feel completely THEN; you’re unloading the heaviness that’s been hiding within you.

When you finally squeeze out the last bit of this poison from your heart, your whole body tightens into a ball.  You exhale one final time, completely, and your breathing stops — for one intense moment.

Then, like a faucet being slowly turned off, the tidal wave subsides.  The tears and snot stop flowing.  Your muscles relax and go limp.  You take a new breath that fills you more deeply than before, and you exhale it easily and completely.  Breathing comes easier now, steady and slow, unlike it did an hour before.

All is quiet.

With the storm now past, you lie there alone and motionless, feeling and listening to your own inner calm.  Your body is exhausted.

In the silence, you’re aware that a burden has just left you.  The pain is gone and there is more space within you.  There’s no more angst, no more worry, no more anxiety, no more trouble.  Not in this moment.

Nothing is brewing inside you or troubling the surface anymore.  You’re just here now, breathing slowly and deeply…in peace.


6 Responses to What “Inner Peace” Feels Like

  1. beareed says:

    Beautifully put into words that capture the intensity of the emotional ride. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Disposable Star says:

    This was beautiful…and so on point. I have cried and cried…and feel I have no more tears…but I think I still need this withering painful on the floor cry to come again…just when I think I am good..I find a memory (old email, old text, old card or note) and then I get anxious again. Had a dream Sat morning after crying so much the days before that told me what I know deep down inside – he has turned his back on me, disposed of me and is moving on nicely with the new victim. That was tough and I felt a sense of finality…..I think I have surrendered but am afraid of falling of the proverbial wagon. I am a little angry but more accepting – thank goodness he lives 3 hours away so I never have to run into him again.

    These words of yours have been helpful – Thank you for taking the time to write as you do.

    • venbaxter says:

      You’re very welcome. You mentioned acceptance. That may be your way out–accepting what you already know deep down to be true. ❤

  3. […] not easy to find the center at first.  It’s underneath “stuff”: the burden of unresolved past painful experience and the fuzziness of things we “learned” that […]

  4. […] This can be scary, but with practice you will see that there’s absolutely NO danger here. If you end up on the floor in the fetal position, flopping around like a fish, with snot running down your face, this is EXCELLENT. […]

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