Finding inner peace leads to satisfaction

ATTITUDE UND students search for what makes them happy.

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I can’t stand how many reports about shootings, murders and rapes have been in the news lately. It seems whether I’m watching TV, reading online or opening up a paper, there is a headline staring at me reporting some heinous crime.

It makes me so sad and, frankly, a little sick.

I’m not naive; I know that these events will probably never stop. I know that one person really can’t change the world — but at least we can start out small.

The people who commit these crimes are not satisfied. Whether it’s dissatisfaction with another person, the outcome of a situation, or even themselves, we may never know. But the point is, the world may see less hatred if we learn to make peace in our own lives.

As a freshman last year I learned fast I wasn’t really sure what my place or purpose was. I came to UND thinking I knew exactly who I was — boy was I wrong. Most freshmen probably don’t know it yet, but your life may change more than you realize.

It wasn’t that I jumped off the deep end last year, but I noticed a difference in myself. I noticed that I wasn’t as happy or as at peace with myself as I had been before I got here. It took me awhile, but I realized why that was: I let others have too much influence in my life, and I lost sight of what was truly important.

My faith and my morals are a really big part of who I am. I come from a Catholic family, and I’m not one to bend the rules or rebel.

That’s just me — take it or leave it.

But last year, I found myself paying more attention to the things that weren’t important; things like clothes, money and socializing. I lost sight of the reasons I was here. I lost sight of my faith and even started slipping in some classes. It took me almost the whole school year, but it finally clicked; we can’t let monetary objects define our happiness.

Satisfaction doesn’t come from high-end clothes or partying every weekend. It doesn’t come from putting others down or the size of your paycheck.

Satisfaction and peace comes from surrounding yourself with people you love. Immersing yourself in things that make you a better person is the perfect way to gain an inner peace. If you have a faith, then I encourage you to dig deeper into it. Let it become a bigger part of who you are. If you aren’t an individual of belief or faith, then this is my encouragement to you to find a belief. I can guarantee that it will make you feel more wholly satisfied. At the very least, find a set of morals that make you a better person and live by them.

I’ve realized bettering ourselves is really the only way that our damaged world can start to mend itself.

This year I’ve really tried to refocus myself. I’ve promised myself to be more dedicated to school, eat healthier and become more active in my faith. Turns out it worksed.

I’m so much happier now than I was at the end of last semester. I’ve found friends that are working towards the same self-satisfaction. It really helps to have people in your life that support you instead of push you down the wrong path. I’m sure I sound like a peace lovin’ hippie when I say this, but I really do think we all need to be happier with ourselves — and happier with others. Anything short of that is just going to make us bitter and lead to more tragedies — not to mention higher blood pressure and wrinkles.

By being happy with ourselves we learn to accept things. Difficulties and problems become less severe, and we learn to put our trust into something greater. If we aren’t happy with who we are, we tend to blame ourselves for the our problems. If we aren’t happy with others, then we blame them too. It’s a vicious cycle that doesn’t solve anything. Learning to be satisfied and confident with who your are will reflect positively on your behavior towards others.

Maybe, slowly, this can make an impact and we all wouldn’t be as terrified to turn on the news everyday.

Just maybe.

Mary Ochs is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].

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