You know what’s underrated? Peace. Not the kind of peace that unites countries or binds a loving family, but the kind where you can sleep soundly at night without having to fight your inner demons or to swim in a pool made of worries. The kind of peace where no matter how loud the thunder gets or how much rainwater comes in your windowsill, you can easily grab a towel made of self-control and still be able to breathe without feeling anxious of the next downpour. The kind of peace that’s so powerful that waking up each day is something you’d actually look forward to.
In 2021, I always aimed for self-love. I thought that in loving myself, everything else would follow. But I was—albeit not completely but still—wrong. It was only later when I learned that too much of anything will really kill you; too much self-love only puts you so much burden in trying to appease yourself with things and emotions you think will bring you happiness. Instead of self-love, I realized that being at peace with myself was more important and more satisfying than loving myself. I realized that when I strive to bring peace within, loving myself will naturally follow.
To those like me who may have realized this late, I hope that unlike me you didn’t experience having panic or anxiety attacks. I hope that unlike me, you understood that the best way for a love story to begin is to love the life you live and that you don’t need to do anything grand to make it happen sooner. I hope that unlike me, you realized that there is no timeline when it comes to giving your family the kind of life they deserve or giving yourself the kind of love you long for. I hope that unlike me, you took better care of your health because only when you treat your body like a home to your soul will you have a chance of gaining peace in your life.
2021 taught me to learn to be in control. In a way, it forced me to be. This year brought about many changes in my thoughts and my feelings, and the biggest of them all is that guided by a Higher Being, I have so much power in me to control those thoughts, including how I will feel towards the thousand changes happening around me. Not that I have mastered it; I think that we all live our lives slowly learning to control them until the war zone becomes nothing but a place of growth and opportunities.
In 2022, I aim to be at peace. I don’t even aim for happiness, for unfortunately happiness, like love, is fleeting. It comes and goes. But when what you aim is to find peace, and when you finally get a taste of it, you realize that any situation you will face next will present itself so much differently.
I know we’re only human, and more often than not, being at peace is much harder than allowing your emotions to just explode. And that’s not wrong. What’s wrong is forgetting to take a step back and breathe or letting yourself be consumed by emotions, either one by one or all at once. What’s wrong is dwelling in these emotions – whether it’s anger, anxiety, pressure, sadness – for such a long time there’s no way for your sky’s clouds to clear up. What’s wrong is questioning yourself why you can’t fly when all you had to do was float. This 2022, I hope you and I will learn to take a step back for peace’s sake. I hope we learn to love the quiet and the stillness and not be distracted by the noise and the screams made by tomorrow. I hope that in aiming for peace, we learn to live in the moment and look forward to a more sublime future.