Practical Ways to Trust So You Find Peace
By Haley Wright
For over a year, I have been living in a wilderness. I left a comfortable position at a financial services firm to work for a startup in cryptocurrency. But as many of you are aware, startups are a risky business. After just two months, and for the first time in sixteen years, I was without a full-time job. It felt like I’d been dropped off in the middle of nowhere with no Google Maps app.
Being an optimist, at first I found the wilderness invigorating and serene. I took a step back, evaluated my career, traveled a bit, volunteered more, and sat in a much-needed state of rest. But then the anxiety came.
I’m ashamed to admit I had no previous understanding of anxiety, and thought people should, in the words of Taylor Swift, “shake it off.” I could not have been more wrong. And with no end to unemployment in sight, I had no clue how to find peace in my life.
There are places of wilderness or more plainly, places of chaos, uncertainty, and loss we face on an almost constant basis. Like a low hum underneath the hustle, sometimes we find ourselves lost or bewildered before we realize it. So what should we do when feeling disappointed, discouraged, or downright desperate?
Finding peace means trusting in someone other than myself. In the Bible, Jesus tells us that when we trust in him, we can be assured, unshakable, and completely at peace. He admits that this world is not an easy place, but we can have courage because he has overcome all situations we face.
But specifically, how do you do that?
This part of the journey into peace can be a battle. Trust takes time, involves relationships, and needs energy — all things I run low on when in a difficult space. I have found that focused attention on the choices I make concerning my mind, body, and spirit is the difference between trusting the wisdom of Jesus versus landing myself in a downward spiral of binge-watching Netflix and days of $1 slices from Bleecker Street Pizza.
HAVING PEACE IN YOUR MIND
In her book Switch on Your Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf asserts, “Your body is not in control of your mind — your mind is in control of your body, and your mind is stronger than your body. Mind certainly is over matter.” In my search for peace, as I become aware of what and how much TV, movies, books and social media I consume, peace comes to my mind when I don’t numb the discomfort with distraction.
HAVING PEACE IN YOUR BODY
As I become thoughtful about what I put into my mind, it encourages me to consider what I put into my body as well. There is a proverb that says when we trust God and don’t try to figure everything out on our own, our bodies glow with health. Admittedly, I have a life-long dislike of disciplined exercise and a complicated relationship with food. I’m seeking to inspire myself toward health by experimenting with Krav Maga classes and self-teaching on herbalism. Peace comes when I remember that each body is different, and as I determine the mix that moves me toward wholeness.
HAVING PEACE IN YOUR SPIRIT
Another proverb says anxiety weighs down the spirit, but a kind word cheers it up. Remembering trust is built through relationship, I surround myself with friends and family who are quick to offer encouragement. We are not meant to walk these wild, sometimes long and meandering paths alone. I let other people lift me up when this struggle weighs me down like a truckload of bricks. Peace comes to my spirit when I am vulnerable and willing to admit my weakness so that others can be strong for me.
When we are intentional with our mind, body, and spirit, we find peace, deep inside, because God’s wisdom is stronger than whatever wilderness we’re in.
How can you be more intentional to seek peace?
Haley was raised in Austin, Texas, but has now been in NYC for more than six years. She currently works as an independent consultant on marketing and communications strategy and resides in the West Village. She is passionate about orphan and foster care advocacy, volunteering for The New York Foundling and Many Hopes.