The final line of the (less than stellar) Alfie remake starring Jude Law is simple: “And if you don’t have peace of mind, you don’t have anything.”
That statement confounded me at 14. Wasn’t it supposed to be more like “If you don’t have love, you don’t have anything”? Peace of mind was an odd concept to me – hell, I was 14. My biggest problem in life was whether or not I’d done my math homework.
But ten years later, I’m well aware of how true that sentiment is. If you don’t have peace of mind, you don’t have anything. I judge my peace of mind by whether or not I’m comfortable being alone with myself. If I’m dealing with a problem, or I’m hurting, I don’t like to be alone. I prefer to be busy, out with people, doing activities and staying social at all times. It’s part of the healing process for most people when dealing with an issue, and, if you’re like me, you know that you’ve truly healed when you feel good just being again. Nothing to avoid thinking about, no need to hide from yourself. After my last big break up, it was well over a year until I was really and honestly comfortable being alone with myself again.
Because being alone with yourself is hard. When it’s just you and your thoughts, you’re often forced to confront those things you can easily ignore in the presence of others. I always found it hardest to be alone with myself when I didn’t like the person I was or something I’d done. At the same time, that also seems to be when it’s most crucial to figure yourself out. I didn’t like myself, so I had to figure out why. Once I figured out why, I was able to make the changes that needed to be made. And it was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, to self-analyze, understand the problem, and get whatever help I needed to solve it. There’s beauty in being unafraid to look at yourself and be honest about what you want and what you need. After all, it’s up to you whether you’re going to be your own best friend or your worst enemy – but it seems to me that we all respond better to a friend.
So I hope that you, out there in the internet cosmos, have peace of mind. Because if you’ve got that – if you know yourself and, even better, like yourself – all of the tricky bits in life get a little bit easier.