Freedom from Disturbance

i used to think that
not having enemies
meant that i was doing
something right.
turns out the more i did
the things that were
the closest to my heart,
the more enemies i made.
sometimes becoming true
to what you believe in,
means you will have to
swim upstream a little.
but it’s so worth it, isn’t it?
to finally say, “i’m here.
i’m home. and i will not
be sorry”                             

– Ullie-kaye

Enemies may be a strong word, but sometimes believing in yourself and telling your truth can make people uncomfortable. In the past, I’ve cared more about what other people thought of me than what I thought of myself. But now that I’ve swum upstream a little, I get it. The feeling of unapologetically being home is powerful. The feeling of being boldly loved as I am is energizing. I’m perfectly imperfect. I’ll rise and I’ll fall. And all of me is perfectly content with whatever will come my way. If I’ve been able to make it this far, I can’t wait to see what’s next.

One definition of peace is the freedom from disturbance. One might read that and think of all the external factors that pummel us day in and day out. The coffee spilled on our lap, the nasty driver that flipped us the bird on the way to work, or the family member who’s been pushing our buttons for years. How can we live a life free from disturbance when we’re constantly being disturbed!? The answer, as I’ve come to understand, is within. People and unfortunate events are always going to happen. We cannot control the world around us. But we can control the world within us.

Let’s pretend some family members begin gossiping behind my back. My first reaction might be to talk badly about them or to confront them, perhaps even to find a way to hurt them. Why not? Gossiping about me with others really hurt me, so they deserve to be hurt, too. Such feelings and emotions are normal, and it’s okay to feel them. The peace comes when they pass, and you haven’t reacted. Then you can choose your response when you’re less emotional. It’s okay to feel hurt and vengeful. But it’s not okay to retaliate if you’re seeking peace. Revenge will only deplete your peace.

Peace comes when you feel the hurt of the betrayal and then realize, family or not, it might be better to move on without them. Peace comes when you understand it’s your choice to make.

As Dr. Jaime Zuckerman has been quoted saying, “You prove just how weak you are by being harsh to others. It’s gentleness that requires strength.”

The difference between being gentle and harsh is how you go about it. When all is said and done, do you feel peace? Or do you continue to feel the need for revenge? Are you in a state of cyclical turmoil? If so, you may want to dig a little deeper and understand why you feel those feelings. If you want to feel peace, you need to respond to them, not react because of them. And sometimes your response can be as simple as not entertaining the drama.

But once you find your peace and the ultimate feeling of home, you’ll get it. It’ll be worth all the past reactions and struggles. You’ll smile more deeply and feel confident in yourself, no matter what is happening around you or to you. And you’ll know you’ll attract the people meant to be in your life, just as you’ll repel those who weren’t.

Peace is freedom from disturbance.

Only you control what disturbs you.


JoAnna Bennett
JoAnna Bennett
Mother, Marketer, Writer, and Reader. I’m a mother of two wonderful little humans. I’m also an avid reader, an insatiable learner, and a self-acknowledged survivor. I’m grateful to work at O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) because I’ve learned the self-soothing and restorative craft of writing. I used to resist calling myself a writer because I have a finance degree. I naively thought I needed an English degree to effectively express myself in writing. But now, writer is a title I proudly wear, and writing is something I’ll practice for the rest of my life.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


    • Thank you for your comment Cynthia! Forgiveness is something I’m working on myself. I’m not sure everyone who has wronged me (and may continue to wrong me) warrants forgiveness.

      I no longer hold onto the negative feelings towards them, but I don’t necessarily forgive them either. Perhaps that can be a part of my future journey.

      Peace to you too Cynthia. May we feel more peace and less of a need to control the external world.

    • Forgiveness is about you, not them, Joanna, and nobody asked that you forget or hang out with them. If you choose to forget, you are at risk that they can wrong you again. But if you no longer hold on to negative feelings, you are in a better place than so many who hold on to their grudges as if they were treasure.

    • When I first read this, a tear fell from my eye. There are no grudges. There are no negative feelings. I’ve forgiven myself for not knowing any better. And I’ve vowed to learn my lesson.

      Thank you for reminding me of that. Forgiveness comes in many forms.