Discover 10 Keys-to-Peace in Retirement Living

The keys-to-peace in life can be elusive because we live in an uncertain and dangerous world. This is especially true for the elderly approaching or already in retirement. Most of us feel more in control when we are young, strong and making our own way. This is, however, largely an illusion and as we grow older the reality of a lack of control becomes more apparent. The perception of loss of control causes anxiety and fear.

That inner peace that we all need for a happy life cannot coexist with anxiety and fear. Peace can be defined as the absence of anxiety and some would add the absence of conflict. Anxiety is a feeling of dread, fear, or apprehension, often with no clear justification. Worrying about something bad that may (or may not) happen tomorrow is not conducive to peaceful living at any age.

The keys-to-peace would, then, have to include the elimination of anxiety and avoidance of conflict. The truth is that all of us in this world are vulnerable. How much control do any of us really have over the condition or direction of our lives? This includes the young and the old in all nations of the world. So how do we face our uncertain futures without some trepidation and achieve the peace that we all desire and need?

How can a person have inner peace if faced with a life threatening illness, have experienced the loss of a loved one, or the loss of a job? We all react differently under stress but trials and adversity comes into every life. Our health and wellbeing depend on our attitude when faced with adversity. A positive faith filled attitude will lead to positive outcomes and conversely a negative attitude will lead to negative outcomes. Focusing on God and the present will bring peace to our life.

A little over a year ago, I had surgery to replace a valve in my heart. I knew that they had to put me on a bypass machine that would artificially circulate my blood so that they could operate on my heart. Going into surgery, I had no fear and was at peace for two reasons. These were that my wife had found a great world class surgeon and most importantly I knew that I was in God’s hands. One of two things would happen. The first was that I would survive surgery and return to my home in Indiana or my visit to this world would end and I would return to my home with Jesus. One of the greatest keys-to-peace is leaning on the promises of God.

So what are the keys-to-peace in our lives? I believe that they would have to include the following:

  1. Connect with God and give your anxious thoughts to Him. Peace, joy and contentment come from knowing God, and having a personal relationship with Him. Achieve connection with God by studying and meditating on His Word and conversing with Him in prayer. This is the greatest of all the keys-to-peace.
  2. Learn to forgive and recognize that a forgiving spirit is at peace with God but being unforgiving becomes increasingly painful and destructive. The first step in learning to forgive others is to forgive ourselves for our shortcomings and how we feel about others.
  3. Learn to let go of or avoid anger. Anger is a very destructive emotion and is far more damaging to us than to the object of our anger. As with all negative emotions anger is a matter of choice. Instead of anger, bitterness, or revenge choose love.
  4. Overcome anxiety by living in faith that tomorrow is in God's hands. It is certainly not in ours. There are and will be bad days but we need to recognize that every day is a gift from God.
  5. Learn to manage the stress in our life. Stress can be minimized by identifying and changing how we look at conflict. Our own reactions to conflict causes stress and managing stress starts with the control of our reactions.
  6. Volunteer during your free time to help those in need. Helping others in need can be very therapeutic to the volunteer and is something that God wants us to do. Christ loves us and commanded us to love one another as He loves us. Love is a very powerfully positive emotion.
  7. Choose to be happy. Refuse to let circumstances rob you of happiness. Find the positive in every circumstance.
  8. Stay connected with Friends and Family. It has been said and I believe that a good and true friend is a gift from God. Such a friend is a rare blessing to be both cherished and nourished. Maintaining a close network of family and friends is increasingly important as we age.
  9. Be thankful for what you have. Develop an attitude of gratitude with daily prayer of praise and thanksgiving the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
  10. Meditate on the Lord – His majesty, glory, goodness, faithfulness, and love for you. Daily meditation can among other things reduce stress, lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and fill your heart and soul with peace.

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