Finding Inner Peace: The King's Journey to Acceptance and Control
There once was a king. He had everything he wanted. The only thing he didn’t have was love, love for himself. He beat himself up constantly and hated who he was on the inside. He couldn’t reach the standards he inflicted upon himself. He wished it weren’t this way. The queen loved him very much, but he couldn’t love himself. Why was this?
He always felt like he couldn’t live up to his own standards. Yes, they were high, but he enjoyed that. Is it better to have low standards, he thought to himself. He didn’t think so. How was he ever going to find his peace? His wife had so much peace and those around him, he thought. Why couldn’t he find that little bit of peace within himself? Looking back, it seems as though he had been dealing with this his whole life. He could recall time after time that as soon as something good was happening, something bad was right around the corner. It’s the cyclical nature of life, filled with ups and downs. He was tired of this rollercoaster though. Why couldn’t he arrive?
We always think, "When will we arrive? If I just get past this problem, I’ll be set and I’ll feel peace within." That is what we’re all after, I guess, to find that inner tranquility, that inner peace. “So how do we get there?”, the King thought.
He rode his carriage to the witch of the kingdom. He pounded on the door with his suited knights just behind him. She opened.
"Yes?" she said.
"I want to find peace. Tell me how," the King said.
The witch told him to come in.
The King said, "You're not going to give me a poisonous apple, are you?"
"No, a poisonous rat," the witch responded.
They both laughed.
"I feel like I have a lot of poison in me. Do you have the antidote?" said the King.
"I got you," said the witch.
She actually put a dead rat in her cauldron. As the smoke filled the room, she began to tell her story.
"I was once like you, unhappy because I could never find peace. It wasn’t until I accepted that I was free."
The King nodded. "Go on."
"You see, I came to terms that I had no control over my life aside from one thing. I can only control how I respond to life."
The King blurted out that he had control.
"Then why are you unhappy?" said the witch.
"Just accept where you are like you have chosen it. Be here now. That’s the only moment in time you get to experience. What is happening right this moment? Are you thinking about your problem and the answer or are you enjoying where you are right now? In other words, did you enjoy the ride in your carriage over here, or were you so fixated on the problem and finding the answer that you forgot to enjoy your life?"
The King nodded. "I see."
"Just enjoy where you are and accept whatever moment comes to you like you had chosen it."
The King smiled. "You are very wise. Would you like to live in my castle?"
"I would rather eat that dead rat," she howled.
The two of them laughed.
As the King rode in his carriage back, he couldn’t help but feel the bumps and turns. He was having fun.
From that day forward, the King did his best to accept every moment as if he had chosen it. What a way to live life, he thought.