Learning to Find Peace

Maya Panicker - Senegal


December 9, 2015

So, I used to know this girl named Maya. She was nice. She
cared. But she worried all the time about what people thought of her. She
compared herself to others and never believed she was spectacular or even
enough. Her life was a constant competition with her peers and herself.
Thoughts on what to say, how to act, and what to wear were always running
through her mind and affecting her actions. She cried when people said she
laughed too loud. When she looked in the mirror, sometimes she was satisfied
and thought she looked pretty that day, but she never truly felt beautiful. She
didn’t respect her body and never valued her health. She struggled to force
herself out of bed every morning because the world in her dreams was always
more satisfying than the world outside. She never truly felt grateful for all
the luck and privilege she had enjoyed. Logic and reason fueled her actions
rather than her emotions. She was restless. She was uncomfortable. She was not
at peace.

Well, my name is Aida Diallo. I am about three and a half
months old and I am learning to be at peace with who I am. I rarely worry what
people think of me because I know they rarely think of me at all. I am learning
to be confident in my abilities and realize that I am truly spectacular in my
own way, just as everyone else is in theirs. I am enough for myself. My life is
a constant exchange of love, gratitude, and kindness with my peers and myself.
Sometimes what I want to express through my words or actions comes out completely
wrong, but it’s ok. The people I love, love me back enough to understand that I
am not always my mistakes. I don’t cry when people say I laugh too loud. In
fact, I laugh louder until those people laugh with me. When I look in my tiny,
hand-held mirror, which is the only one I own, I see my dirty, sweaty face and my
greasy, messy hair. I know that I don’t look pretty on the outside, but I
always feel absolutely beautiful on the inside. I love my body and treat it
with care to make sure that it is healthy. I jump out of bed at the break of
dawn to write in my journal as I watch the sunrise over the mountain. The world
I live in is so much more interesting and complex than the world in my head. I
am learning to listen to my heart and let it guide me as much as my brain. I
look around me at the immense beauty in the nature and the people around me and
feel so incredibly lucky to have been blessed by whatever higher power exists
with such a life as mine. I am learning to be grateful. I am learning to be content.
I am learning to be at peace.

 

 

Maya Panicker