I talk a lot about peace. Peace of mind, peace in our bodies, and peace with others. I don’t always have peace though. And that’s okay.
There are times when I feel completely covered in peace, and then there are days when I am so far from it, that I question things. I analyze things, and am concerned with how one moment I may feel satisfied and content, and the next I am let down or worried, discouraged or upset. I am rarely in that place of struggling, and frustration about feeling so incomplete and alone, yet at times I am there. We all are. We all come to a place where we may feel discontent and discouraged. We all have days that rock our world, small or large. But what I know so well, is that we will never feel complete peace. Complete peace, as in always with you, never without it kind of peace. It doesn’t exist. Yes, maybe in a moment of meditation, prayer, reuniting with a friend or family member, a test result that is good news, or a new opportunity that shows us good things are on the way. But it’s all momentary and fleeting. There will always be something that will take us from that moment of peace and joy. There will always be something, or someone that lets us down.
What helps me shift gears when things are difficult, is to realize that it is momentary, and that it will not be the same tomorrow. One, I have a choice in matter, when I wake up each day, to choose to see things differently, to embrace change and uncertainty, or to forgive what has happened and move on. I have a choice and only I am responsible for that. A friend taught me this over 25 years ago. It was life changing . I know that sounds dumb, but I had never been taught the concept, and never knew I had the power to change the trajectory of my day or even my life. He ( Tony that’s you. smile. ) told me that I had no control over anything and I wasn’t responsible for anyone else’s feelings. The only thing I have control over is my attitude. A light bulb went off. For real. It was a moment for me that shifted my way of thinking and being, and I still have to remember it to this day.
I am a people pleaser. I say yes, when I want to say no. I try to make others content and happy before my self. (news flash, I can’t “make” anyone happy.) I run toward problems thinking I can fix them, and want everyone to experience peace, and feel content and cared for. Yes, those are good things, but not when you haven’t cared for yourself. I can’t be any good to anyone for the long haul, when I am tapped out, (not realizing it at all) and not when I am lacking peace. I certainly have figured this out over the last 25 years, but it is a never-ending progression with me.
I am always about helping others, (especially my husband and children) find peace. But what I do know, is that I have to take care of myself first, and realize that the peace I have is fleeting. The peace they will have is fleeting. And that’s okay. What I need to do, by example, is choose to fix my mind on greater things, and to let go of all else. My peace comes from one source truly, and that is God. How can that be you ask, If you don’t always have peace? Well, the deposit of peace, in a second from Him, into my mind, body and spirit, remains with me more than a moment. It fills me to a point of unexplainable joy. In a moment, (just a moment) I experience peace that covers me for days and months on end, if I am lucky. In a moment, I am shown grace, love, mercy, compassion and peace on a level you wouldn’t think possible. It’s a tiny glimpse of heaven, given to me, to share with others. Why isn’t it constant? Why is it unattainable at times, most times, when I need it, and feel desperate for it? Maybe because I forget the source. Maybe because I have built up unintentional walls of business, expectations, being stretched thin, and thinking I can do all things and be all things when I can’t. You forget the source? You know the source. How do you forget? I don’t quite forget, I forget the POWER of the source and without realizing it, I become a bit empty and dry. I become like the creek in the forest that slowly dries up in need of a water. I forget that there will be a new day full of rain from above, creating a waterfall that will flow down into the slivers of cracks in the thirsty dry creek. I forget that I am like that creek. I develop cracks and crevasses that leave me empty, and lifeless at times. But when the rain comes and water flows and the life source for plants and animals and creation are again refreshed and renewed, so will I be, by the life source I wait on, in hopes of renewal and growth. I know it will come, and I know it may take time. Yet, I know that when it does, I will find newness. I will find life again. I will find the gift of peace, maybe in just a moment. Peace to share and let flow to those I know. Peace that I will recognize and choose to see, and allow to sustain me another day. Maybe another season even. If I’m lucky. But I choose.
If we are lucky, this peace will last for a long season. But it will be just that. A season like the seasons we experience in nature. It will come and go and leave us when least expected. We will be blown away when it leaves us, just as the leaves of a tree are blown away in the fall. We will feel cold and alone, bare and raw in a difficult season, just as the tree in the winter looses its flowers and leaves, to be stark and looking lifeless. We will experience growth and newness in beautiful ways, shining like a light for others to see, just as the little green leaves appear, with lovely fresh blossoms bringing beauty and color on a tree in the spring. We will find comfort and rest, rejuvenating our spirits and preparing for the next season in life, just as the tree in the summer that stands tall and strong, looking complete and full of life. We all go through seasons just as all of nature and creation. What I have learned and am learning, is to continue to sway and move, and allow change to happen naturally. I have learned that in all things, tomorrow is a new day, and I have the gift of looking at it, as that or not. I have the gift of creating what I want each day in my mind. I chose to be flexible, forgiven, better than, humble and kind. I chose to see the goodness in all things or not. I chose. Do I fail? Yes. Am I always at peace? No. Do wake up and give thanks and shift my thinking for a new day? Yes. I do. I do so, because some days, that is all I can do. Peace is fleeing here in this life. Like everything else, for now, here in this realm, it is far from permanent and far from perfect. Maybe in moment it will be perfect, and that my friend is a gift, a rare and beautiful gift from God.
I pray you find peace today. I pray you know it’s source, and I pray you know that if you don’t find it today, it will be waiting there for you tomorrow.