Are you trying to arrive at having peace and getting nowhere?
Do you wake up each morning thinking “today will be the day I have peace in my life”? Do you crash each evening when the realization sets in that the peace you were working toward fell apart or didn’t even begin to materialize?
I’ve been falsely thinking peace would set into my life after taking a new job and moving into our new home. And each new day I find I haven’t achieved it.
My problem is I’ve not been defining peace as I probably should have. I wanted it to be the state of bliss where the majority of things are going well in my life and always having a reason to have a positive attitude. So while this definition might be good and worthwhile to want to achieve, it wasn’t ever becoming my reality. Why? What was I doing wrong?
Life happens is the short answer. My vehicle broke down and I was without a vehicle for over a month. I made a mistake at work and angered someone, which I could have totally prevented if I’d have paid attention. My dog got extremely sick and we found out he has a disease we aren’t sure how he will survive with. The tile floor in my newly constructed home has been found to be defective and the company doesn’t want to pay to replace it or resolve it in a settlement. The Internet in our new home isn’t reliable or “high speed” and although the company is working on improving it, it’s causing frustration and impatience for the entire family. My husband has another (yes, again!) virus on his computer that I couldn’t fix and will have to pay someone to do it.
It’s never ending, the things life throws at us. I’m no more immune to it than anyone else. It is always something. It is never ending.
Yet, when I take a pause and look at the big picture it is clear to me the events in my life could be so much worse. Other than my dog’s health, events in my life have been minor. This is especially true in comparison to so many others who are facing much, much worse in their lives or with their loved ones and friends. I’m reminded of this often as one of my dearest friends died in October 2015 and I am often overcome with my own emotion and sense of loss, yet when I think about the spouse and family he left behind and how much more powerful those emotions and loss are to them I am reminded and thankful for the blessings I have.
In my quest to find peace, I think I’ve determined it isn’t a single state or an arrival to a certain place. Peace is something that flows in and around, over and above what life throws at us. While driving my husband’s truck today I hit a deer that ended up dying on the side of the road. I was heart broken this happened yet was relieved of not having any damage done to his vehicle. Did I have peace about this happening? No, definitely not. But I do have peace about no one being hurt, no other vehicles involved, and we were able to go on with our day. Life happens.
I’m done trying to arrive at peace. My new approach is to think of peace as something I already possess and something inside me flowing at all times. In other words, peace is like a river flowing over small pebbles and big boulders as well as finding its way through beaver dams or log jams. Peace, like flowing water in a river, may slow down to a trickle through a tough stretch but may also flow heartily during high flows and spring run-off. Peace meanders through bends and forks yet can pool into water holes inviting reflection and calm.
Am I on to something in changing our thinking? Am I on to something not working so hard at trying to arrive at peace? Its already within us? Should we change our thinking?
I hope you will provide a comment. Tell me what you thought of this topic, your thoughts about changing how we think about peace or anything else you’d like to share. I’d love to hear your thoughts and continuing this conversation as a community.