Every Day is Saturday

Finding Joy in the Here and Now

Making Peace

on September 23, 2014

Doc Banksy

My life has been crazy for the last few months – stolen car, travel for work, uncertainty about my future, constant anxiety over the sorry state of my finances – and I keep trying to be at peace about it all. I still seem to think I can will my mind into a peaceful state, which is, by definition, impossible to do. Shouting “Be at peace!” doesn’t do anything but make me even more aware of how much turmoil I feel. And the more rattled I am the harder it is to accomplish anything, which leaves me feeling even more anxious and upset. It’s a vicious cycle.

And then the other day I woke up in a state of peace. Nothing about my situation had changed since I went to bed the night before, I just suddenly felt ok about it. I wondered what could have happened to change my attitude so completely from one day to the next. After thinking about what had happened the day before, the only possible source of this new-found peace I could identify was that I had spent most of the day writing a story. That was it – I wrote a story. It’s a simple little story that I rushed through; when I re-read it yesterday I saw its many flaws. But as I was writing it the day just slid by.  Time seems to speed up when I’m engrossed in putting words on (digital) paper, and when I looked up, the afternoon had passed. I had to rush around to get supper ready before going out that evening, but I had such a sense of accomplishment. When I went to bed that night I fell asleep quickly (which almost never happens), and I woke up feeling like everything was going to be all right.

Of course, that little story I wrote probably won’t change my life in any tangible way – it isn’t going to make me famous or earn me lots of money (not in its current form, anyway). I had to conclude, then, that it was simply the act of writing that put me in that peaceful frame of mind.

Why would that be? I’m not sure, but I have a far-out theory, which is this: I believe that I get peaceful when I’m doing what I should be doing in my life.

It’s always been this way, and I’ve talked about it before now, but, you know, I can be a slow learner.

From the time I became self-aware enough to think these kinds of thoughts, I have paid attention to how I feel about the life decisions I make. Do I feel peaceful about what I’ve decided to do? If I don’t, the venture in question usually either doesn’t go anywhere or ends in tears. Often, too often, I ignore the voice in my heart that tells me that what I’ve just decided to do isn’t the right thing. It may not be wrong or bad, per se, but it’s not going to get me where I should be going. Where I want to go. Where the universe wants me to go.

So if this deep peacefulness I am still feeling is an indication of the “rightness” of writing, then I have to accept that writing is what I should do. Not only that, it’s what I need to do. Whether I’m any good or ever make any money at it is entirely beside the point. That’s where my peace is. I can’t “make” the peace; I can only discover it and join with it. It’s always there, waiting for me to get out of my own way.

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photo credit: Jeremy Brooks via photopin cc

 

 

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