Peace… tranquility… serenity… those soft, seemingly endless moments when we can hear the unique sound that we are in the Universe. If all that is expresses through rhythm and tone, in those quiet and introspective moments, we can hear the note that we are in the vast harmonies of our existence.
Yet, all is not always quiet. The peace and serenity that we long for is far too often pierced by what we have come to know as the ‘necessities’ of living. Relentless in its pursuit of our edification, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, email, etc. flash their bright shiny colors in our direction, fully expecting us to turn our heads and stare into the blinding lights. And when we do (having been trained and tempted for decades to do so), we find ourselves paralyzed in the intensity and detail of its message. Once again, head-lighted deer on the knowledge freeway of life!
Gone is the serenity of the fleeting moments between broadcasts and headlines. Big print and surround-sound scream at us about yet one more disaster on some part of the planet that we’ve never seen and likely never will. And yet, even though so far away, we are touched…and we know that we are profoundly shaped even if we don’t yet know in what way.
In those moments, we turn to what we hold will keep us safe… will guide us… will let us know that we are not alone. For some of us, we walk or drive to our nearest church. For others, we head for the vast and boundless cathedral of tall pines in an open valley. And for others, we light candles and sit quietly, allowing the rhythmic sounds of our own breathing to rock us gently back to feeling safe, feeling loved and feeling connected. The sun will rise again tomorrow… and the next day… and the next…
Yet, whatever destination we might be drawn to, the pathway is always one that will seek and call to the small voice inside ourselves. As we head for our chosen place, so many conversations unfold inside us – moving us forward and pulling us back. Daring us to call up the Fire from within and unleash it on the world that surrounds us. Or, perhaps in a more gentle way, inviting us to learn, to grow, to uncover and to discover how we are – already! – that very thing that we seek. We need only trust and allow it to move and make itself known to us.
Perhaps the greatest challenge to our own peace of mind – to our ability to find the tranquility and serenity we seek – is our willingness and ability to stay in the tough conversations, with ourselves and with others. The ones that unfold between us and the people who surround us – the ones we live with, work with and share our bed with; the ones who are living and the ones who are long gone, yet linger to chastise us yet one more time – and perhaps even more importantly, the ones that we have with ourselves, inside ourselves where no one else can know.
Our willingness and ability to stay in the tough conversations and not try to shut them out or drown them out or ignore them, with all the tried-and-true methods of drugs, alcohol, food, sex, relationships, tv, gambling, etc. will determine what we become. The mystics of the ages have always been the ones who, among others things, have been able to find peace inside themselves when all around them was in chaos. They found a way to engage the threads of thought that moved through them and rather than find themselves bound and gagged, were able to become The Weaver. Calling up every thread, they claimed them all and were able to weave through controversy, dissention, fear, rage, grief and sorrow to a new way of moving through their world. As frightening as it might appear in the moment, moving into the conversations will move us through them. Seeking to find ways around them will only cause us to lose ourselves.
As we claim each one and still the voices inside us, the one, strong voice that is the sound of us in the Universe allows us to reclaim the space that allows peace and serenity to find us.