What is Peace and how often can we find it? Can we exist inside of it in perpetuity regardless of circumstance? I quickly googled the term and peace is listed as “freedom from disturbance; tranquility.” If it hadn’t been 3 AM whilst Kevin slept soundly, I might’ve laughed out loud as I thought about my entire day. “I’m screwed, then” went through my head.
I’ve found the state of being at peace elusive, and sometimes it seems to be for someone else other than me entirely. In my head, it’s someone who sips kombucha all day, maybe only shaves once a year, a person without responsibility, who does what they love and somehow survives happily with a no-stress type job. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be at peace more than you are at “disturbance.”
Monday, I was feeling very uneasy, bad energy all around, my stomach so tight I felt I might burst at some point, my kids were hyper and bored- a terrible combo, unrest across the world, my day job redundant with the same requests and demands-unfulfilling at best, a pandemic that was going to destroy us all yet somehow has evaporated amongst protests and riots, an upcoming election with no good candidate in sight, and it felt like Groundhog Day on meth. I’m sure it felt like that for most people. I wanted to scream and shake someone but that’s not good for me, the baby, or “someone.”
Interestingly enough, I recently found myself in a state of peace in the middle of the night for no apparent reason-queue the immediate writing of this post. I wasn’t “trying” to be peaceful, nor meditating, nor praying. I just woke up because I was hot (hello 35 weeks pregnant). We’d put a full price offer on a house that is top of the budget, but also just what we need. Usually, I’d be panicking a bit. Also, the same house had 7 other lookers the same day which is also generally cause for concern, but I wasn’t concerned. I just thought, “well whatever will be will be.” We’ve been searching for a new home for over a year, and so maybe I’m just over it. Maybe peace comes when you’ve had so many letdowns, you just say “well let’s just see what happens” and you don’t really expect anything.
And then that’s when a thought hit me, is peace tied to caring too much? Y’all, I care A LOT, about everything. There have been many things I’ve learned to let go over the years, but I am still very much a set a goal and smash it type person. However, there’s not many of my goals I feel I’m smashing lately, and by lately I mean in the past 2 years. Our society is obsessed with goal setting, and in many ways, rightfully so. Without goals, how do we know we’re moving closer to where we need to be? Isn’t the point to set a goal, smash it, and progress to the next thing?
Then I wondered, if maybe we have it wrong. Should we have goals that the closer we get to them, the more peace we have? Are we even able to set goals & have peace, or is a goal only meant to disturb the peace so we can get to the next level of peace? Damn, so many questions and I don’t have the answer.
Then, I got to thinking about my top peaceful moments and how I had no hand whatsoever in creating them. There was the one time I remember waking up on Christmas Eve, middle of the night, the temperature in my bed was perfect, my family had a good night laughing, drinking, being together. I experienced this internal warmth that radiated outwards and I fell back asleep so incandescently happy I couldn’t explain it.
Another time, Kevin and I were sitting in a jacuzzi , wine in hand under the pine trees on Bowen Island , and we saw shooting stars fall across the sky into the ocean. Though I felt small, it was not in a diminishing way, but just in a it’s amazing-how-everything-is-connected kind of way.
Yet another time, I was working in my garden. My plants were growing beautifully, bees and butterflies were my only company, and the sun felt nice on my skin whilst birds sang to me. It was a simple moment, but it was profound.
And, then I’m snapped back to reality. The world is erupting in anger and violence but also in love and progress. And maybe this tension is where peace lives-the in between of the past and the future. The realization that it will all be okay, that somehow it will all work out in the end. How? I don’t know the specifics (which drives the planner in me insane) but also adds to the spice of life.
We can plan but we can’t control; we can envision, but we must allow for variance in the realization of the dream we hope for. We must work to create peace in our own lives and in the lives of others, but to not be surprised if it sneaks silently in when we least expect it.
For now, I will revel in the moments as they come-whether they be peace or chaos. But I will continue to seek peace, and if I find the secret, I will share it with you.