We are living in very tumultuous times. How can we find serenity and peace when everyone seems to be on edge? Is it even possible to have a modicum of serenity and peace? Look at the negativity of the headlines. See how Twitter is spewing harsh rhetoric on both sides. It’s no wonder we can’t find a serene and peaceful spot for our souls.
I have often wondered about this whole pandemic experience. Society has slowed down. We have an opportunity to see how far we have not come. There is so much work to do to fix the inequity in our society. That thought is overwhelming to consider.
For me, serenity is the feeling I have when I am fully present in the moment. Sometimes that is so difficult. Like when my children are talking to me about some video they’ve watched, I have to hide that my eyes are glazing over. Although I feign interest, sometimes I don’t hear them because my mind is not at peace. Instead of focusing on my children, I am fighting a mind that is constantly thinking. For when I am not thinking or doing something, it makes me feel uneasy. This is not a recipe for serenity!
My friend Dena quoted something the other day which stopped me in my tracks. Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher and writer, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laozisaid, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” I really needed to hear that! I forget to trust that everything I need to accomplish or do will get done. The energy I need to do whatever is in front of me will be there if it’s the right action to take.
When I am unable to do something, it may be because:
Nature understands that there is a set time for everything to happen. So why can’t I? Do I believe that I am different from the leaves, which know exactly when to change colors in the Fall? Am I different from bark which intuitively knows how to heals the tree after it has gotten damaged? No, I am no different. I have a spiritual clock inside me which will go off when it is time for me to take action.
Years ago, my spiritual advisor suggested that I volunteer at an office. Full disclosure: I used to be a lousy volunteer. I hated giving away my time when I believe there’s nothing in it for me. So when she asked me to show up to do some tasks that would help a large group of people I did so, but very reluctantly. To make matters worse, I totaled my car on the way home. (Another full disclosure: The car was old and worth little. The resulting damage was only a bashed-in headlight but the insurance company deemed it totaled!) The real damage inflicted was to my psyche. I decided that it was the universe telling me I should not volunteer because bad things happen! Okay, I’ll put you out of your misery because I know you want to hear what happened next. My spiritual advisor suggested that I STOP volunteering. My intention was not in the right place, therefore I wasn’t getting any positive karma by forcing myself to do something I didn’t want to do. Six months later I decided I wanted to volunteer! I wanted to be of service with a full heart. It was time and I was ready. I was at peace with the decision – neither fighting nor forcing myself to be more or do more than I could do at that time.
I must trust the spiritual notion that:
- I will be exactly in the right place at the right time.
- I’ll have everything I need to do whatever is in front of me.
- If I can’t accomplish the task, it wasn’t mine to finish.
Of course, I still have to try but don’t have to fight to make something happen.
That is how I find serenity and peace. I do not find it in sitting still. (Although I will be covering this concept of sitting still and meditation next week, so stay tuned!) I find serenity in doing what I can, where I can, when I can. Sometimes I even get to relax and enjoy myself along the way.
If I could wish anything for you – it is to trust that you will be led to take the next right action in its proper time. May you too be blessed with serenity and peace as you make your way through these challenging times.