It’s so easy to look into the future and get scared. What if my car breaks down? What if I get sick? What if I don’t have enough money to pay my bills? What if my loneliness continues?
As I’ve started to pay closer attention to the patterns of my thoughts, it’s very difficult for me to stay in the present. It’s hard for me to see the abundance around me: the bird still singing in the winter cold, boiling water for tea, cozy blankets, stillness of the evergreens, books that nourish my soul, deep breaths that allow my attention to turn to the now.
I’m also learning that peace cannot exist alongside worry, anxiety, self-pity, boredom. Peace exists in acceptance. Accepting one’s circumstances, personality, discontents, fears, dreams, laments and slowly releasing them to the One who holds us dear. This is not mindless self-emptying. This looks more like a daily slow struggle. This looks like learning thankfulness anew in the midst of accepting hard challenges.
This particular thankfulness is new to me. I’m starting to see my gifts blossoming, gifts that have only come from deep struggle. My sickness has led to deep and precious solitude that I no longer detest. I know how to nurture and show hospitality to myself on a daily basis. I’ve named my limitations and no longer have to apologize for them. I love baking autoimmune paleo! I’m learning to honor my highly sensitive personality and honor my need for downtime, reading and writing. I see joyful growth in participating in my spiritual direction cohort. I’m accepting that my life will be largely hidden–and this is where the Father whispers and we know Him most intimately.
What threatens my peace?
There are many reasons my peace is threatened. I reflected on these reasons as I read Searching For and Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Phillipe. Yet I believe there’s a simple answer.
When I can no longer hear the still, small voice of God.
If His voice is what I most desire, then I will savor the small hidden moments. Moments with chamomille tea and a good book.