It is so strange that we can hear the same truth repeated over and over in our lives and never really understand the meaning or importance of the message.
I was raised in a relatively loving home. The Catholic Church and her teaching were a foundation of our lives. I have read countless books on self improvement. Through all of my life, the concept of forgiveness and unconditional love has been brought forth time and time again. I thought I ‘got it’.
I have tried to be a good, caring person. I have tried to not be angry or hateful towards others. I have tried to not be vengeful or judgemental. I honestly thought I had a fairly good grasp on living a ‘good’ life.
Early this spring, I developed health issues that seriously impaired my life. I was driven to retire from my job (a few months earlier than planned) and to start living a healthier life. As part of my healing, I began walking – a lot! – on a regular basis. My walks gave me time to think and many of my thoughts focussed on peace. (Which coincidentally was the subject I had chosen to focus on in 2020).
Walking in itself did wonders for easing my stress level. Spending time in nature on a regular basis was relaxing and beneficial. I walked for my peace. I walked for my family’s peace. I walked for peace for friends and neighbours and strangers. While my health was my initial reason for walking, peace was the driving force that kept me going.
These past few days, while I still walked every day and enjoyed my time in nature, I have started to struggle to stay focussed on peace. There have been a number of things happening that I have been dealing with – ongoing issues with my daughter, my son’s upcoming wedding (which will involve spending a couple of days socializing with my ex-husband and his family), politics – specifically a provincial election which will once again result in a landslide win for a party led by people who have caused serious grief and pain to many – including my family, and with colder weather moving in, a return to having my husband watching his television programs in the livingroom. (I love my husband and I certainly want him to be comfortable on his days off, but personally I am uncomfortable with television programs the likes of Jerry Springer in our house).
All of these situations have cost me a lot of peace. I ‘block’ one disturbing thing out of my consciousness and three more things gnaw at me. It has become increasingly frustrating.
FINALLY I get it!
Peace is one of those things that you cannot just have and hoard. You cannot have peace and choose to share it with some, while withholding it from others. You do not get to decide who is worthy of peace.
For the last couple of days, I have been walking for peace – for myself, for my family, for friends and neighbours and strangers – but including and specifically for those who I had been previously trying to block from my peaceful consciousness.
I feel so much better. The more I walk for peace for myself and others, including walking for those who challenge my peace, the more peaceful I become. Seriously – how simple is that? 🤷