Tag: inner peace

Accepting the Unresolved In Your Life

Accepting the Unresolved In Your Life

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves… Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letters to a Young Poet  

 

Holly Sierra
HollySierraArt
in Stowe, Vermont

Kim Gorman, fellow blogger at Midlife Awakenings, reminded me of this quote in her blog post. It is a very timely quote. Thank you, Kim.

Much of my life I have not been a patient person . . . with myself that is. With others, I have endless patience. Raised with a typical Western mindset, I believed that if I was suffering, then I was doing something wrong. The fix then is figure out what I am doing wrong and change it! Easy peasy.

After five decades of employing this method with only a modicum of results, I encountered a challenge that was too big for such a fruitless approach. Allowing time to assist me in healing my wounds was not something I understood until I had no other choice.

The longer I lived and the more unanswered questions piled up the weightier my world became. Rilke’s wise words hold a valuable reminder for those of us still learning to let go of the need to know why things happen as they do. We will drive ourselves crazy trying to find all of the answers.

Instead, love the questions. Embrace the uncertainty. Go with the flow of life. Allow life to unfold in a natural progression. This is not indifference, or laissez-faire. In fact it’s the opposite. It’s an active questioning and allowing each question to unfold one after the other. The answers we need to know will unfold naturally in this way.

The difficulty in making this a part of our life, is not in the difficulty of the process itself, but in the strength of our resistance to it. Once, however, we are get a taste of the freedom and energy this change in our mindset creates, it becomes easier to do. In fact, it is the most natural thing in the world and the way we were created.

Asking questions is second nature to me. As I let go of the need to pass the test, or have the answer to every question, a quiet joy arises and the world opens up exactly as it should.

The Masks We Wear

Beneath the Mask of Depression

 

 

 

Meditations on Peace – Wednesday Wisdom

Meditations on Peace – Wednesday Wisdom

In these trouble times, when hope is hard to find, I like to go to meditations on peace and the inspiration of writers such as those I’ve included here. These are but a drop in the vast ocean of hope filled authors that have guided humanity, and continue to guide humanity through turbulent times. Let us all take time each day to reflect on all that is good and right and true in this world. I will always believe that if enough of us join forces for good, for truth, for love and honor … it will make a difference. I believe …

meditations on peace

The Oppressor and the Oppressed Must Both be Liberated..”  ~Nelson Mandela

“I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. Even in the grimmest times in prison, when my comrades and I were pushed to our limits, I would see a glimmer of humanity in one of the guards, perhaps just for a second, but it was enough to reassure me and keep me going. Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.

It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.

When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that is not the case… We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.”

From Nelson Mandela’s autobiography: Long Walk to Freedom.

When we take the time to think about, contemplate and meditate on peace, or love, or hope we not only take a step toward the restoration of all that is good in our own lives, but our choice to do so spills over into the world. Take time. Even just a moment now and again. Return to hope. 

FOR LOVE IN THE TIME OF CONFLICT

When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other,
May the depths you have reached hold you still.

When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt,
When even the silence has become raw and torn,
May you hear again an echo of your first music.

When the weave of affection starts to unravel
And anger begins to sear the group between you,
Before this weather of grief invites
The black seed of bitterness to find root.,
May your souls come to kiss.

Now is the time for one of you to be gracious,
To allow a kindness beyond thought and hurt,
Reach out with sure hands
To take the chalice of your love,
And carry it carefully through this echo-less waste
Until this winter pilgrimage leads you
Towards the gateway to spring.

John O’Donohue

(From Benedictus A Book of Blessings, John O’Donohue)


Meditations on Peace

More Meditations on Peace

On Loneliness

On Loneliness

 

It is … only in the state of complete abandonment and loneliness that we experience the helpful powers of our own natures. ”   Carl Jung;  Modern Man in Search of a Soul

 

Much of my life I spent locked in the cage of a deep and pervasive loneliness. It did not matter that I had friends, family or people around me. I struggled with this abiding isolation, helpless to make it go away. I berated myself for not “doing” the right thing, or “attracting” the right people into my life. Why when I married my best friend and was surrounded by children and friends that loved me was I still assailed by loneliness?

Figure at the Window by Salvador Dalí
Figure at the Window by Salvador Dalí

As I grew older, my parents died, my children left home, my husband and i were living with the consequences of a life time of destructive patterns of interaction, was I found myself in a “dark night of the soul”, as described by St. John of the Cross in his poem and treatise by that name – Dark Night of the Soul (Dover Thrift Editions). I saw nothing but endless isolation ahead, and death. I knew that I had to face my fear of being alone once and for all. I knew that I had to face it alone. That was all I knew, and it was terrifying. I believed there had to be a different answer to the problem than I had heretofore found and I became determined to find it.

Coming through a dark night is never easy, but it is always life and spirit altering. In my dark night I discovered a connection to myself and to my soul that now sustains me in a way nothing else was ever meant to do. I understand that now. One cannot escape loneliness through action or connection to others. One must heal the emptiness inside that separates us from ourselves. Only then can we gain true intimacy with others. It sounds simple, It is not.

Carl Jung discovered this as well. He discovered and articulated our need to discover the “powers of our own natures” and to live from within our own creative powers, using our own rich and magnificent resources. We have far more inside of ourselves and at our disposal than most of us ever imagine; more than most of us can even conceive, particularly when we are locked in the fear, dread and scarcity mentality of our culture. To discover our inner strength, the bubbling fountain of life energy that is ever-present to us, it is necessary to disconnect from anything that pulls us away from it and from that which draws our attention to false solutions and weak excuses. Only then, will we discover the richest part of this life we are now living.

Have you experience a “dark night of the soul”? Have you experienced deep and abiding loneliness? What did you discover there?

Unraveling Ourselves

Backwards Thinking

 

“Symptoms of Inner Peace”

“Symptoms of Inner Peace”

photo by D Sander

Sometimes, particularly when life seems full of challenges, we become so focused on what we’ve yet to achieve both in our personal growth and  in our life accomplishments, that we forget to acknowledge or even take the time to consider what already has come to pass by effort or circumstance.

Last week I wrote about the importance of finding a few moments each day for Quiet. I have capitalized the word “Quiet” here because the kind of quiet I’m talking about, and that we are looking for, is more than just the lack of external sound, though that is important, it is a deeper quiet; the kind of quiet that we find when we learn to turn down the volume on our inner noise, on the loud cacophony of self-doubt, recriminations, banter and barter that too often produces a non-stop assault upon our sense of peace and security. What we are really searching for is inner peace.

But would we know what inner peace looks like if we encountered it? Might it already exist but we simply don’t recognize it? The next time you take a few moments to dwell in a “Quiet” place consider the following items. Do you already possess a bit of inner peace?

THE SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE

  • Tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.
  • An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.Loss of interest in judging self.
  • Loss of interest in judging other people.
  • Loss of interest in conflict.Loss of interest in interpreting actions of others.
  • Loss of ability to worry.
  • Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  • Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
  • Frequent attacks of smiling through the eyes of the heart.
  • Increasing susceptibility to love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
  • Increasing tendency to let things happen rather than to make them happen.

Saskia Davis copyright 1984

For more information on the author and the complete copy of “The Symptoms of Inner Peace” visit Symptoms of Inner Peace.com (A poster can be purchased on the website as well).