Peace Within the Storm
Welcome to summer in the American South. It’s hot. It’s humid. We all want to be someplace other than where we’re sweltering.
It doesn’t even seem like rain helps in this part of the country. Almost as soon as it comes, it passes and the world heats up again.
This is what it’s like for a Yankee enduring yet another summer in the South.
As much as the weather grinds on our nerves and makes even the most level-headed a titch testy, some people are able to find peace and serenity. Sometimes around other people, sometimes alone or with a few emotional intimates.
I cannot claim to be someone who does well in crowds. It has always been my preference to be alone. For many years I lived in cities where I strode shoulder to shoulder down streets with masses of people. We rode the subways and the buses together. We crowded into the same stores and restaurants. My peace arrived later in the evening. Peace began to return after I had returned to my home, put my feet up and opened a book.
On intermittent occasions, I could be in the middle of the maelstrom and still be at peace. There are times when I am in a crowd and the people disappear. They are simply gone. Anything physical or material disappears as if into a cloud or fog.
I no longer see people. The sounds and smells of being in a crowd vanish from my reality.
In the midst of the mass of humanity, I am quite calm and serene. I see angels. Rarely do we communicate. Always I feel the Presence of the divine.
There, in the middle of the storm, I feel peace. There is serenity.
It’s not something that I can command. I don’t tell my guardian angel or God that I must have peace. That would be silly. Life does not happen that way.
Serenity is a gift. It’s a gift that for most of us mere mortals require years of practice to achieve for even a moment. It’s a gift we can help bestow on ourselves.
All we have to do is stop.
Stop feeling as if we must be the center of the universe.
Stop running away from ourselves on the treadmill, down city streets, along paths.
Unplug the earphones. Listen to what is taking place in the world.
It doesn’t come from mistakenly pretending to ourselves that we can multi-task. All that proves is that we can do one or more things in a mediocre manner. Or do all of them badly.
Have you ever stopped yourself? And the world around you?
Have you ever sat still and observed yourself? It’s a challenge to turn off the television, internet and all our toys. It’s no mean feat to be in our own company without complaining how bad the company is. So boring. Such a bad conversationalist. Not up to speed.
Try making that speed zero.
Whether your eyes are opened or closed, you can sit long enough to observe yourself. It’s not something we always want to do. For much of the world it’s learned. We unlearned how to examine our lives and ourselves as children. Relearning how to examine our lives is all too often threatening.
Scary things can pop up. Like discovering that the me I thought I loved turned out to be the person I like the least. Having forgotten how to either love or like ourselves, we further find out that we must go back to the very beginning.
In relearning who we are, in relearning how to love and like ourselves, we get to discover that we are pretty good human beings after all. When we put in the work on ourselves.
It never ceases to amaze me that as often as I have observed others in this process, most women and men are completely unaware of the silent help they receive.
Like every other moment of existence, our guardian angels are present for us. They are whispering in our ears. When no one else is around to encourage us, our angels are talking to us. They wrap themselves around us.
They help us grow into humans who can experience even momentary peace and serenity.