Monday, July 25, 2005

The river of peace

Who of us is not searching for peace? On both an individual and international scale, peace is the earnest wish of millions. How do we cultivate peace, and keep it?

For me, it starts with a redefinition of what peace is. I used to think of peace as the absence of conflict. I also thought of health as the absence of sickness, and love as the absence of indifference. But to define things by their negatives is never to discover what they really are.

There came a time then when I had to figure it out. Life had become frantic, filled with activity. Between a fulltime job, raising two kids, maintaining a home, volunteer activities and a boyfriend, every moment was assigned. A constant state of near-exhaustion alternately made me either cranky or weepy. Not surprisingly, the romantic relationship gave out. Now I had extra time on my hands, and an unexpected emptiness. Recognizing my own exhaustion, I thought I should use the time to re-enervate. But how?

Peace. The word would come to me, and I’d grasp at it, yet at first it was insubstantial, elusive. It had no substance because it was still based on its negative, the absence of conflict. And indeed my life had little conflict, it was just stretched and stressful. What was peace really?

For several months I used the time to grapple with concepts I hadn’t explored before. What am I made of? What makes me worth anything? Who loves me? As I worked out my own answers aided by the study of Christian Science, I built a more spiritual foundation for life, brick by mental brick. I redefined myself as the daughter of the King, divine Love. Spiritual growth through new ideas became a daily occurrence. And one day I realized I had found peace.

The spiritual connection I’d cultivated over those months included moments of serene confidence when Love’s presence became my only reality. As I became more practiced, I found I could turn to this presence whenever I needed reassurance or solace. It was a holy space, filled with light, steady, calm. It was always there for me, ready, substantial. The more I turned to it, the more real it became, until the vicissitudes of life no longer troubled me. My confidence that Spirit would guide me grew until I no longer doubted.

There it was. Peace.

Now I think of peace as like flowing down a river. The river is beautiful, calm in spots and exciting in others, but my confidence that the river is taking me where I need to go is never shaken. When I do not dam the river with fears or fight its flow with willfulness, I am one with it and it takes care of me. I am buoyed by its gentle waves and enjoying the ride.

This is the peace I pray will touch those in conflict today, or anyone feeling harried or anxious.

Spiritual living and blessedness are the only evidences, by which we can recognize true existence and feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love.



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2 Comments:

At 7/25/2005 07:16:00 PM, Blogger eileen said...

Hello Laura
Just read your peace on peace. I loved it and am deep in thought over it. Just wanted to share something, today while outside at work in 100 degree weather, I felt as if I was not going to make it through the day. I kept thinking just one more hour then I am going to leave early. But I was reminded of my favorite quote or one of them it is by Henery Ford "whether you think you can do something or not, your right" needless to say I made it through the whole eight hours and was so grateful to God for this angel message. Eileen

 
At 7/25/2005 07:25:00 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Hi, Eileen! so great to see you in here. and thanks for your story, you always do come out on top!

Much love,
Laura

 

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