November with Gratitude: Peace

On a day when I’m asked to be grateful for peace I find myself getting wound up about the things that disrupt peace.  Peace of mind, peace and quite war and peace, too many contexts and so complex, where to begin.  It disturbs me that there are so few instances of peace being achieved in war torn parts of the globe.  In fact I refuse to watch the news as it reminds me of so many ways we behave inhumanely towards each other.  It’s distressing … and disturbing.

Breath.  Calm.  Be still. Think calming helpful thoughts.  Visualise yourself beside a slow flowing river.  That’s right, let your mind empty itself of thoughts that cause angst.  Notice them and let them go.  Those that return place on a leaf and set them in the stream to be carried away by the river.  Bid them farewell.

It would be wonderful if it were that easy.  We could eliminate the hatred, grief and putrid things we do to each other in the name of peace and God.  Pop them on a carpet of leaves and watch them free-flow into oblivion.  I feel a Nobel Peace Prize coming on.

Whatever, that isn’t going to happen any time soon but in the meantime here are my thoughts.

THE PEACE PROBLEM IS TOO BIG … yes, it is loud, and it is a shout but I am feeling it and I am only me; just one.  It is no surprise then that I take the view that I do what I can, with what I have, wherever I may be.  To live with any sense of accomplishment, peace has many faces.

It is the mother who’s child has been restored to her care; it is the child who welcomes a parent home from drug rehabilitation or the family who will celebrate Christmas this year.  If we define peace as the absence of war and disturbances then these families have it in some measure.  For now they are not caught in a child custody conflict, there is a reprieve from the struggle of substance dependence (addition) and the battle to make ends meet at the poverty line has abated.  In their world, there is peace and I am grateful they have an experience from which they can draw.

In the small arena of my work, peace is not a worldwide phenomenon.  It is personal and tangible and achievable and it is real.  When the misery and brokeness of poverty,  domestic violence, ripped relationships and mental ill health have been overcome – a measure of peace nestles around these folk.  There is a reprieve from the hard knocks and ordinary people can pause, in peace and rest a while.

Today I am grateful for … Peace.

Peace and Mother Teresa

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