Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Peace

I never thought of peace as something I could have let alone want. It always felt to be a mere threat of a thing that could happen rather than something I would want or seek out. Peace was something that the world should want, but the powers that be never do anything to actually make it happen. It seemed to me a bit of a foreign, and even a changeable, concept.
I can’t say that I have known much peace in my life. Again, it never felt like something real or possible or even desirable. I mean, it’s difficult to want something if you’ve never known or seen it before. As much as I have enjoyed living alone for several years now, peace never entered the equation. Roommates and landlords and odd neighborly situations abound, but peace? Nah.
Peace, at least in my mind, is so often associated with religion and spirituality, something you must work toward and suffer for. Peace is something rich ladies paid a lot of money for fancy retreats in remote locales in order to achieve. It always felt like there was a catch, basically. “Poor kids don’t know peace! Weird kids don’t know peace! This is all just more fluff and woo and attached to a giant price tag! No thank you!” my inner self decided long ago, even insisted on.
The universe, or what I believe to be a force of nature that others may see as “god” in their own forms, has ways of showing us our own bullshit. We have to be paying attention, however, and I’m doubtful that many of us are. It is hard to hear the “good voices” over the bad, internally that is. Especially when you’re stuck in survival mode for so long, it’s definitely hard to hear anything else but your own struggles and needs to get by.
I never knew peace was something you simply needed to create space for. I don’t mean build an altar or buy a book or anything like that. I truly mean just creating space, in your life, for peace to exist. You don’t need to buy or to have anything at all. I suppose time is the real puzzle piece here. Time to get to just yourself and what matters to you most, deep in your core being. Time can be a luxury, I do realize this. I don’t think you need much time though to plant the seeds for peace.
I did not realize just how much of other people’s noise and life messes affected me on a daily basis. It’s like this terrible howling sound in my office no one can figure out, it is awful, but I try to ignore it until I don’t even think about it anymore. It is obviously there and anyone can hear it, but after awhile your brain just sort of gets used to it. This was how I was handling my burnout, too. I knew I was beyond burnout and heading towards real exhaustion, but I just kept going, not really knowing what else to do. Then I went on my first solo vacation and it was life changing!
Suddenly I was just me. I could think and breathe and just be and do whatever even if that meant nothing at all. I live alone but I carry so much with me in my daily life, we all do, and I couldn’t even tell! The feeling that first day on the Big Island was like nothing else I’d ever experienced. Just a freeness and openness and a sense of ownership over myself in a whole new way. The first morning I woke up so refreshed I was almost scared. I’d never awaken from sleep fully rested like that before. I also spent 20 years of my life with a bed mate (not counting puggo).
That first day I went downtown to get coffee I just felt so fresh and free and just…like the intro credits to The Mary Tyler Moore show! Ha-ha! I don’t know how else to describe it! Ha-ha! Energized?! It felt as though I was glowing and I almost think that I was with the way folks in town interacted with me. I was also wearing a vibrant red dress with huge flowers on it, but it was Hawaii so that isn’t unusual at all. Ha! It was the first time I could honestly say that I was care free! Not something I could ever say about myself previously.
That evening after hiking at the volcanoes and venturing to a local hot spot I came back to my air bnb cottage and just sat down and fucking smiled! I was exhilarated by my own existence in that very moment. I couldn’t even eat the food I’d bought, I was just completely at peace with myself and the world. I was tired as fuck, but I had found something I could hold onto in that moment and carry with me even to today!
No, the secret to finding peace isn’t visiting Hawaii, though I encourage you to if that is your thing. It is about finding a way, your own way, to getting rid of all that bullshit that lives in our heads and on our shoulders so we can actually see and feel and know what we want and need versus just doing what we have always done or to go with the flow…whose flow?! Find or make your own, I say!
This morning I woke up ten minutes before my alarm. Normally I would adjust the alarm to allow for an extra 5 or so minutes. Not today. Today I simply turned off the alarm before it went off and I laid in my bed in absolute mindful peace. Like no thoughts in my head at all! That almost never happens. I’ve tried tons of tips and tricks on meditation and breathing and all the things. This was different because it was mine. This was for me by me. I had not yet begun to think about the day or week ahead, even my lil’ puggo had not yet roused from his slumber. It was just me, warm and comfortable in my own bed. I relished in it!
I see myself and my life differently now, ever since that trip. Because now I know what peace feels like and it feels hella good! And you know how it goes, you like how something feels and you just want more of that goodness, right?!  For someone with C-PTSD, along with garden variety anxiety/depression/insomnia, to find peace even for a moment has gotta be some kind of amazing feat! Can I give myself a medal? I just want a medal for some reason. Ha-ha!
I never thought it possible, but I do feel like peace is part of my life now. I am much more mindful of how much is pressing on my mind and how much I am carrying with me that isn’t really mine to carry. I’m far more protective of who I allow into my space, physically and energetically. People often don’t know that they are giving off some fucked up energy but now I swear I can feel it before I even know where it’s coming from. Ugh! I also look forward to time and space with loved ones more than I have in a long time. I want to focus more on all of the people and things and experiences that bring more peace and general good feels in my life. It doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s, but it can be all mine.
Had you told me this a year ago I might’ve laughed. Had you told me I would have traveled, for leisure, on my own, I would have been surprised. Now my weekends are for restoration of self. All that I give away in my professional life, all that I do or take on personally, I choose to let go of and take measure of all what needs to be replenished. That is my Friday nights now. I make no plans with anyone on Friday nights because they are bookmarked for me. I know that if I don’t create this space, and consciously let go of the week’s baggage, I will feel worse for it and it will take a toll on me. I feel it physically when I haven’t had enough time like that to myself to decompress, debrief, destress, and just shake off alllllll that shit. Now if I could just figure out a way to establish a stretching routine into my day…ha-ha!
How do you find peace in your life? How to you create space for it? What have you tried that has helped you let go of all of the things buzzing around in your mind? This is still a work in progress, one that I hope won’t end for some time. While I am not religious, I do see connections to things and humans and how what I see as nature/universe/elements is a lot like what others see as “god”. I find comfort and peace in these just as much as others may in studying or congregating in their faith. I have been paying closer attention to the moon and give thanks to her, no matter how much she is shining for us each night. I feel more grounded now and while I am working through some other personal/internal things, I am quite proud of how far I’ve come in a short amount of time.
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I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

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