What Does it Mean to Truly Be At Peace?

“We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.”~  Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

The strangest thing happens to my practice when I’m in a peaceful place for a while.

Rather than feeling more appreciative and connected when life is quiet, I end up rather …. bored… spiritually, for lack of a better word. It’s this place of normal daily functioning and regular practice that leaves me having to be even more conscious of being grateful and of making sure I pray each day to be led on my highest path. It’s shameful to think, it’s much easier to call on the divine and feel connection during the adrenaline rush of high drama and heartbreak. “I swear I’ll be good if only, if only….” Then the time passes and life calms, and now the challenge; do I remember my promise, my practice, and the lessons learned?

What Does it Mean to Truly Be At Peace?

Really I’m finding that the space I call “boredom” is where I get my best work done.

With no drama distracting me I actually have time for quality focus on my writing. I have the energy to be a good friend, and move forward positively in my life. Most importantly I have time to practice my meditation every day. It feels so irrational to admit, but coming from a place of severe self-destruction; the idea of moving forward and actually being *gasp* healthy, is scary. I don’t know how to do it in truth. I’m just finding the best examples I can in the world around me and copying.  I do my own style of it, of course, as do we all. I’m careful to test it against my unconventional belief systems (“it is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”). I try to practice being environmentally conscious and compassionately aware. But I still feel like a baby learning to walk in so many ways.

Perhaps what I call boredom is just another name for fear, and not really boring in truth after all?

There have been many interesting studies come out about abuse. In this article, researchers note that early abuse literally rewires the brain to respond positively to pain. Literally in some cases actively seeking it out, because that is the “natural” relationship with their caregiver. This explains why abused children will still want a relationship with an abusive parent. And also why someone raised in an abusive home will always tend to find abusive or unhealthy relationships.

So, how does one break the cycle? 

Practice, practice, practice makes perfect as they say. Practicing mindfulness and awareness. Allowing yourself to see these patterns happening in your life. Think deeply about things that make you feel “comfortable”. Why? Is it because of familiar and possibly destructive patterns? Are you always making excuses and justifications?

Most importantly….

LEARN TO WALK AWAY

It doesn’t matter if you recognize the patterns, or see the game being played. If you aren’t willing to walk away from engaging in the newest drama or distraction, it will just keep happening.

Believe me, I get it. You want to be accepting, loving, understanding, a good friend, a good partner, whatever; but until you’re willing to assert some boundaries and walk away from the drama, it won’t ever change.

This is why we practice

It feels a bit backward to me that I have to meditate more to be at peace with actually being at peace, than to handle stress and drama. But that’s the point of practicing meditation- to learn to be at peace, no matter what’s going on. And as I’ve learned to be peaceful, the pull of the pain and the drama doesn’t hold as much sway. I see it happening, I feel the pull, but turning back from it and focusing on the joy and creativity I want in my life gets easier every time.

I hope it does for you as well.

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Victoria Rose

Victoria grew up in Ohio, and it was so very boring she read a library's worth of books and dedicated herself to seeing all the places she'd read about. (She's still searching for Narnia but heard The Shire is somewhere in New Zealand.) She studied English and Philosophy at Kent State before running off to join the Renaissance Festival circuit because everything's better with corsets and faeries! After spending years exploring all four corners of the US with some fabulous artist friends, hitting up Canada and Mexico, living off-grid in a tree house, learning to milk cows on an organic farm, and writing for some newspapers and magazines, she finally decided she had enough life experience to start writing stuff of her own. She also loves food, dancing all night and wearing fairy wings. You can read about her adventures at victoriarosewrites.com

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