These days, there seems to be a daily reminder that peace is elusive: news of the pandemic’s “numbers” rising quickly; its variant strains complicating matters; vaccine appointments slowing down in some areas; political goings-on; on top of difficult economic times; how/when/where to grieve the loss of a loved one; increasing sense of abuse happening in relationships; teachers, ferry workers, bus/transport drivers who see their jobs as ‘essential,’ but the government doesn’t see it that way, so they’re not on any vaccine list.
Peace is not just elusive for some. Peace is elusive for a growing number of people around the world and as a result, stress and mental health issues are on the rise.
While we sometimes experience ‘stress’ as “eustress” (from the Greek “eu” meaning “good”), according to the endocrinologist Hans Selye, eustress is the kind of stress that is healthy and gives a good, positive feeling.
However, more often than not, the stress that is experienced is “distress” (from the Latin prefix “dis” meaning “having a negative force”). Distress describes unpleasant/negative feelings or emotions that impact the level of functioning. Sometimes the stress is related to work. Sometimes the stress is related to relationships.
Sometimes the stress is related to health or finances or lack thereof. Sometimes the stress is related to busyness or needing to be perfect or organized or … Sometimes the stress is related to grief. Sometimes the stress is related to fear … fear of the known … fear of the unknown. Sometimes the distress is a combination of several of the above.
S e r e n i t y.
We want it.
We want to exhale fear and inhale peace.
P e a c e.
We need it
But fear, busyness, worries, grief, physical pain, guilt, sleepless nights, and those everpresent “what-if’s” creep into our minds. And then there are the actions of bullies (at work, school, cyberspace), politicians, media, conspiracy theorists who further propel thoughts away from experiencing any sense of peace.
And yet …
and yet … serenity and peace are available.
We only need to be aware of them
in the gift of our breath
in the gift of words, spoken in the silence of hearts to one another,
and to ourselves.
Like these words,
this Celtic spirituality-based prayer
this whispered hope …
bring some semblance of peace this night.
Keep protection near
And danger afar.
Keep hope within.
Keep doubt without.
Keep light near
And darkness afar.
Keep peace within.
Keep evil out.
<adapted from the work of David Adam)
Blessings to you, my friends.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
Comments are always welcome.
This photos was taken at Yellow Point Lodge on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.