Peace is a term I was never familiar with, ever. I was never at peace with myself, even at my happiest moments, because they were dependent on someone else’s actions or behaviour, never my own. Until recently, I never knew that I am the sole proprietor of my peace.
Peace is defined as:
1. freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions <I have been in perfect peace and contentment — J. H. Newman
2. harmony in personal relations <The sisters are at peace with each other.
At peace is defined as:
1: in a state of concord or tranquility <The problem was settled and his mind was at peace.>
I like serenity and tranquility. I want to be at peace. I do. Something that comes up as an obstacle to my peace is my pain or, the pain that I feel in my body. I find myself identifying with the pain, allowing it to define me. I didn’t know it till now but, I choose to identify with the pain and with the path that these chronic conditions and acute pain has led me down. Believe me, it is not where I thought I’d be. I was a professional in a wonderful position for advancement, excellent income and had all the stuff money could buy. And, in my mind, I let it all go.
Let me clarify this. My mind, my ego, that negative voice in my head, tells me that I am responsible for what has happened to me. Maybe I didn’t deserve the good life, or maybe I just was’t good enough… Sometimes, it goes on and on like a broken record.
However, my Inner Truth knows that I did not cause post operative complications or the injuries and conditions that followed. One of my internal battles, unveiled. Their are too many to count. But, I am working on them as they come to the surface, one at a time.
As with everything else in my life, in order for me to have peace, I must look differently at whatever I am having issue with. I also know I cannot change my perspective, or have a mind shift, on my own. This morning, I am ready because I have asked the universe to show me how to have peace with my pain.
While journalling, I asked myself, “What are the positive aspects, experiences and outcomes resulting from my life, my last five years, with pain?” These realizations float to the surface of my consciousness…
1. Where would this desire for self expression, to communicate through poetry have come from, if not from my ability to feel intensely? I knew nothing of poetry in the past. I still don’t understand poetry academically but most of my intense emotions come through this way. And, so I go with it.
2. Where would the intense feelings come from if not from the physical and emotional pain associated with injury and trauma? Pain changes people. The effects, physically and emotionally, have impact on my feelings about myself and all aspects of my life.
3. Where would the ability to experience joy come from if not for the ability to experience pain? The yin and the yang… In this 3 dimensional world, the only constant is change. Everything changes, my health, relationships, jobs, beliefs….everything. In order to live at peace, I need accept this truth.
4. Where would the time to experience a completely different aspect of life, a slower pace, earth’s beautiful gifts and different parts of the world, come from if not for the rehabilitation and rest time that has forced me to slow down? Forced is a strong word, but true. I have become more fluid around what I can and can no longer do. I am learning to appreciate the times when I am experiencing great vitality and respect the quiet I need for rest and rejuvenation.
5. Where would my desire to be in nature come from if not for having turned to the magnificent outdoors as a mechanism for meditation, healing and spiritual connectedness? Nature has helped heal me, physically, emotionally and spiritually. That’s why I keep going back and want to do what I can to protect her. In my past lifestyle, I rarely afforded myself time to connect with my environment.
6. How would have my desire to capture and share what I experience in nature, through my photography, poetry and writing, even have been cultivated if not for having the time, desire and inclination share these healing processes and cathartic activities?
7. Where would my compassion for others experiencing pain and the myriad of issues that go along with pain, physical, emotional and spiritual brokenness, come from if not for living with it, myself?
8. How would I have developed more emotionally intimate relationships, feeling safe to be vulnerable, had I not learned to ask for help while recuperating and recovering from injuries and surgeries? And, also having the courage to ask people to be patient and gentle with me while I work through my stuff? I would never have had to inclination to ask for such things, I always thought I had to be the giver, the provider, the nurturer, the rock.
9. How would I ever trust that the Universe has got my back, if I hadn’t walked this path? I have been given the precious gift of faith through time. Time to read, to study, to practice all the ways I have learned that work for me and bring me closer to my Inner Truth. I would have never walked towards what I know to be my guiding light if I had stayed on the same fast track.
This morning, I look at pain with a new set of eyes. Clearly, living with chronic and acute pain has given me many gifts; appreciation for nature, self-expression, greater acceptance and fluidity, tolerance, compassion and love for myself and others that I likely wouldn’t have cultivated on the path I once walked with the rest of the corporate world. These are truly exceptional wonders to me. The universe has something different in store for me, than I have had for myself. I wouldn’t have chosen it, but I am truly grateful.
Making peace with my pain is a mind shifting process. Today, I have much gratitude for my experiences with pain and the different life I lead now. Having gratitude is an important aspect of choosing peace. Pain need not be an obstacle to my peace and happiness, unless I let it.
Featured Image- Water feature at San Francisco Botanic Gardens, March, 2015
© Jan 2017 Judi Risser All Rights Reserved