At times I feel as though I’m ‘stealing’ moments of peace. I don’t trust it fully. It’s like a passing visitor who could leave any time. Fleeting moments or hours that will go again soon. As if the peace is a temporary break in the danger and a threat is circling always waiting to pounce.
I think the increase in the peace I have been experiencing has put it into sharper relief to how I have lived much of this life.
I can relax for a few moments, or minutes or many hours at a time before the next ‘bad’ or threatening thing might just happen. Never really trusting peace and safety for extended periods, any sense of safety from danger.
These deeper excursions into peace and joy I’ve been having the last year or two have shown me that this peace and joy are always there. Waiting for me to simply sit back and allow them. It’s my base state underneath the thoughts and layers of conditioning. And I have found it to be reliably present when I have dropped my impending sense of threat. I feel safe to be there mostly when in my bed before during and after sleep. And in the woods or by the river, or with a friend. Or with a therapy client.
And this war in Ukraine, and before that Covid, well it backs the internal hypothesis that something bad is always about to happen and is lurking round the corner, especially where we are not looking.
This thought occurred to me this morning. In the sunshine pouring through the bedroom window, I sang out loud to the dog before I got up to her wagging delightedness. The house is warm and I put on my lovely comfy clothes that have been warming up on the radiator. This is a perfect 10 out of 10 moment happening. I feel gratitude. Joy. Love.
Then quickly, I pick up a slight sense of doom circling. Some vague thought that ‘there’s something you haven’t thought of though that’s going to go wrong’.
I’m so glad that I can talk about this and explore it. And I will persevere into the peace that is always there waiting, and allow that to soothe the part of me that is flighty and scared.
I see that we humans have evolved this way over thousands of years. Those who perceived and responded to threats had a higher rate of survival. It is in us to threat detect. But now the real dangers of dying, by being attacked by a bear or sword have all but gone for most of us.
I wonder if on the whole we find ourselves collectively creating danger to satisfy that internal sense of threat. Collectively we find it hard to allow longer periods of safety and well-being. Maybe that is the next stage of human evolution even. It’s okay to relax and be happy might be the new frontier.