Stealing Peace


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.

2 Comments

  1. hmm.. yes…maybe? i think that last sentiment threw me a little because i relate to the rest so much. But i still have very solid and verifiable proof that every time i do relax i seem to get smacked in the face unexpectedly. It’s never stopped really, most of my life. have you ever felt that way? Like it never ends? I am 55, and not sure how old you are – but i thought somehow i’d stopped getting smacked by now…lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m 56. I wonder if we ourselves play a part in creating the ‘smack in the face’ and sabotaging our own peace and well-being ? Recreating some pattern from early on life (repetition compulsion think they call it) a childhood lacking in safety and with some unpredictable chaos. The inner thermostat was set for us back then, and now it’s hard to nudge it up to allow more of the good stuff in, as it’s the unknown. That is what we knew and that’s what we expect and then create. Though all sorts of conscious and unconscious choices we make. There’s a resistance to full well-being, being on peace and joy and harmony for extended periods. And then I extended that to the rest of society.

      More generally, I’m speculating that overall there seems to be this problem with raising the inner thermostat to allow ourselves to be in a state of drama free joy for long periods. People are fairly high in fear, even those with some material stability and even abundance, most addicted to watching the tragedies unfold on the news, most people I know even educated successful ones, try and relax using alcohol…something isn’t quite right. Some resistance to joy and love etc. so I’m wondering if this resistance to raising my inner thermostat setting is shared society wise.

      Liked by 1 person

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