Monday, April 30, 2012

Finding Peace in Chaos

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I just want peace”. Delores folded her hands in her laps and looked up at me with her honey brown eyes.
“And what is it that brings you peace, Delores?” I asked her.
She wrinkled her nose at me, as if I asked her to eat a food she disliked.
“All I know is that my life is filled with chaos and I am losing myself, my marriage, my children…my sanity. I just want peace,” she repeated firmly.
“If you don’t know what brings you peace, how will you ever find it?”
Now, I am not Confucius, but I do believe that it is the times when we are the most lost, the times when we are going through the most chaos - when we discover the secrets within our souls. Sure, we may cuss those times, wonder and moan why we were ever thrown into the horrible situation, but once the dust has cleared, more times than not we come out with life lessons that help us. Or help others.
“Delores, close your eyes and see yourself happy – describe it.” 
“I see my family gathered around a dining room table.”
“Do you smell anything?”
“Yes, I can smell popcorn.”
“What are you doing?”
“We are laughing about a silly joke one of the kids told.”
Delores opened her tear filled eyes. “So my peace is the very thing that is making me nuts?”
“Not exactly, but you now know that you feel peaceful when the family is together, getting along…and there is popcorn involved.”
We both started to laugh.
I have had sessions with clients who have lost spouses, children and parents. I have had sessions with clients who have had horrific experiences, and I am always in awe at their strength. When I ask them how they got through the sadness and the chaos of the situation, the answer is typically the same –You do what you have to do to find peace within, to just get through it.
What does peace mean to you? Is it a quiet home, or one filled with laughter? Is it your toes in the sand, or in the sea? Is it a hike in the woods, or a nap in the hammock? It’s so important that you define peace in your own individual life because when chaos or hard times strike, you might inadvertently turn your head away from the very thing that could help bring you peace. And that peace within can help shorten and/or calm the turbulence around you.
I suggested that Delores start a Daily Journal to note the positive things, the things that made her feel satisfied, and to start her day with thoughts of peace and end her day with the same. Peace is rarely about material things, but finding peace in simple moments.
“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.”
Peace and Love,
Kristy Robinett