Peace Be With You

When I sit down to write and have no idea what I will write. Consistently, these words come on their own: “Peace be with you.”

My grammar checker doesn’t like the wording. It puts a squiggly green line under “be” and suggests the alternative wording: “Peace is with you.” It assumes that peace is with us. My deeper mind wishes peace, but my computer assumes it already exists. To reconcile the two, we might say, ”May you be the peace that is with you.“

It is hard to be the peace if you don’t even know it is in you. The peace can be like that change long lost in your chair cushions. It is wealth you don’t know you have. You have to dig deep to get to it, and in the process you might encounter things you’d rather not deal with.

The other day, disassembling an old upholstered chair I found 72 cents I didn’t know I had. Also in there was a time capsule left by our long gone canine best friend: six rawhide chews, a flea comb and a cache of priceless memories.

It was hard work taking that chair apart. It was dirty, dusty work. Getting to the peace inside can be that way too. Emotional garbage collects in the creases of our psyches and some of it is hard to pry out. Old anger, fear and shame keep us stirred up, and we use layers of artificial physical and mental stimulation to cushion our discomfort.

When the outer world seems anything but peaceful, we must dig deep and find the peace that lives in our hearts. We must cast off comforting but self defeating habits, take care of our physical and mental selves, and allow ourselves time for relaxation, contemplation and meditation.

Deconstruct your protective ego defenses courageously accepting what you find inside. Seek the treasure of peace in the quiet spaces long forgotten. Look inside and see what is there. Look outside and see what is there. More important than being right is being true.

Tearing into my cluttered mind,
Pulling off worn out parts
That no longer serve,
I find room to stretch,
Room to grow,
Room to dance.

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© 2003 Tom Barrett