My river of peace hit a snag

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Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.


Yesterday I took a break. The turmoil in my nation is taking its toll. Four years ago, I worried about how the rhetoric would impact my grandchildren. Now for many of them, the vitriol and unrest is the only thing they know. They don’t remember a time when we weren’t at war, when the world didn’t seem to be burning, when families weren’t divided by angry politics.

Monday I went to the grocery store. I got my second Shingrex vaccination, picked up some things on sale, and ferried CoCo back to her apartment. It was raining. I was waaaay too irritable for the situation. Waaay too impatient for the little bit of inconvenience I suffered. Waaaay to short-tempered, listening to CoCo process everything out loud.

Tuesday I woke up from a restless night of nightmares and body pain. I had a sore arm, hips that creaked, a fuzzy head, and a slight temperature. My body said stop. I listened.

I did little. I meditated. I practiced some yoga. I had restorative conversations. I took a two-hour nap. I watched Nova. I ate some cookies.

I am troubled by the past four years. Are attempts to stay positive the same as ignoring the problems?

More and more I think yes.

What action am I called to? Is my focus on goodness the same as ignoring the problems? Should I speak softly and with compassion? Should I say, “enough” with a loud and strong voice? Should I turn away from friends and family who hold toxic opinions? Should I try to understand their fears? Have I become complacent? Am I obnoxious? How can I help change things? How can I change? The questions keep coming.

I don’t know anymore.

“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.”

Mr. Rogers