What Is Peace, Really?

How would you define Peace? Peace is more than a word. It’s more than an idea and more than a feeling. Peace is an awesome gift from God. It’s a gift that God gives to every person that is willing to surrender their life to Him and to walk in His ways. So what is peace, really? This is ONE portion of our peace.

Do you have peace in your heart? Or, are you struggling with conflict about many things. You either have peace or you have conflict. You can’t be in between the two. 

As I grew up as a middle child, I struggled trying to find myself. I wanted to take a path that would make my parents proud and happy. I never wanted to be a problem or nuisance to them. They both worked so hard to provide for my siblings and me so I never felt I had a right to mess that up. 

Of course, I had my share of shenanigans. But today, I would say that they would still echo these sentiments. “I’m so proud of you. Valerie.” I didn’t go to college immediately after high school. You know that love stuff can really tamper with your goals and dreams for a while. 

So, I got married, moved to Memphis, TN for a while, and then those babies started coming. My husband worked a full time job at Kenny Shoes. He was simply a boss at it too! I really believe that’s why we both love shoes to this day. I won’t even talk about the space on top of each closet. Yelp! Every closet. I wish you could ask my husband. 

Well now! I know what you’re thinking. Impossible! 

Anyways! I’m going to post a picture just to show you I’m not kidding. See, I told you. Every closet! 🧐

Upon moving to Tennessee and having babies, I found myself not being able to connect to myself. I was the main subject and had yet to discover who I really was. 

Tennessee was not what I considered home. But I made the best of it. Whew! That’s a whole new story that can’t be contained here. 

Nonetheless, I searched for a couple of “mommy groups” that would allow me to take my baby along so I could learn the community and in hopes of settling-down [when I wasn’t driving back to Little Rock, Arkansas almost every other day]. 

After getting to the mommy group and settling among about 10-12 ladies with their children clinging closely to them, I felt fear and intimidation set-in. I had no clue what I was doing there; I didn’t have it perfect like the little “wrappy thingy” around my baby or the cute little pink holder with the clamp on the end holding my baby’s pacifier, or a diaper bag that accented each momma’s outfit.

She sat on my lap with a pacifier in her mouth and if it fell on the floor. I would pick it up real quick and put it in my mouth to get the dirt off and stick it right back in her mouth. Her diaper bag was a baby shower gift so it worked for us on a single budget.  

After getting there, and trying to settle my mind, I got the question… What are the things that you like to do? 

Uh! Uh! Blah. Blah. Blah…

In short, I had no answer. Everything that I said I enjoyed was connected to someone else’s well-being. It was nothing about what I really enjoyed doing. 

That day! I discovered I was disconnected from myself and I had no inner peace. It’s unfortunate I had always tried to find my inner peace among other people. I left that meeting so humiliated and blaming those other women for having it all together and picking on me. They had set their intentions on humiliating me. 

Consequently, that was not the case at all. Those women had nothing to do with my past and my desire to always please others. But I knew. I had no inner peace and wasn’t willing to take the journey to find it. 

I’m like most today. I buried those feelings. And continued to suck life from the things that I thought were going to help me establish and find my purpose. 

I once read a story from a man of the Shaolin Temple. “A man was living close to a mountain and every day he was thinking. How would it be to climb that mountain and what would I see on the peak? So finally, the day came and the man went on the journey. 

The man went on the journey arriving at the foot of the mountain. He met the first traveler. So he asked… “How did you get up the mountain and what did you see from the top?” The traveler shared his experience and also the view that he had. 

But then the man started thinking… “The way that this traveler described to me sounds very exhausting. I need to find another way to climb.” So he continued to walk on the foot of the mountain until he met the next traveler. 

Once again, he asked the traveler… “How did you get up the mountain and what did you see from the top?” So again the traveler shared his story. Still not being determined on which direction and which way to go. So the traveler asked 30 more people and 30 more travelers the same question.

When he finished talking to all of them, he finally made up his mind. “Now that so many people already shared their experiences about their paths and especially what they all saw from the top. I don’t need to climb there anymore.” 

Also, it’s very unfortunate that the man never went on the journey. 

Now for you that are trying to climb your mountain. You have to find the most suitable way to climb it. You may have experienced all the words of pain and hopelessness. But it’s hard to get clarity if you have not stood on the peak of your mountain yourself. 

You have to be willing to invest the right effort in climbing the mountain to get to that peak. It’s what any practice is about. However, in my mind, you lack clarity. You have to step away from your mountain to see things more clearly. When you see more clearly, there is no need to believe anyone or believe anything. 

Seeing clearly means you can distinguish for yourself which is the proper direction to take and which decision you have to make in order to make your goals or aspirations to start forming. 

You’ve been hindered or inspired by many travelers in your life that have told you which way to go. And you’ve encountered many challenges, which have stopped you or prevented you from moving on and climbing your mountain. 

Subsequently, you can find inner peace. I had to deal with “ill-will.” It was my state of mind for a long time. Yes, folks really hurt me. I had so many negative emotions or aversions that were directly connected to my rejection, or simply a lot of dislikes toward people or situations that had happened to me. 

So to simplify this for you… You’re climbing the mountain and it starts to rain. And you don’t like rain. You discover the mountain has bumpy roads and you don’t like bumpy roads. Whatever it is you dislike is not going to make it a pleasant journey. Get ready for that. Everything is going to get in your way to challenge you. 

You have to let go of the “ill-will” because you won’t continue the journey if you don’t. You’ll remain stuck looking at the rejection, the people and the situation that has made you angry. The indecisiveness will keep you running around in circles asking yourself “Can I do this? Is this the right path? What will the others say? What if this? Or, what if that?” The mind won’t be able to synchronize with your own actions anymore. 

Then, you’ll become more disconnected with your goals and aspirations that you once had set for yourself. When your path is filled with more doubt, most often you will stop traveling. 

So stop and align yourself in a way that causes you to arise. Recognize what state of mind you are in. Learn, accept and acknowledge the situation or the person to be the way they are. 

Investigate your emotional and mental state and ask yourself questions. Why did it come up? What’s going to be the consequences if I remain in that state? 

Simply remember one thing… Just let it rain! 

Your life is too unique to copy the past from someone else. To bring meaning to your life and value to your life you need to learn to master yourself. Your inner peace! Don’t let the hindrances stop you.

In conclusion, if any of you choose to climb that mountain for clarity and decide to take the path. I will be very happy to meet you at the peak.