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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

REPLAY: Peace through hardship...

I wrote this on July 1st on the heels of a weird dream.

How does one truly know peace? What is peace? Is peace absolute or relative?

Before I think about addressing these questions, let me relate a dream I had last night. I dreamed it was winter. The days were short, and it was dark early. I was in Salida, visiting my parents at their house, and it was snowy outside. Growing up in that house, I expected it to be comfortable, cozy, and inviting, and instead I found it to be nearly vacant, save a few old chairs and some candles. I saw my Mom wrapped in a blanket. It was cold inside. "What happened to the furniture?" I asked? She looked sad and told me Dad had let people come and take it.

I woke up groggy, and it was hard for me to face the day. I suppose there are a couple of ways I could go with this, different lessons to learn from this dream. I guess one could be to vow not to let that happen to my family, to work hard, hard enough to do my best to ensure that, no matter how bad things get economically, politically, environmentally, that my parents will not be stuck in a cold and empty house. But I choose to learn a different lesson.

I feel that the only choice that will ensure happiness in this instance is to know that, no matter what, I will love my family, and that love, despite the hardships, the cold, the grief and sorrow... that being at peace with the difficulties that lie beyond our realm of control, that this is what will ultimately save us.

What a terribly wondrous lesson to learn. What a big and hard thing to even begin to understand. Throughout histories (both mythical and factual, and the fuzzy lines in between), we see figures and stories involving characters who learned this lesson, or at least began to at the end of their lives.

My question and challenge in this brief blog is to ask, then, why it is so hard for us, the majority of us, to accept our own fates, to be content with the things we have, and to pursue the things that will make us truly happier, in spite of money and stuff and status and popularity? You like being outside? Go outside! It's much easier than you would believe. There are many illusions that both we and the rest of the world create as roadblocks to keep us from achieving our goals, but it's really a matter of how badly you believe in your own happiness.

I don't know where this all came from, but I thought I would throw it out here before I forgot.

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