Choosing one’s own path to Peace is a challenge.
For many of us, I fear, we make our choices as we recognize that whatever place we’re in is not one that fosters Peace in us rather than catching sight of a vision that dazzles and attracts. No not everyone, but many.
Sadly, few of us are skilled in divining what we do want or daring to ask for it — let alone pursue it. It’s too easy to frame our choices against what is wrong with the world we’re leaving rather than what is right with the world we’re choosing.
Neither is it easy stepping out of the status quo. This is a big and powerful river headed in one direction, so swimming to an edge and finding another branch of that stream or climbing out on the land to search out a trail requires quite a bit of determination.
I don’t know if it’s possible to do such a thing freely, without defensiveness. Not choosing what our family, friends, lover choose makes them question their choices. Who likes that?
I do know, for our health and sanity as well as for the future of our relationships, we need to find that sweet, easy conviction about our decisions.
Watching a couple exchanges recently allowed me to look back and wince at my own movement from my theological/socialspiritual roots and consider how lurching a process that was. A good friend said to me then, “Annie, clarify what you DO believe, you can’t just NOT believe.” It was great (if painful at the time) advice. And life is so much easier since adjusting the mantle I’ve chosen to sit comfortably on my shoulders.
It’s a challenge to keep asking ourselves “what do I want” and looking for real answers. Not self-indulgent ones, not the preferencing of me over you… but the deep answer that allows me to be me in relationship, perhaps even consideration, with all others, because I know and take responsibility for who I am and what I believe. And then, finally, I take Joy in it. And in that Joy I find the fuel to move toward Peace.
Self-reflection’s a bitch, isn’t it? But oh, so worth it.