For the longest time, I used to long for serenity. I’d wish for a time of peace. I’d daydream about calm, untroubled days.
I’d imagine a future time when I will remember how to exhale without a big sigh.
It wasn’t so much what I wanted to do, as how I wanted to feel.
I wanted that feeling of calm, of peace, of feeling at ease with life. Whenever I thought about it, I’d imagine it someday in the future. Never here. Never now.
When the clouds roll in what we most want is an easing of the tightness in our chest.
When the clouds roll in, instead of engaging in what is, we drift off into fantasies about meditating all day in an ashram in rural India. Or writing away the winter in a villa in Tuscany. Or hiding in a garret in San Francisco and painting to our hearts content.
Many women I talk to have their own escape fantasy. The someday … The if only… The I wish.
‘Then!’, we think… ‘Then I’ll be happy. Then I’ll feel calm. Then, I’ll feel in control.’
We’ve glorified leaving. We’ve glorified the big change – shaving your head, selling the house, quitting the job, leaving the man, moving interstate or half-way around the world. It sounds so romantic and brave and freeing.
As if running away will solve everything.
Most times, it’s braver to stick around.
It takes more to be fully in the life you have now. To live your life as if today matters.
There’s work to be done, and kids to be raised, and relationships to nurture, and dishes to be washed. There’s laundry and groceries and bills to pay. And life… well, it goes on.
Beloved, today does matter.
And Someday has always been now.
There’s no escape from now.
I know it. You know it. We just… forget sometimes.
Paradoxically, when we accept what is now, things change. We start to notice and gather evidence of calm and ease in the minutes of this day. Right here in this mess, this heartache, this hard, we discover something we’ve not noticed before. When we accept it all as it is – serenity seeps in.
Noticing the eagle in the sky above me. Noticing the way raindrops run down the window glass. Noticing the way the shower feels on my skin. Noticing the breeze in my hair as I peg wash on the line. Noticing my breath – especially the exhale – as I sip my hot tea. Noticing when I’m should-ing on myself, or creating huge expectations I cannot possibly meet. Noticing the love in how he phones me at the same time every day on his way back to the office from lunch. Noticing when I’m judging myself harshly (ahem).
Serenity slips in unheralded, preciously sweet, wonderfully calm. No need, beloved, to run away…
Can you feel it?