Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Finding Personal Peace in an Imperfect World

My mother was the picture of peace. She was always cool, calm and collected in the midst of what I considered a chaotic household. With seven people living in a relatively small house, I struggled to find the quite time I have always needed to read, study, or just think.

As a teenager I remember arriving home one evening planning to get busy on a report due at school the next day. There, on the living room floor, were two of my brothers having a boisterous wrestling match. The television was blaring at no one in particular. From down the hall I could hear my sister and her friends laughing and dancing to window rattling rock and roll music, while my baby brother cried from his playpen in hopes of joining the wrestling match. In the midst of it all, my mother sat quietly reading one of her beloved novels, totally oblivious to the madness. I, however, turned around and headed to the library.

The next day I asked her how she remained forever calm when our home was so disordered and nerve-racking. She quietly explained that this is who she was. “I am the mother of five children and I am most at peace when you are all at home. When you are all around me, I know you are safe and well, and I can relax.” I had to let this sink in for a while, but I came to understand that my mother was comfortable in her own skin. She knew who she was, where she fit in world, and that she had value as a human being. Over the years I have learned to follow my wise and loving mother’s example.

Accepting who I am and being content is at times challenging, but when I can focus on the center of my being, I can find peace there. As humans we tend to waste a lot of our time wishing our lives were different, better, or somehow more fulfilling, when satisfaction can be found within each and every one of us. Rather than wishing your time away, think about your own self-worth and whom you are important to. Enjoy the richness that is family, friendships, and experiences of all types. Accept your place in this crazy world, and know that people do depend on, and value you. Once you have discovered this about yourself, you will have peace.

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