Defining Peace On a Personal Level

I spotted this theme running at a few blogs last week, especially at Paula Light’s Light Motif II in answer to the original post at Maggie’s Tranquil Thursday #2. The idea is to answer four questions delving into the concept of peace as it relates to yourself. I felt compelled to play along.

How do you define peace on a personal level?

Having the confidence in yourself to know yourself, i.e.  your strengths, your limitations, control over your emotions, the wherewithal to reject unconstructiveness, dismissal of negative vibrations, the capacity to push away selfish thoughts and people projecting their hate game toward you.  It’s about knowing who you are, what you want from your life and setting boundaries on what’s acceptable to come into your life, then rejecting all that impedes your life’s progression.  Knowing we are all fallible and on occasion culpable, we are left with a life’s journey always in need of refinement and navigation. 

There is the correlation of peace and nirvana, as in a perfect state of being without problems, hurdles and drama.  This is, unfortunately, a pipe dream.  Even the best of us and those with the purest of intentions in how we project ourselves into the situations and relationships we seek can and will face the gauntlet life brings.  It’s inevitable.  True peace comes from rising above the cynical and embracing a path leading to the divine, taking comfort in the knowledge we are not alone, even when depression and despair hits us.  Peace is knowing you are on the side of the light and knowing the divine is reaching out to you, in real-time or in an astral state, cheering you on to summon enough character to see the error of pessimism and self-ruin. 

What does finding peace mean to you?

When you have reached a state of confidence in yourself and have found your value set to avoid succumbing to all that life presents for processing and in many cases, forces your hand to react, it answers that pesky voice in your head.  If you’re like me, the chatty internal voice can badger at any time, any place.  I often want it to shut up, especially at 3:00 a.m. when my entire laundry list of life drops down in a sequence like a movie’s final credits.  Peace is when I can tell myself things are resolved or will be resolved, and I feel my pantheon float into my head, easing my burdens by letting me know I am doing my best and making choices they approve of.  If I am doing wrong, they also let me know, and you know what?  There’s peace in that, as well.  Well-intended guidance, however it comes, is so valuable to one’s personal evolution.

Peace is also successfully swerving from the mundane, the aggravating and the insipid.  The biggest joy in life aside from an intoxicating romance with the right person is getting to discover what a beautiful world exists out there and having the common sense to detect and appreciate it. Moreover, having a common courtesy not to destroy it for others. 

What environment (the ocean, the mountains, the desert, etc.) brings you peace?

TJ and I are so happy on a trail.  We love to hike, to bask in nature with as much quietude as we can seize for ourselves without getting so far from civilization as to cause ourselves discomfort.  We commune with the Lord and Lady in the woods, we relish when we’re given response by the elements of air, earth, wind and water.  Fire, only when contained for scrying purposes or candle and incense lighting.  I like to travel, period, so I find such peace journeying by car to a far destination to see for the first time and to meet people in other towns.  It’s a pleasure to see how others live and to compare either their isolation or their hectic habitue.  I’ve always said I could easily live in the Outer Banks of North Carolina for all the oceanic removal from the world, yet I also feel a charge of electricity whenever I’m in Manhattan which makes me want to be a part of the intense action daily.  Of course, hurricanes are the deterrent to the former, an outrageous cost of living the same to the latter. 

I can say a trip out west for my 50th birthday to Devil’s Tower, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, the Grand Tetons, the Badlands of South Dakota, along with Mt. Rushmore, Deadwood and Crazy Horse Monument was unforgettable.  Devil’s Tower was a lifelong obsession I’d wanted to see since I was a child and seeing Close Encounters of the Third Kind in the theater back in 1978.  If there’s anything that lived up to its hype for me, it’s Devil’s Tower.  Peaceful doesn’t begin to cover it.  Devil’s Tower is holy to many people from different walks of life.  For me, it is likewise sacred and I expect I will return again before I die.

Is there a person whose presence puts you at ease and gives you a feeling of peace?

On the physical and intimate level, peace is having the right person nurture your heart, mind and body, providing a foundation of love, support, respect, trust, dialogue, motivation, partnership, sexual release, spirituality, laughter, goal attainment and future growth. Laughter and communication is one of the top priorities to a relationship. It’s so much sweeter when you like the person you profess to love. I am blessed to have found my best friend who fulfills all these things.  In this part of my life, TJ my future bride brings me incomparable joy and peace.

Aside from her, my parents have long provided me a foundation of strength, wisdom, courage and inspiration.  Going to visit them routinely over the years gives me a lift when everything in life comes crashing down or even puts me on an adrenaline high.  My parents’ house is what I spent my teens in until I got married to my first wife.  I love their house and have mostly wonderful memories since 1983 when they bought it.  Coming over to their house always feels like it’s still my home, even with the home I share with TJ.  My folks purposefully create a safe zone ambience for our visits, purposefully pushing for peace and calm with which to recharge.

–Ray Van Horn, Jr.

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