" We will comprehend the word, serenity, and we will know peace." pg83, BB
I think a lot about the nature of serenity and peace in my life. In the 60's and early 70's, I was all about peace signs and peace and love and the end of the war in VietNam. In the 80's the only peace I could find in my life was at the bottom of a bottle. In 1989, the Universe conspired to land me in a holding cell one night in early November. I had been arrested for drunk driving and blew a .29 on the Richter scale. lol It felt like the Richter...Nothing in my life was ever the same after that. Between the arrest and the preliminary hearing, I collapsed at work and was taken to the hospital, where I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. The ensuing months of surgery and treatment kept me out of court until May of 1990. When I finally got there, the judge looked down at me and said that I was a lucky girl, and that he was going to save my life. He sentenced me to 10 AA meetings and fined me out the wazoo. I was outraged. My lawyer kept hissing at me to "shut up." I didn't think he could make me go to AA....I said as much. He looked at me again over those little glasses settling down his nose and said something to the effect that he could do anything he wanted...and that was that. Powerless? Looked like it. lol
I spent a lot of my life being filled with rage. rage at the way my life was. Rage at all the things I never got to do. Rage at how unfair the world had been to me. Rage (unbeknownst to me) at the fact that I never got to be a kid after I was about 5 years old. It was like I had this big soup pot setting on the back burner, simmering away. And it didn't take much at all, ever, to ratchet that burner up enough to send me into a boiling furious firestorm. I had anger issues long before it was a labeled issue, lol. I was hateful and spiteful and miserable for a long time. Booze and drugs were the only thing that ever helped make my life manageable. To shut off the noise, turn down the fire, calm the storms.
I only talk about this tonight, because I want to remember how little peace I had in my life. I seemed to have 2 speeds. Furious and unconscious.
After I was around the rooms for a while (ok- a long while) I started learning to identify my feelings and pull things out of my head and look at them honestly. I started to learn that I did not have to be at the mercy of my rage. I found out that there were people in the world who understood how it was to be me...they had the same problems I had and they had found solutions to those problems. I started to have some hope that maybe, just maybe, this could work for me as well. By the time I was 5 years away from my last drink, I realized that the anger was dissipating and that I was having moments of peacefulness in my days.
I am filled with gratitude that I have learned to pray and meditate, to be open to the wonders of the world. I feel an inner peace just looking at the wild geese on my pond, and knowing that their Creator and my Creator are one and the same. I have many moments of peace and serenity throughout my day, no matter where I am or what I'm doing. Peace is the rule rather than the exception for me today.
At church we sing, Let there be Peace on Earth, and let it begin with me....
It does begin with me today. And I am forever grateful for that.