The Quest for Peace

Something I wrote before: “I am not like yesterday. Not yet tomorrow. I am today.” This line returns to me like a long slow breath, stretching syllables until they share the weight of my body and soul.   And then I remember what I lack, what I fear, what I need for “today” to be here with me as my present self. Because tomorrow I will say, “I am not like yesterday.” Thoughts are my enemies, but I learned that peace is something that never ceases to exist. It’s there. But peace is humble; it doesn’t seek our attention. In lieu, we must be the ones to pursue it—or perhaps, realize peace.

The quest for peace in our days is a labyrinth with its dark tunnels and hidden passageways. I am in this maze just as much as you are.  But I have discovered that the peace is the maze itself. Or maybe not? Well, I am still living and learning. Ten or twenty years from now I might assemble a different perspective on peace. But, as of now, I am taking a stop in my travels, so I can let my life stir what it has collected over the years.

Within the stream of my thoughts and endless needs and desires, I can feel the weight of the world dropping on my hands like tiny seeds waiting to be planted in my head. And within my fears and doubts, I can distinguish which seeds I had actually considered to plant ten years ago.

I am not drawn to gardening at all, but if I had the influence, I would. As of now, I am tending the garden in my head and, especially, my heart.

Peace grows where we unite ourselves to the soul of peace.

I don’t want to say the ground of peace or the core of peace, but rather the soul—the soul is its life, its true breath. The soul is an intimate substance. It is where the encounter of our essence and intangibility gaze at each other as lovers do before they depart. The only difference is that the makeup of our soul never leaves—it is us. And we make that precious encounter with peace when we contemplate on its authenticity as opposed to the benefits or outcomes of peace itself. In a similar way, we make that distinctive encounter with ourselves when we contemplate on the intimate reality that we possess in our souls. Not in yesterday’s reasons and excuses or tomorrow’s goals and desires, but today’s moment. Peace is for today; it’s meant for today. And it’s meant for us and it longs for each of our distinctive union.

As I have mentioned before, peace is humble, so it is not ignorant or oblivious to its own beauty and power. As each fear or troubling thought marks its territory in my mind, peace remains quiet and patient because it knows I have to make the effort to enter into its sanctuary.

We must humble ourselves to encounter peace. We must admit our faults and frustrations and realize that there are things in life we do not have control over. Deep inside ourselves, we are vulnerable and powerless. Deep inside ourselves, we fail to remember our human quality which is truly vital to recognize as we face our struggles and disappointments. But, we, most importantly, overlook the active presence of our soul that is oftentimes deadened by our fleeting pursuits of unnecessary and damaging ambitions. And, yet, peace still waits for us. Underneath, above, in between our angst and fears and concerns—peace is there. It exists. It exists. It exists.

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One thought on “The Quest for Peace

  1. Thanks for the post, Alex! All you need is a lovely picture to go with the lovely post. It reminds me very much like Keats, both the wording and the topic: trying to find what’s constant amid change and grow in a healthy way, directing that change for the better. I loved the opening graf.

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