Peace is an elusive feeling, one which is difficult to encounter and even harder to hold on to. Peace enters your life as quietly as the breath of a sleeping baby and leave with gale force winds. When peace leaves, the feelings one is left with are often emptiness, confusion, and at times anger.
I find myself in this place often. The past three years have had more than their fair share of challenges and obstacles for me to overcome. I have found myself fooled by people more than I would like to admit. And each time I think I have grown enough to handle a situation; I am reminded how lacking I am. And so I find myself here once again.
Peace has slipped through my fingers, new opportunities are springing up, each holding the promise of a great outcome, yet each equally laced with hardships and challenges. As I ponder which road to take, which challenge to allow to consume me, I am overcome with lessons and mistakes of the past, especially the bittersweet memories, the moments which dropped me to my knees and left me gasping for breath.
I think the hardest lesson for me to learn is the lesson of duplicity in people. So often people appear to be what they say they are, and even though I am hesitant to trust, watching them for a sign or hint of untruth, I am fooled. Too often there are people who want to appear as victims, as people who are trying to better themselves, yet in truth they are working a situation to fit their need. I suspect I am often guilty of this as well. I suspect we all are. And in a way, that is ok. We are human after all and dealing with humans creates complications.
But, this week, I find myself reminded why I need to be careful who I trust. I find myself reminded to look at both perspectives, both sides of stories, of learning to see the entire picture. Most people are good, they are truly interested in you as a person and want to spend time with you. But, there are some, who when you let in, take over and take complete control. As I age, I find myself putting more and more distance between myself and these people. When I feel used and abused, taken advantage of, insulted and left with messes to clean, I leave and quietly close the door. There are some, who even though you have quietly closed the door, push it open and I find myself drawing boundaries and explaining why they cannot cross them.
Peace is something I think we all spend time chasing, but in truth, peace is something we must learn to create for ourselves in the midst of the chaos of life. Learning to find moments of peace, to create moments of true joy in the face of ugliness and hate is a priceless lesson. Setting clear boundaries with people, cutting people out who simply take, and abuse, help create these moments. Take control of your life and find ways to create moments of peace in the chaos of life. I promise it will bring you more joy than most other lessons.