“I give up,” I told her, throwing my hands up in the air. “I have no idea what anything in this life is for. Things happen so randomly, so out of nowhere…just when I think I know what I want….just when I think I know what I’m doing, it all shifts. It looks like I’m taking a huge step back, but within, it feels like I’ve healed and moved forward.” I paused, took a breath. “I just don’t know. I give up trying to figure it out.”
My friend sat quietly on the edge of my bed while I kicked my crossed leg nervously on the black leather chair in front of her. Sunlight seeped through the slats of blinds from my windows. Despite this, my room felt cold. My hands were cold; my face flushed in frustration.
I could see her observing me kindly out of the corner of my eye. How I wished to be that calm, that kind right now. I’ve been that. I’ve been there before, but for now I was in a headlock of panic. Guilt and fear flooded my veins and forced thoughts of unworthiness so thick and seemingly real, I was pushed under. There was nowhere to go but up and through.
“Well,” she said softly. “I think that is a very good thing.”
I gave a short laugh. “I figured you’d say that.”
“Forgive me, sweetheart, but who do you think you are to know the reason, the meaning of this life?”
I winced, speechless.
“When you pray, when you forgive, what is it that you tell the Holy Spirit that you want?”
My leg stopped its nervous movement. I sat up. “Peace,” I replied.
“Ok, and you trust Him to guide you? Knowing, of course, the choice for Peace is ultimately yours.” she asked, her voice soft, not a trace of judgment.
“Most of the time…” I trailed off.
She smiled and willed me to look at her once again. “Right. Well, your life means a lot to you, but Peace is the result of surrendering all meaning. As you let go of all the things that you think make you special, make you separate from your fellow human beings, peace is the natural result. It’s not a place you are trying to get to; it sits at the seat of your soul. You are at Peace already. You’re simply trying to remember that. You are digging your way through life, layer by layer, to arrive back at the beginning.”
And all I wanted to do was protest: But I’m a mother! I’ve overcome a lot! I love people so incredibly much! I want to help! I want to be more than what I am right now!
She read me like a book. “There is nothing wrong with having goals, with loving and serving others. Be kind. Be helpful. Always. Just be willing to bring it all back to Spirit. Ask for His meaning. Keep asking for His guidance. That is how you remember Peace.”
I stared at the sunbeams lighting up the dust that floated in the air and mercilessly reminded me I should probably clean more often. I smiled just then. No matter the light, I could see guilt if I chose to. I could beat myself up over something…anything, or stop and choose again.
“Peace is what I want,” I said gently, my entire body relaxing. “Even when I’m sitting here spouting silliness to you. Even when it doesn’t seem silly to me at the time! I know, beneath my actions and words, I know that it is. I know that Peace is what I want. I’ll circle back to it. I will.”
My friend held out her hands for me to grasp and smiled. “You are.”