Peace.. the elusive quality of life

Or is it ?

That will of the wisp factor we all strive to attain.. or we say we do.. some contradictions

Ok, what's my point here, other than a bit of arm chair psychology ? It's simple, to be a functioning Witch, at top efficiency, one needs to be at peace. You can't hold ritual in a state of agitation, you can't do a spell if your all keyed up, so practicing a peaceful state is a must.

Why does it seem so hard to do then ?

Peace : According to the dictionary

peace (n)

   1. The absence of war or other hostilities.
   2. An agreement or a treaty to end hostilities.
   3. Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations: roommates living in peace with each other.
   4. Public security and order: was arrested for disturbing the peace.
   5. Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind.

At peace

   1. In a state of tranquility; serene: She is at peace with herself and her friends.
   2. Free from strife: Everyone wants to live in a world at peace.

So tranquility, serenity, sounds like a plan right ? Ok then ... why don't we do so, on a daily basis ? Some things to watch for in the human psyche, that make this desired state seem so hard to obtain. Some of this, I have said in other missives, but taking a shot at it from another angle.

Let's face it, life hands us enough on any average Tuesday to tick off the good humor man. To keep a peaceful state of mind, can be very very challenging. In fact, we are used to strife. We are so used to it, we tend to get addicted, for lack of a better word, to the feeling. A day without the stress feels, abnormal.

This is a state of both body and mind at work here. From the body's standpoint, it can be very used to being in a constant state of "fight or flight". It's why one often sees people, literally become ill on their vacations, as they are so used to the inner stress, that its sudden release or lack, disrupts the body. Our physical selves are very good at maintaining homeostasis, and if the state you have asked the body to maintain is stressed out all the time, that's what it tries to do ... maintain that stressed state, as that is normal, as far as the body is concerned, as that's the state your in, most of the time.

The body will literally aggravate you, dumping the stress chemicals into the bloodstream. Which is why you can find yourself, sitting there, with nothing going on, wondering why your body feels like it's dancing a jig, on the inside. It literally is, it's often the basic reason for things like panic attacks and the like. ( Not the entire reason, but it's often one of them, as panic attacks are considered to be a learned response )

Secondly the mind, we really don't believe in the good days, we honestly expect the other shoe to drop any second now, so when the less stressful moments happen, we not only don't trust them. We go looking for things that are wrong, or we expect to go wrong any second.

Take a look at the meaning of the word again, absence of hostilities, agreement or a treaty to end hostilities.

Now, this is something we can do on a personal level, as long as the other party agrees to end the strife or you change your own reaction to whatever it is they do that stresses you out. Sometimes they won't agree and how to end the problem, is to end the association, or avoid the person, but however you handle it, it is possible to accomplish this.

And More: Freedom from quarrels and disagreement.

This falls right in line with task one, and tends to be the hardest to do, as noted above, we get used to strife, so much so that we go looking for trouble and almost without fail, find it or worse, we will create it.

Take a look at an example:

I have a friend, who is forever going on about this, that or the other thing, happening in her life. Now, granted, her life, and the people in it, she feels that she has every reason to do so, as she is surrounded with confrontation and even I will admit, blatantly aggravating people. The problem is, she is so used to doing this, that ANYTHING that is even slightly off kilter, becomes a reason to go off on a tangent.

In other words, she makes a crises, where there isn't one, and makes a minor event, into a catastrophe. Ok, why ? One of the possible why's, is she's addicted to the feeling of being all stressed out. It's the only response to events she knows now, so everything is a major event. 

The reaction of "now is the time to get all upset" is ingrained to the point where it is the only response possible. Not only that, she tends to hang on to things that are considered legitimate grievances, until she beats it to death. Like a dog with a bone, it's almost impossible to get her to give it up, if she feels slighted. Needless to say she's very difficult to be around :)

Now, why would a person do this to themselves ? As it sounds pretty rough on the body, mind and spirit to boot. And your right, it is, but as to why, the reasons vary.

One, as noted, sheer habit, we have narrowed our possible response list to one mode, things are not perfect ? Have a hissy fit.

It's a lot easier to get into the habit than one might think. And  the resolution to the problem, is just as simple, which is to self monitor your reactions and realize that you ARE doing this, and pull up on your own leash and stop the behavior. But first, one has to realize there is a problem.

Another is more complex, as there is a social benefit to be gained by being in crises. We don't tend to think of it that way, but there is. If things are going legitimately wrong in our world, we tend to get sympathy or extra consideration, as we are under stress. Which is perfectly reasonable in real catastrophic events, like a death in the family, sudden illness etc. However, one can, if your not careful, want to keep that "benefit" coming, and tend to make everything a crises, of equal importance.

( That is, until most of our friends and family are tired of it. As for such people, there is always another crises and it becomes pretty apparent after a while, that things are never normal with the person, that all the help, isn't helping, and the benefits ... stop )

And yet one more, even more complicated, the belief that we somehow don't deserve peace. Now, to say that just off hand, makes most people go .. What ? What do you mean, don't deserve it ? Everybody deserves it !

Which you would be right of course, however we often don't think so. How many times have you stopped yourself from feeling happy and at peace, when there is a major event going on ? It somehow feels like a betrayal to be happy, when for example, a short time ago a family member or friend, passed away. The closer the party was to us, the more we tend to sabotage any peacefulness, as it feels like "how can I dare be happy when, X is gone". Now, any caring friend or family member would rise up in spirit, and chide you for even thinking such a thing, but we do it.

Further, we do it for a great deal less than this extreme reason, we often do it as we don't trust the peace will last, as noted above, and get tired of having the rug yanked out from under us, so we tend to not permit peacefulness, "it's not gonna last anyway and will just hurt when life takes it away", so we don't do it. We become a pessimist and a often a cynic.

Now, I dragged all this out, for only one reason, to help you understand perhaps how you are getting in the way of your own state of peacefulness. We tend to have issues with the "peaceful" state of mind, some of which, are some rather large misconceptions about it.

We tend to romanticize it, we seem to think that to be peaceful is a state for saints, and that it's beyond your average person.  Well, it isn't, its perfectly in the reach of your average person, if they are willing to do a little self seeking to find out the cause of their own aggravation.

You will often find it's a combination of most of the above, so it's a complex issue, but not by any means un-resolvable. The benefits to be gained are many, you will feel better, be healthier, and much more able to conduct your rites and cast spells, as a matter of course. From a tranquil state of mind, you can do almost anything.

As the saying was in my youth, "it's a case of mind over matter, if you don't  mind, it don't matter" , which sounds a bit flip, but, it's none the less, true. Everything noted above, is a state of mind, the responses are learned behaviors that your mind has demanded or created for the body, so it's all a state of mind.

May yours be at peace.


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