I’m having trouble finding peace right now. So maybe I’m not the best person to write about the necessity of peace in your life. Or maybe I am. I’m going to talk about what I know I should be doing in these tumultuous moments, and hopefully through that, we can all get closer to where we need to be.
As a Christian I go first to Christ to find my peace (at least I should). I’m reminded of how despite the storm raging outside of the ship, Jesus was sleeping soundly inside. I’m reminded how everyone around him were completely melting down, in an actual storm that threatened their lives. I’m reminded of how they did this despite literally being in the presence of God. I’m reminded how I do the same thing everyday. I have so much around me that reminds me of God’s peace and goodness, yet I find myself feeling overwhelmed by my personal storm.
So I am re-committing to what I know about storms, and how to get through them. Here is what I know from personal experience:
Storms happen for a reason – wait it, stay faithful, and think about the sunshine on the other side
Storms are temporary – even when it doesn’t feel like they are
God is still in control – He’s not the list bit rattled or surprised by what seems to be out of the blue
Other people are experiencing the same storm, or a similar storm – I can seek support and solace in my relationships until it’s over
The last storm didn’t take me out, neither will this one, so I still have a lot of value on this Earth.
So whether you are challenged by a difficult relationship, or assignment, or job, or loss, hang in there. If for no other reason than to say you did, hang in there. Share this with someone who may need it, and let me know if we can help each other through our storms.
As we move past yet another 9/11, I am reminded of the relevance of this quote in both my life and in my work.
Much has changed since my last post. I have been blessed to have my family move up with me finally, we have found an amazing condo in Rogers Park in Chicago, I am affirmed daily in the work I do at my new job, and we have began to find a new spiritual home on the South end of Chicago. I wanted to quickly post this as a reminder that despite all the horrible despair that we face day to day (crime, death, genocide, hunger, poverty, discrimination, fear, depression, etc.) that these things can only be overcome through our commitment to shine light in the darkest corners of our existence. What is really cool is that we don’t have to do it alone. I was reminded by a friend yesterday who was in a dark place, that the universe has a way of conspiring to support and lift us up when we most need it. That’s really a fancy way of saying “we” as individuals decided to take a moment to shine light in the lives of others. What is the light? It’s a smile, a phone call, a flower left on a desk, a perfectly timed joke when you’re not in a joking mood. Lights’ natural inclination is not to hide, but to shine. Only when we prevent it from doing so, do we find ourselves surrounded by darkness. Dark thoughts, dark people, and dark situations.
In my work as an educator and diversity advocate, I find it very easy to be consumed by the darkest actions and thoughts of others. It is during that time I seek the darkness to fight back – thinking its the only way to combat such persistent ugliness that surrounds us. In fact, that is the worst possible action I could take. Darkness is only permitted to exist in the absence of light, not the other way around. So I remember that, as I start each day, trying to bring light and love into the work I do. From the smallest conversation, to the biggest cultural shifts we need to make – I will be positive, and try to use my light to chase away the darkness.