My word for this month is peace, but all I’ve been feeling with each passing day is increasingly more irritability and stress. Every month until now I have felt a sense of accomplishment in moving towards greater courage, more creativity, discipline in getting up consistently around the same time each day even on the weekends, taking action, moving towards connection, understanding, and staying motivated, but peace eludes me in this last month of the year.
The constant “mama, mama” when I’ve responded multiple times already waiting to hear what is wanted, and all I get as a response is more “mama, mama.” How can I not respond with an irritated, WHAT? And then, “what can I dooooooooo?” How is it that my child is 6, nearly 7 and doesn’t know how to play? He’ll often gladly do work, help me fold clothes, bake muffins, or rake leaves. But play with his toys on his own? That is an impossible task for him.
I finally had to escape to my “office,” you know the office every parent has in their home where you lock the door and sit on your throne. Yep, that one. I pulled out a Sundance catalog I hid in the drawer and lost myself in the shiny, pretty things on each page. And then God found me again. Even here, I thought. I had to laugh and of course cry. There on the page of the Sundance catalog was a quotation from St. Therese, the saint I chose for my confirmation, speaking to me about peace.
Here it is below in case you are straining your eyes to read the photo above:
She said, “May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”
I was listening to the On Being podcast with angel Kyodo williams yesterday. She was talking about love as space. She shared “It is developing our own capacity for spaciousness within ourselves to allow others to be as they are–that that is love. And that doesn’t mean that we don’t have hopes or wishes that things are changed or shifted, but that to come from a place of love is to be in acceptance of what is, even in the face of moving it towards something that is more whole, more just, more spacious for all of us.”
I think that if I find more spaciousness, I will stumble upon more peace. It’s clear to me that I feel very small, compressed, squeezed dry when I am stressed and irritable. I have nothing more to give. And so when I left my “office” in tears, I had to tell my family that I needed to take some space for myself. I walked out to the screened in porch and wrote and breathed and let the sun shine on me. And as I put this day to rest, I tell myself–tomorrow is a new day to begin again.