Admittedly, I usually look outside myself for peace. I could use more money to do the things I need and want to do. It would be great if the walls in the apartment weren’t so thin I can hear my neighbors yawn. A new home in a different city would be more desirable. Seeing people treat each other with more love, compassion, and respect would be a major boost to the overall wellbeing of the planet.
However, I’ve found that before any external changes can have any effect in my life I have to, as John Mayer said, “set my heart right”.
Like so many others, I’ve had my share of bad relationships. I’ve had family, friends, and associates hurt me in ways no one should have to deal with. I’ve also been molested.
I’m not soliciting pity, not at all. To some that know me on the other side of the computer screen, this is not news. For my readers it’s a window into who I am. I know I don’t say too much about my personal life. But when I do write about it I’m honest.
And here might be the strange part of why I seek peace from the inside out. I spend a lot of time reflecting on my thoughts and what leads me to the decisions I make. A long time ago, I noticed an odd pattern about some of the men I’m attracted to. I thought nothing of it until I came across a picture of the boy who took advantage of me. My mom still has old photos of many neighbors who visited the house I grew up in. Also his mother used to babysit me (more like she left me alone with her children while she was God knows where).
It was decades since I’d seen that photo. A fuzzy (not of the warm kind) sensation took over my brain. I just kept staring at him. I’d forgotten the details of his appearance. Then I had the feeling I did when I saw the movie Alien when I was a kid. I used to have nightmares about the creature. For so long I thought I imagined it. But there was H.R. Giger’s creation in all its terrifying glory reminding me I was not that inventive. Later I found out my parents took me to see it (hence the years of night terrors). Who takes a five year old to see that?
So there I was holding a reminder of a time I’d rather disregard. It didn’t take too long for me to see the correlation between many of the men I’ve been drawn to and that boy. It made me kinda sick. After I put the photos away I zoned off for a while, got lost in music and writing. It’s what I usually do when I need to excavate my psyche.
I guess I’m happy the universe made it easier to deal with this twisted desire by (as of this writing) not allowing me to have had any physical contact with men that look like him. I always thought it was more than the ‘men like that don’t like women like me’ mentality I fall back on to ease rejection.
I see this has been a very self-indulgent way of answering the peace challenge…But I’m getting to it.
I’ve had “peaceful” days. Even when my world wasn’t the rosiest, I’ve relaxed into just being. My peaceful world would be in my reaction to any cringe worthy memories that come up. This goes beyond the abuse. I’ve meditated, prayed, studied, gone to therapy, and all that jazz. I know it takes work and I’m willing to do it. I’m writing this after all! I need to acknowledge a disturbing event with acceptance that it happened and there is no do-over. If there’s a lesson to learn, I want to get it and not repeat it. I gotta let go of this anger. And I need to forgive. God, do I ever need to forgive! That’s probably the toughest battle I face.
I think I’ve clung to my rage more than it has to me. I’ve nursed it and all I ever reaped was more anger, more disgust with myself for losing control, and the realization that I’d have to start from square one when the dust settled. So I look forward to reconciling with my past. I still believe there is a reason for my existence though I have no concrete evidence. While I’m still here, I want to practice the art of the peaceful warrior. ‘Cause make no mistake, there is a battle waging. It’s just that it’s usually with myself.
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