I have been reading Ralph Waldo Emerson, bits and pieces of his essays, and found this little gem:
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
In the end, no one can cure your past, fix your future, eradicate the bitterness growing inside you like algae on a stagnant pond. Not your parents, your children, your therapist, your minister. We are so quick to blame others for our misfortunes, fears, and failures, when perhaps the truth for our sadness rests within ourselves.
Rather than sign-off most of my correspondances with a 'sincerely' or 'best' or 'cheerio', I sign off with 'peace'. I do so because I truly do wish every person with whom I interact to manifest peace, to revel in it, to find a small corner of quiet in which to be one with oneself and the world. I also sign peace because it is my reminder to myself to practice peace.
The past few months have seen little peace. I have struggled to find my inner reserve, and this difficulty has affected my sleep, my health, my writing. I alluded to this almost spiritual exhaustion last week, the tenuous balance between fear and love.
My husband is a minister. For reasons which have less to do with him and his ministry and more to do with the individual fears of a minority of his congregants, his pulpit has been under attack. As the wife of the minister, it has been difficult to keep sharp words behind my teeth, because when my family is threatened, I go into lioness mode. Mothering is instinctual.
Losing his ministry is more than losing a job -- it is losing a community in which we have been invested for a decade. It is this sadness which has left me sleepless these weeks, which has blocked my heart and my words. Today, though, the church voted -- and we prevailed. The work to bridge the chasm left behind will be great, but at least it is work. For all of you who have sent kind words and prayers, thank you -- you are so appreciated and so loved.