“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ~Buddha
During the summer I was fortunate enough to travel to Dublin. I had never been to Ireland and was excited to explore what I knew would be a beautiful country.
As the plane began its descent to the Dublin airport, I took advantage of my window seat and became transfixed by the plush green scenery. The deep emerald covered landscape was exactly as I imagined it to be.
We landed and still I stared out the window, mesmerized. That’s when I saw something I never imagined.
Bunnies. Lots of them. In the field next to the runway there were a dozen or so bunnies—flashes of tan, popping up, darting down and well, being bunnies.
I became hypnotized by this unusual scene, watching the bunnies hop this way and that while the plane’s engine roared less than thirty feet from them. On the other side of the tarmac a plane took off, and still these bunnies went about their bunny business.
It astonished me that these bunnies could just be springing around, seemingly oblivious to the chaos occurring all around them. Perhaps they were just used to it, but even so, it was incredible to watch.
It made me think of my own life and how challenging I can find it be in a peaceful state no matter what is happening around me. I can be a worrier and on top of that, I tend to get consumed with other people’s energies, problems and fears. It happens because I care and that’s a good thing.
But sometimes getting taken in by the chaos can be troubling. In rough moments it can change my mood, ruin my day and darken my outlook.
I see this happen with other people too.
Of course there’s no mystery here. Even if our lives are in a fairly stable state, it doesn’t take much for chaos to present itself and threaten our sense of ease, our desire for routine, and our feelings of optimism.
No matter how aware we may be, it’s simply difficult to hold onto a sense of calm or peace when we’re standing smack in the middle of a storm. Because even when we are consciously trying to maintain our peaceful equilibrium, it’s energetically challenging to shut out whipping words, torrential emotions, loud booms of anger, and the deafening silence of sadness or heart-wrenching worry.
When I think of some of the most stressful times of my life I remember the one thing I consistently prayed for was peace.
Peace is so hard to maintain when the people around us are stressed, sick or sad. Peace feels impossible when we find ourselves in situations that are anything but.
Peace is present somewhere inside you and releasing it is only a pause, a breath and a heartbeat away.
Here’s what I’ve come to realize—after being presented with this lesson time and again. There’s always going to be something happening around us, out of our control, waiting to wreak havoc and rock us off balance. There’s nothing we can do about that. We can however, work hard to control the way we respond.
We must not let our peace of mind and peace of soul be disturbed or snatched away from us. We have to preserve it, to hold onto it in any way possible.
I know that’s harder than it sounds, but what other choice to do we have?
I sat on that plane, observing this scene and a thought immediately came to mind.
I want to be like those Dublin bunnies.
I want to be aware of my surroundings at all times while keeping a sense of calm about it. I want to be able to shut out the chaos on demand and simply focus on the quiet stillness that resides in the depths of my soul.
The next time I find myself in the midst of chaos, I hope I will remember those Dublin bunnies. I will think of them happy, hopping around, aware—but seemingly undisturbed.
I hope it will serve as a reminder to regain my balance and find my center, so I can somehow, some way, peacefully get back to my business.
What are ways you create peace when it seems impossible to?
Angie Sarhan received her M.F.A in Creative Non-Fiction from Emerson College. She currently teaches college writing. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys traveling, cooking and writing—especially her inspirational, positivity-packed, sometimes humorous, always lighthearted blog. For more inspiration, you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Image courtesy of Tavins Origami.