My yoga teacher plays this above song called Deep Peace. I love it. It makes me think about what deep peace really is.
There is a difference between surface peace and deep peace. Surface peace is feeling things are good right now. Deep peace is knowing everything is good, always.
Deep peace soaks into your bones. Deep peace goes into every cell in your body. It soothes your brain. It reaches your heart. Deep peace holds your heart in its hand and heals it.
Deep peace is the real stuff.
We are missing this depth in our society. Many psychotherapies that you will find today only reach surface peace. These therapies are bandaids. Where is the deep stuff that we need? Where is that for which we long?
If we don’t go deep, this world will depress us. Nothing of this world lasts. So what do we have to hold onto? Health? Positive thinking? Each other? Not really. All of these things are temporary.
I love (sarcasm) how we diagnose teenagers with anxiety and depression these days. This may be my cynicism talking, but if a teenager is not anxious or depressed today, he/she is in denial. This world is a neurotic anxiety disorder with a side of hopeless depression. Sorry, but it’s true.
When I was little, my mom brought me to a therapist. I worried about the possibility of not having my math homework when I got to school. I also worried about the fact that someday, my parents will die.
The therapy didn’t help. The therapist did all the things that therapists are supposed do. It just didn’t help me.
The therapist asked me what is the worst that can happen if I leave my math homework at home. Duh! Leaving my math homework at home would have been the worst thing for me! I didn’t find that helpful. Then she told me that my parents won’t die for a very long time, so I don’t have to worry about that. That didn’t help either. It didn’t change the fact that someday my parents WILL die. Did I mention that side of hopeless depression?
This is where spirituality needs to come in. This is where our society misses it. I am not saying I know what the answer is. But I do know that spirituality does not have to mean religion. Spirituality is simply finding meaning to life. It is about getting in touch with what you might call God, or Love, or Spirit. It is learning to identify with more than just your body and more than what you can see and touch in this world.
If I was in a Native American culture, for example, I might have been raised by the entire community to know deep down that there is life in the trees, the earth, the sun, the moon, and the wind. I might have been taught to get in touch with my ancestors, knowing that they are around me all the time. I might have been taught that death is nothing to fear. Every elder in society would have had a deep knowing that death is not to be feared, and therefore, I would have known it too.
I am not blaming therapy, or my parents, or my religion, for my fear. It is just the world we live in. It is a world based on fear. There is not a deep peace instilled in us here.
I do remember the first time I got a sense of this deep peace though. It was in my early 30’s after I had been studying A Course in Miracles for a few years. I was in my kitchen (I don’t know why this is important, but I know I was in my kitchen). I thought about the fact that someday, my dad will die.
Before this moment, A Course in Miracles teachings would help me with the shallow day-to-day anxiety provoking occurrences; but when it came this deeper scary stuff, it didn’t work. A thought about my dad dying would send me spiraling down until I could distract myself with something more insignificant but pressing.
This time was different. I had a deep knowing that even that will be okay. It’s hard to put to words. I felt it though, and it was a beautiful feeling. I knew death could not hurt me anymore.
Many therapists even are afraid to go to the topic of death with a client. Why? Because they are afraid to go there themselves. But those professionals with a spiritual background, such as shamans, spiritually oriented therapists, ministers, etc, are not be afraid to go there. Because they have a deeper understanding that everything is okay, always.
I do believe there is a way to go spiritual without getting into a religious battle. I don’t care if you are Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, or an Atheist. There is some power that unites us all, and that is love. We cannot get to love without peace. And we cannot get to peace without silent contemplation or meditation. And we cannot get there until we siplify our lives, the lives of our children, and teenagers.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Blaise Pascal, Pensées.
We don’t have to agree on religious or spiritual beliefs. We can let people believe what they want. Love and peace unites us all. We can let our children come to their own knowing. We can get this deep peace deep in our bones, and our children will drink it in.
And the world will find the deep peace it needs.
Peace, Love, and Deep Peace to you,
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