By Pam Luedtke
Most of us would agree that this past year has been an exceptionally turbulent one. Although debatable, I believe these are not what we would consider “normal” times as everything seems quite heightened. Conflicts and tensions around the country, around the world, and even within our own immediate circles seem to be more numerous and intense than they usually are. It seems to be the way of the human race that we need to go through conflict first before we can find our way to making improvements in life. And we certainly do seem to be in a time like that right now. So we can be hopeful, at the end of the day, that the outcome we’re heading to is going to be a positive one. But it is not so easy going through it.
As we approach the end of this year, the holiday season, and the beginning of a new year, what I plan to do is to take some time to shift gears into a quieter, more peaceful space. To step back from, but not away from, that never ending stream of outer world happenings and take some quiet time to tune in to myself. Take some time to reflect on things, and to remember that there is more going on here than just what we see in the outer world. To remind myself that we are all part of something bigger and greater and higher, and that we are here having this life experience for a reason. It is not just random; it is meant to go somewhere. There is a purpose and point to our being here, even if we are not fully aware of that. Life is not just a physical experience; it is also a spiritual one.
And on some level within ourselves, we probably already know this and have even been in touch with it at times. It’s just that we lose sight of it as we go through our daily lives and get caught up in all that is going on in our modern world. . . so many things that must be dealt with, on so many levels. It is not easy to sort it all out.
So again, this time of the year seems perfect for taking a step back from all of that to turn inward and connect with that sense of spiritual or higher Self that exists within each of us. We’re not going to find it by looking outside. We need to consciously sit down with ourselves in quiet contemplation and look within. And when we do that, we may find ourselves connecting with something that brings us a sense of peace. A deep and inner peace. A wonderfully soothing and comforting peace. A peace that we can then turn to as we go forward in our lives, into the new year, into what will come.
We can use that sense of peace as a way to steady ourselves, to calm ourselves, and to feel more confident and secure in the current situation. If we can connect with this and hold it in our hearts, we will have a place where we can go in the midst of the turmoil of the outer world, and some help with the stresses and pressures and decisions that must be made. We can retreat to that inner place of deep peace, renew our sense of purpose, and emerge with a clearer sense of direction on how to go forward.
And what about that sense of purpose? What would that be for most of us? Well, contrary to what we might believe about how it must be something big and grand, maybe all it has to be about is living better. Not having more, just living better. For the majority of us at this time, maybe all it has to be about is trying to be a better person in our own individual lives. . . making better choices, working with others in more constructive ways, supporting improvements in the systems we create as human beings. It doesn’t have to be big and grand. It can be small and simple, gradual and incremental. As long as we’re making the effort and sincerely trying to do better, it counts. And it just may bring us more harmony and more joy with others and less suffering in our lives.
So surely we can think about that and consider these ideas as we go into the New Year and we try to do better. Who knows, we might be heading into a time next year where all this crisis in the world builds to a head, and we find ourselves in a position where we need to make choices about how we, and those in our immediate group, are going to go forward in the future. We want to be prepared and ready for that as best we can. So that is why going to this place of inner reflection now can only help us later. . . finding that deep peace within to support and guide us in the new year and the future to come. Deep peace to all.