Not always seeking inner peace

There are times for inner peace – we all need safe spaces,calm and time off. I use meditation and walking to find calm, but I do not seek calm as my default state, and I am increasingly clear about this as a choice that relates to my Druidry.

I am not seeking to escape from this world, to transcend it, or to be anything other than my animal self, living as honourably as I can. I honour nature. Death, loss, grief, pain and frustration are all part of the natural experience of being alive. I try to approach them with equanimity, but I do not avoid feeling them, because they are part of being here. I grieve the losses, I feel the wounds, I allow the things that are wrong and unjust to impact on me.

Of all the emotions, fear and anger do the most to disrupt our inner peace. A life free from fear and anger would be one of great joy and ease, certainly, but at what cost? Injustice, cruelty and eco-cide make me angry. The extinction of species, the starvation of children, the destruction of habitats, makes me angry. I am afraid of what we are doing to our precious home. I am afraid of what rabid capitalism will do to us all. I try and bring some measure of calm to how I manifest my rage and my fear, but I do manifest them. I hold some calmness because I need to cope and stay viable, but I do not ignore these darker, more destructive emotions. They have important lessons for me.

I do not want to insulate myself from the horrors of the world so that I can feel smug and safe in a little cocoon of privilege.

Death and decay are part of the dying time of the year. Winter has always been a killing time. The longer we live, the more loss we are bound to experience. The more I experience, the clearer I become that to live a present and feeling life is to be open to all of it. I’m only interested in cultivating peace to the degree that it enables me to function more effectively. Rage expressed calmly, pain expressed calmly, these can be more useful than the flailing of emotions keenly felt but unmanageable. I want just enough inner peace and self control not to be ruled by my emotional responses, but I am not interested in a life free from suffering. I am interested in a real life, and I’ll take the consequences, all of them.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

3 responses to “Not always seeking inner peace

  • Christopher Blackwell

    When I starting taking medication for being bipolar there were medications that could keep me from feeling depressed well enough, but that also kept me from feeling anything else as well. This was what I referred to as the grey fog. That was certainly not what I was looking. Without emotions I was not living. So I pushed to try other medications till I got one that let me have all of my emotions, even depression and anger when necessary but didn’t let any of them settle in for the long term.

    I went though a lot of heavy experiences afterward, and I felt fear, dread, anger, depression, and grief as needed, that is living to me. But I could also feel the joy ad contentment when those negative emotions ended, and I did get over all of them.

    So meditation for me is to bring the emotions and the thinking at rest for a short time so that I can recharge, and be ready to start all over again. Quiet is just to rest a bit, not stop living.

  • Sheila North

    Lovely blog as always, Nimue. Like Chris, I am bipolar, so managing emotions, especially in my case anger, can be quite challenging.

    Christopher, have you found meditation has affected your creativity at all? I am concerned about its possible impact on my writing.

    • Christopher Blackwell

      Sheila, I would say you have to see for yourself. Each person has different affects from any medication.

      I my case Fluoxetine is the one I settled on, some of which is known as Prozac, has a very bad reputation among some people.

      I started the online magazine ACTION
      after I had been on it for several years. The magazine coming out eight times a year had its pressure, yet most of the time I maintained high quality on my interviews even while being a care provider for my partner and even one year of five different eye operations to save the sight in my right eye.

      But like me, you would have to experiment and see for yourself what works for you. Emotional health, like physical health, is something only you can determine, and sometimes that requires getting stubborn with your doctor until you get there results you consider right for you.

      Such medications take three to four weeks before you can tell what the results are, and you have to try several before you find the one that functions for you. I think it was early one and a half years of testing various ones before I found the right one. As I said only you will know when it is right for you

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