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.