Peace of mind…..It’s a much undervalued state.
But if one thing the last few years has taught me, peace of mind is the most important.
I’m not talking about mindfulness. I’m not talking about meditation. I’m not even talking about having a quiet life (it feels like I haven’t had a quiet life since at least 1978!)
I’m talking about the state of mind whereby you are in charge of yourself. Where no matter what is happening – good or bad – you have the power to accept it or change it, the power to live it or leave it, the power to feel it or forget it.
You can be lonely in the midst of a marriage.
You can be sad in the face of joy.
You can be happy in a moment of mundane.
You can be calm in the depths of disaster.
And the thing that makes the difference is peace of mind.
To me, not having peace of mind is when you allow someone else or something else to make you so mad in the head you feel powerless and unable to function properly. Where you feel tormented by torrents of thoughts that won’t go away. Where you doubt yourself, and become a fraught and furious caricature of yourself.
It happened to an extent in the first awful weeks and months after my mum’s stroke. It was the first real feeling of powerlessness in my life. Even losing the babies, while traumatic and painful, didn’t make me feel I couldn’t do something, or at least eventually, come to terms with it. But losing my mum was so primal and core it took a long time before I could find the peace of mind to accept her situation. I wasn’t in charge of my own happiness, and it nearly drove me mad (you might say it did, nicely packaged up as post-natal depression).
And now I realise that despite all the grief and turmoil of separation, I am actually calmer than I have been in – literally – years. I’m in the midst of a maelstrom of madness and disaster, but I have an inner voice keeping me steady. It’s saying, “you will be ok.” It’s a voice I’ve missed.
The torment of trying to fix something that was ultimately unfixable ate away at my brain, at my peace, at my personality until I was a fractured piece of myself. But that torment is over, and my inner voice is stronger and louder than I have allowed her to be for a long, long time.
I may be going through one of the worst times of my life. And I’m feeling the pain and strain. I have hurt beyond belief and grief beyond relief. Bu I know I’m back in charge of my happiness.
I have peace of mind…. and that is making all the difference.