For some reason, I’ve always been drawn to rocks. Maybe it’s my inner nerd, but I love the colors, the jagged edges, the imperfect lines, the untold stories and the history behind them. Even now as an adult, I collect rocks when I’m on vacation; I pluck them up from my path and save them as colorful momentos from my adventures. When I view them later, it’s like looking at a vacation photo. I am whisked back in time to the place, to the moment where I uncovered my piece of earth. And it brings me peace.
At midlife, I’m a lot more concerned about being peaceful than I was when I was younger. Caught up in the frantic day-to-day, gotta get it done–and get it done well–mode, I accepted a certain amount of chaos as the norm. As long as my son was happy, or safe, my happiness or peacefulness didn’t matter so much.
And then came midlife, rattling my windows and shaking my foundation more, and until there was no more foundation left to shake. For awhile, it was turbulent and when the dust cleared, gone was the husband of 20 years, the secure job, the beautiful home with triple crown molding and brick floors.
That’s how midlife turbulence hits some of us. Sometimes the turbulence comes from outside influences, sometimes from an inner state. Undoubtedly, midlife is a time of undoing and unearthing, a shedding of ourselves and we learn to question. The questions may start small, but invariably grow, like a sprout, seeking, searching for life. Some of us are forced to do the hard and dirty work quickly, but in the end, the process of shifting, unearthing, will take as long as it takes. It is different for each of us.
Every time I thought I learned a life lesson, I ended up repeating it. The universe would show me there was and is much more to learn, especially if we are seeking peace. We cannot escape our lessons. If we are rushing the process of self-discovery, denying any part of our self, the lessons will invariably loop back around so we can experience it in another form until we figure it out.
This work, this journey to peacefulness, is not an easy trip. It takes a strong and tranquil spirit. But how does one become strong and master life lessons so we are not the ones being mastered? How do we become peaceful and patient in agitated, uncertain times?
I’ve discovered that the lessons often lie in the search. It is the journey where we discover our truths. Inner strength comes from the search for inner strength, and tranquility comes after we’ve battled the unrest, the shadows and the darkest parts of ourselves to uncover our truth.
I’ve given myself permission to journey to the ends of the earth and back to unearth my lessons, my truth, my peace. I invite you to take your time, take the scenic tour, slow down and cultivate your inner strength. The road to peacefulness is rocky and hard and so worth it, especially when we come to realize that the rocks are actually diamonds in disguise. Maybe that’s another reason why I love rocks.
What truth, what diamond do you need to unearth at this point in your life? Where in your life do you need to do the inner work on your journey to peace?
From my book Tao Flashes, I offer you this affirmation for your journey: Love is my constant companion on my road to peace.