All posts by Shannon Southerland

Peace comes from within

peaceThis morning I watched as tears welled up in the eyes of Gary, my dear husband.  He was had just finished green super food drink  that is now a routine for him.

Sitting adjacent to him at our dining table, I could not  help but notice how very sad and pained he appeared to be.  My chest began to tighten.  I wanted to cry too, but mostly I just want to hug him and tell him that I love him.  I began to slow down my breathing, taking in each breath as if it were a beautifully wrapped gift, deserving of my attention and admiration.

Not knowing exactly what was going to be revealed next, I gave thanks for this moment, and accept the feeling for what it is…compassionate loving kindness.  It is okay, I tell myself.  It is okay to be going through this with Gary.  I want to rescue him from the ocean of sadness that he is flailing around in right now,  But I can’t  help by jumping into tumultuous waters with him.  I can only let him know that I am here and will be here ready to offer a hand should he want my help   I started thinking about what I could offer as a sort of life line.  Something that he would be a able to use so that the tides of sadness and hopelessness would not completely overcome him.  My emotions shifted from passion, to compassion.  Compassion is the desire to act for the good  of another, where passion is the desire to act out to bring about your own desire.  Both are motivated by love, self and others.

The awfulness of despair was present  on all around me.   I can sense his fears.  “What is this, what is the very sad thought you are having right now?”  I wait to see if he is listening.  “Can you please tell me, I want to help you if I can.”   The answer is the same, his response is the same.  “I want this to go away” he says in a whisper.

“What needs to go away?”  I ask.  “The whole thing, I don’t want to get another scan, I know that the cancer is still there, and I don’t want to be tired and I don’t like my life.”  I have heard the second part of this response for more than three years now.  The cancer part is new, it showed up in the equation a little over four months ago.

For me this is where I have to find peace with myself within.

I loved what a friend told me when she was expressing her sorrow for the news about Gary’s cancer.  “This must be hard for you, and I am sure it was not part of your five year plan.”  She was right, but somehow the hardness began to soften a little.  And little by little, I began to accept the truth that my plans needed changing.

The shifts that I had already experienced in my consciousness would forever be with me, if I only choose to let them have rule over my thoughts.  A loving and positive thought will cancel out the effects of the negative destructive thought.  All the power to change is in this very moment and if I choose to hold on to the loving and positive thought I will be spared the suffering of negativity.  I will experience the joy of connection to the Source of all good and perfect things and I will know the power of love.

In this place of loving acceptance, I find peace.  It is in the acceptance of my self, and in the inner chambers of the heart that peace reigns.  This place can only be accessed when approached with open and empty hands, ready to open the gift and find the wonderful, mysterious  surprises that are on the way.  Surprises like having your husbands doctor give a  diagnosis of stage 4 cancer.   Knowing the unlimited  potentiality of all of life.  How many times have I just resisted loving what is?  Resisting, and all the while, edging God out of the picture.

Yep, none of this was a part of my five year plan. Now, I have quit planning so carefully.  I don’t want to portray that I have given up on life.  Quite the contrary. I have now come to embrace  life more fully.  I trust more completely  in this  truly amazing process.  And where did it all start?  It all started with my thoughts, so Buddha is right, I found peace within,  I am the only thinker in my head, so it came from inside me.

The closing song at every Unity service is the peace on earth song,  I sang it yesterday, and I today it is still my inspiration.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me….

I have the peace that passes all understanding and it is yours to have too.  I know you can have this, you will find it, because you are seeking within just by reading this far.  This is your self healing journey and I love being on the path with you!

Namaste you beautiful creation of God!