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Just Give Me a Bit of Peace!

How to get some peace

Distant shot of two story wood house, green grass, autumn trees, lake in foreground with two little children playing nearby.
A peaceful scene at Evergreen as grandkids play by the winter lake.

We all want peace.

‘Just give me a bit of peace!’

We’ve all said this at least once in our lives and some of us have said it at least once already today.

We tend to think that our inability to experience daily peace is caused by other people or circumstances, but this isn’t usually the case.

Our lack of peace is mostly caused by us.

There isn’t a war in our living room or neighbourhood. There’s a war inside our head.

Bullets aren’t whistling around us. It’s our thoughts that ricochet like rifle shots from one side of our brain to the other, bombarding us with things to do, feel, think, say, desire, and fear.

Adding to this noisy and distracting confusion is our habit of arguing with ourselves. We try to mentally run away from our thoughts, but they keep popping up from behind cerebral bushes with a grin on their face, determined to mow us down with their logic and persistence.

Desperate to find a bit of peace, we hop in the car and drive to an idyllic spot with towering trees, toadstools, fairy-wrens, wildflowers, and a meandering stream.

‘Ah,’ we say, settling down onto a tartan blanket with a lavender-scented cushion cradling our head. ’Here I will find peace at last.’

But we never find it because we’ve brought our brain with us, and our brain is never quiet. It doesn’t know how to stop. The more silent the environment is around us, the louder the thoughts scream in our head.

When we can’t even find peace in peaceful surroundings, we’re forced to acknowledge that we are a mobile mental menace, a danger to ourselves and others. A warzone.

So, if this is the case, how can we ever experience peace?

How to Experience Peace

You can’t find or be given a bit of peace.

A white dove isn’t going to land on your windowsill, bearing in its beak an olive branch with your name on it. Even if you received such a gift, wrapped it in red silk, and placed it carefully in a treasure box kept under your pillow, it wouldn’t change a thing.

Peace isn’t an object. Nor is it a result, a product, or an outcome.

Peace is a quality.

It’s an intrinsic quality of spirit.

Peace is part of our essential self.

Peace is already within us, waiting to arise.

It can only arise when the fire and smoke caused by our inflammatory, endless thoughts dissipate.

But how can we lessen this self-generated conflagration that seems to take our peace from us?

A simple way is to stop focusing on our thoughts. Just leave them alone. Don’t engage them in conversation. Just let them float out of our head and into the ether. In other words, let them burn themselves out.

Whether you’re lying by a meandering stream, in the middle of an argument, or cooking dinner, leave your thoughts alone. Let them be. They don’t need your attention. They don’t need more fuel to keep them burning.

Then, lo and behold, peace appears! In fact, it’s been there all along. It has never left us. It’s a part of us. We always have access to it. Peace is underneath all the smoke and fury, waiting for us to let it through.

When we allow peace to flow through us, the amazing thing is that we can share it. It spreads like perfume from a flower, affecting whatever we are doing, and whomever we are with.

Don’t wait for the dove or the olive branch to appear, for yet another Peace Movement to begin, or for Peace Talks to be scheduled.

Let's be walking, talking bits of peace, wherever we are in the world.

Let’s be peace ourselves.

With love, Marlane

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