Monday, October 12, 2009

Peace is Deeper than Happiness

I just felt like writing a random and short blog. I haven't blogged in a couple weeks; I just haven't been in the mood. Writing is like that sometimes - it is an art. In any case, tonight I felt like writing a short blog about happiness. So, yeh, it's not the same style as my other most recent blogs.

Peace

Happiness is awesome. However, there is something more awesome than happiness. What could it be? I'll tell you! It's peace. I think that deep down, we each long for peace much more than for happiness. One can have peace without happiness, and as far as I've seen, it generally looks kinda like manic-depressive systoms. One moment, the person will be truly happy, but the instant that happiness wears off, there is no peace, and so the mood plummets to depression. Not fun. A person who does not have peace will often feel "driven," and many driven people are often happy, but never peaceful. Do we envy them? Of course not! In my opinion, it just kinda sucks to not have peace.

In Christ, do we all have peace? Yes and no. Insomuch as we "have Christ" we "have peace" for peace is found in Him. However, we often forget how to access that peace. Perhaps it's like that piece of jewelry that I put in a safe place, and then cannot find it years later. I own it, but don't know how to actually find it or put it to good use. In that way, even christian find themselves "without peace" in their lives, and like I said, that sucks. Life without peace is like a nightmare. Litterally. A nightmare has bad situations, sure, but what makes it so awful? In real life, when faced by those same situations, a person probably wouldn't get as worked up. What makes it so awful is the feeling of the nightmare: a feeling so terrifying that you may wake up in a cold sweat. Life without peace contains that same irrational and terrifying feeling. This is feeling that often causes insomnia, as far as I can tell, anyway.

Lyrics from Enter Sandman:
Sleep with one eye open
Gripping your pillow tight
Exit light enter night
Take my hand
Off to never never land
Something's wrong, shut the light
Heavy thoughts tonight
And they aren't of snow white
Dreams of war, dreams of liars
Dreams of dragon's fire
And of things that will bite

Mainly, I think that a lack of peace is connected to not feeling safe. You'll notice that I used the wording "feeling" instead of "thinking." People can consider themselves sad without actually feeling that sense of safety. Additionally, safety isn't just a physical thing, it's also deeply emotional. If a person feel physically safe, but emotionally in danger, they will not feel safe at all. So, if a person is emotionally and physically safe, why wouldn't they feel safe and calm? Generally, it's because either they never had that internal feeling of security to begin with, or else they lost it because of some traumatic experience(s). How can you feel safe if, on the inside, you are bleeding to death? If someone comes to your house and stabs you in the heart and leave, are you safe? No harm is coming to you, yet you do not feel safe because you are already harmed.

The other key aspect of peace that I know about is relationships. Babies learn their sense of safety from a mother, and those that don't develop patterns of fear in their lives. We sometimes chuckle at little kids who cry as if the world has come to an end about a dropped ice cream cone, and yet, why do we laugh? For that kid, the world really had come to an end, for they do not have the contextually information to realize that it has not, and more importantly, does not have the emotionally library to be able to access the feeling of comfort and security on their own. We, as adults, can access that information and those calming feelings (most of us anyway). Why should we laugh at those who cannot? This relational aspect must be much deeper than the safety aspect, though, from what I can tell. People who love their family will sometimes calmly and peacefully put themselves in the way of danger to protect their family. They do not feel freaked out by the danger, but count the costs and feel at peace with it. This is why martyrs throughout history have been able to die in peace because first of all, they know that eternally they are not in danger, but a more present feeling than that is the feeling of being near to Christ. Being and feeling near Him gives them that relational peace.

So, like I said before, a person can be happy without being actually peaceful. Happiness is not bad, in my opinion, but does not stand well alone. Many people who think they are seeking happiness are actually seeking peace, and joy is built off of true peace. Not having peace truly is a quite miserable state of existence, but is much harder to fix than a lack of happiness, for many things can make a person happy, but peace is often hard to come by. I think that most people who call themselves unhappy are more truly unpeaceful, and should strive hard to find that peace. Those who run after happiness usually need peace, and therefore people should generally not run about about after happiness, but after peace. When they have peace, they will realize that they don't need happiness, and after that, they will be able to enjoy a better sort of happiness: a truer joy, brightness, and richer enjoyment of everything. Many times, though, one must go through hell to find peace. This is because often some of smaller "hell" has separated us from that feeling of safety, trust, and love, and to get to those feelings we must first face, work through, and heal from all that stuff. Like third degree burns, the healing process for some things is more painful than the harm itself. We need peace, though, and it's worth it to go through "hell" to get it.

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