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As I read this, I was moved and inspired by the peace I had found during the time of the letter. Sitting quietly here and now, I can’t help but cry out and ask: where is that peace I experienced back then? You’d think that over time I’d acquire even more peace, but that hasn’t been the case. What happened? Where did all of that previously experienced peace go? Isn’t this peace for always, now and forever and evermore
In an attempt to resurrect the peace I had discovered in the past, I ventured to the Santa Barbara Orchid Show where I hoped to surrender myself to the beauty and calm of nature. Despite the two-hour drive, I hoped that placing myself in the presence of these flowers would help jolt me back into the peaceful state I found once before. Unfortunately I was wrong, and while I enjoyed my visit with the orchids, they did not provide me with the peace I was looking for.
On a mission to find past peace, I went to Huntington Library in San Marino, California to see the beautiful scenes of Roses beds and Wisteria. They are so pretty and elegant. They attract hundreds of visitors, including me, but of course I did not find my peace there either.
I decided it was time to reflect upon my current situation and figure out how I could be depriving myself of the peace I was looking for. What I discovered was that I was drowning in my own low-energy thought: I was worried about my friend’s illness, saddened by my friend’s lay-off and scared for my own slowing home health business. I was letting all of these thoughts and worries consume me and, in turn, rob me of my own inner peace. I knew I had to take an action if I wanted to re-gain peace. So, I started to fast and began praying for myself, my family, my friends, my neighbors and everyone and everything else in my life. I thought that if I tried hard enough I would surely get my peace back. Unfortunately, not even this lead me back to inner peace.
Then, one day while walking around in my back yard, I saw new buds starting to grow from all of the fruit trees and flowers. Like a pure, innocent baby sprung forth from her mother’s womb, these little buds are full of possibility and peace. Like us, they are equipped with everything they need from the moment they enter the world. With a little sun, water and resilience against outside forces, they will indeed blossom.
Plants don’t preoccupy themselves with worry or fear – they just trust in the universe and grow. I found myself believing that the trees and the flowers must grow without the intention of something bigger and better and instead focus on the silent progress acquired within each new moment of life. Suddenly, I felt the beauty of life begin to blossom within me.
As I drew strength from the fruit trees and flowers in my back yard I realized that I, too, contain everything I need within. All I need to do is be still and trust in the universe as they do and I will be okay. And with this, I share with you what I consider to be the most beautiful truth in life: Peace has always existed within us. There is no need to go looking for peace outside of ourselves because it’s been there, within us, since before we took our first breath in life.
With this revelation, finally I could feel the peace I had found so long ago – the “Peace of I.” I didn’t find it by looking for it. I didn’t acquire it by working hard to find it. I didn’t feel it while allowing myself to be consumed by worry or fear for others or myself. Peace was within me the whole time. It never left. The peace of “I” that exists within each of us is always, now and forever and evermore.