Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Thing About Peace


"Don't let them steal your peace…" It seemed so simple the first time I heard it. Straightforward. Steadfast. Intentional. Don't. Let. Them. Steal. Your. Peace.

But like everything else, it's not as easy as it sounds. You have to HAVE peace before you can guard it. Sometimes I have it. Often times, I don't. And the times I have it, I wonder whether I really HAVE it, or if I'm just faking it. And faking is something I have never done well. Never liked doing, never wanted to do.

To my black and white little mind, faking feels dishonest; and I have always had a monstrous moral bias against lying. To the point where I am even unable to pad or cloak the truth in order to grease the works of a relationship or spare someone's feelings. Really, pathological honesty does not make one's life easy. It sucks, in fact. But it doesn't seem to be something I have the capacity to change.

So now, I've taken to wondering whether the peace I am trying to maintain is an authentic peace, or a manufactured one. Real or imitation. Live or Memorex…

The question I need to ask is, "Does it really matter?" If some degree of "faked" peace is keeping me from jumping out of my skin, or jumping off the nearest bridge, is it important that it isn't "real?" If clinging by my fingernails to a fa├žade of serenity I've painstakingly erected—possibly without knowing it—helps me to fend off daily assaults to my bruised and battered psyche, who cares that it hasn't sprung spontaneously from some bottomless pacific well deep in my soul?

What does bother me some is that I feel compelled to live SO on the surface of things. I cannot plumb the depths of anything right now. I can't think about reasons or motivations or plans or reactions, for fear of handing away the peace--real or fake--that I'm trying so hard to protect. And that is so against my nature, I find that in itself is a source of irritation…that I dare not think about. Honestly, I don't know how long I can keep up the Scarlett O'Hara act: I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about it tomorrow…

So I huddle inside—or hide behind—my various incarnations of peace. Hoping that someday, the true peace will grow from within and meet up with the erected one, so that they become one and the same.

Meanwhile, I have to make it through the next four months and twenty-nine days using any and every resource available. Tomorrow is another day…