Looking for Calm

There is a tendency to dwell in the eye of the storm. I seek that oasis while chaos swirls. I’m not alone in that desire to escape. Right now I feel that life is tilting and sliding me away from comfort. The way I deal with upheaval must reveal some sort character strength or flaw that will bring down judgement on my head. Being mindful of the consequences of my actions, I have evaluated my response to unpleasantness.

1. I have an overly developed flight response. I prefer to avoid confrontation if at all possible.
2. I try to use my words. I believe in détente and compromise to avoid conflict.
3. Physical confrontation is not in my repertoire. I outgrew that by the time I reached middle school. That said I will defend myself. And I will fight “dirty”.
4. My belief in the goodness of mankind is not often shaken in my day to day interactions. That said, I cringe and my soul writhes when I view the turmoil in this world.

Thus I am conflicted. I don’t like seeing the hurt or knowing the details of the torment but I am compelled by conscience to be informed. My instinct is to turn away. A little Tanka to close out this post:

I question my God
When justice isn’t enough
For the scarred and scared
Will the wounded ever heal
Can love mend the divided

60 thoughts on “Looking for Calm

  1. Meet your brother murisposis. I hate and avoid stress & confrontation at all costs! Which I guess is why I write. To get it all down on paper as opposed to getting in an argument. Well constructed Tanka to back your point up. 👍😁👏

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  2. I completely understand this, wondering what the he** is wrong with some people in this world. I have been disappointed by those who call themselves Christian, good, on the right side of things, etc., when it’s obvious that they have their collective heads buried deep in the collective sands of hate and bigotry. But I won’t go farther than that. I am like you, confrontation is something I try to avoid, but the way of the world has me wanting to speak up more and more – using respectful words and not punching anyone. Let’s hope and pray that God doesn’t leave our current mess going for much longer.

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  3. Dearie, sending you hugs from here. Very few of us do well in confrontations. I avoid them as well because I sleep badly after them, what with all the churning that goes on and on after. That said, there are times when peace still eludes us despite keeping well away from fires. Sometimes it’s just part of the evil in this world firing an arrow at us, getting us to do something that we shouldn’t do. But sometimes though it might be the Holy Spirit stirring the waters of our spirits, urging us to some form of needed action.

    A few years ago, heaven taught me this prayer to pray when I am disturbed: Jesus, lay Thy hand upon my heart. If this (what I am feeling/experiencing) is from satan, take its poison away. If it is from You, help me see what I need to see.

    Tucking you into God’s Heart tonight, Val🧡💚💜

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    1. Caitlynne this prayer is so beautiful! It is often difficult to discern what path God calls us to take. On the bright side there are ways to “walk things back” and take the right path when we err.

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  4. The Times just had an Op Ed about trying to reconcile faith with what is going on in the world. It’s a constant struggle for people as the letters to the editors attested. I have a personal moral code but no faith, so I’m not worrying about what any gods will or won’t do. We each bear responsibility, individually and collectively, and I admit to not living up to my standards much of the time. But at least I have some, which I find missing in too many right now–many of whom claim to follow some kind of religious creed. (K)

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    1. I’m perhaps in the minority, but I believe that all righteous people (no matter their creed or personal convictions) will be granted entry into heaven. But that’s just me. There is a struggle to do good in an evil world…. I’m continuing to elevate my life and hopefully by example others will try to do better too.

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      1. Heaven holds no appeal to me, so I’m only attempting to do my best because I think it’s the right thing to do. I’m certainly not at all righteous, and if the afterlife as rendered by the Christian faith exists, I’ll be in Hell–though I can’t imagine it could be worse than what humans do to each other on a regular. basis.

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  5. I’m glad that your heart, mind and soul keep fighting to keep staunch on living with faith. It’s a broken world, and not yet redeemed. I trust God because He’s been big enough to prove himself to me, and others like me. I bow to let God explain himself because He does it so well when given the chance. Huggerz for your hurts, Val.

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    1. Thanks Dodi! I keep trying to listen for God’s small still voice. Sometimes it is hard to find in the noise in this world… I’m still listening – straining to hear even.

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  6. I think it is an eternal tension between the two pole. I was thinking a few days ago about what it must have cost God to throw Lucifer out of Heaven, even IF the story is a metaphor (I believe it is) it is absolutely life on earth with humans. I had an experience at the grocery store yesterday that just broke my heart. I might write a post about it. Underlying everything in the experience was the struggle of light against darkness. It’s so obvious to me which is better but some people believe dark is light. What can anyone do about that? I don’t know. Throw them out of Heaven? God had luxuries we don’t have.

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    1. You are probably right about the eternal tension. We struggle with right and wrong and with good and evil but it is all on a gradient with a little bit of contamination of bad with the good. All we can hope for is a balance. And now I can’t get the idea of Lucifer getting the boot in a “tough love” scenario out of my head. As an aside, I think life plays out in the grocery store more often than not.

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      1. I don’t think it was tough love. I think God understood that there was no living with Satan. There’s a similar story in Hindu mythology in which a man has to go to war against his cousin because it is the only way to protect his kingdom and the people in it. Or Jesus in the desert. He didn’t give Satan boundaries; he kicked him out. For me this was all a clear lesson in the reality that evil isn’t an idea. And evil is a con. God knew that anything Satan tried to get back into his good graces could be, would likely be, a con. “Hey Jesus, want some bread? Want some water? All you have to do is, you know…”

        “Get thee behind me, Satan.”

        But it’s heart-breaking. I’m sure God’s heart broke. Satan must have been really something.

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        1. Your insight is beautiful. Seems that some of the most evil people have charisma oozing from every pore and are able to manipulate others to their will. I don’t feel sorry for Lucifer. I just have to trust that God knows the heart of each and every one of his creations…

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            1. Yeah. Like when I make a ceramic piece and think it is perfect only to find out it has a fatal flaw that makes it dangerous and can’t fix it – the only choice is to toss it. Makes me sad but I know its for the best… (I did make a lovely piece that I had to throw away because it had so many sharp shards from the glaze that picking it up was like handling a ball of razor blades!)

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  7. calm is always within, just pause and you can feel it!

    That said my highly dysfunctional family constantly avoided confrontation … I pray I’ve found the middle path by dealing with it constructively … once I’ve caught my breath 🙂

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  8. I hate confrontation too, but sometimes it’s impossible to avoid. When that happens, staying as calm as possible and deliberately avoiding hurtful words helps a lot. As for justice, I think it’s rarely enough….what the world needs to heal is a lot more love, and I don’t mean the romantic kind.

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    1. Ann that is it exactly! There needs to be more LOVE. Love leads to patience, forbearance, forgiveness, and compassion. All things that are in short supply…

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  9. i think i am like you. i don’t like confrontations especially when you know from the start it would be pointless…so i walk away, but at the same time i also want to make sure i defend myself when needed.

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    1. Exactly. I generally just walk away. There have been a couple times that I’ve “stood my ground” and it proved to be the difference between becoming a target of bullying and being awarded respect.

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  10. My mama avoids conflict but I just deal with it. I’d prefer not to have it at all and try to ‘think it through’ before confrontation if needed, but prefer just to hit it head on and move on. My mama will avoid it as much as possible. We are different in that way. SO much going on in this world. I don’t question God because, imho, He allows us to make our own choices. Sure He could change things (and sometimes does) but all in all, I truly He allows things to go as we humans choose them too b/c we don’t seek His guidance as we should. This world is sinful and as such there will always be the fear, the turmoil, the chaos, the evil. Your poem, as always, is beautiful. You have such a way with words. Love and hugs.

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! The world is broken and we are all broken people. I agree that most don’t listen for the voice of God in their daily lives. If we listened more closely we’d all make better decisions. Everyone has their own style when it comes to confrontation. I say do what works for you! ❤

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