How much energy have I squandered in the course of my life, being cross, offended, disappointed or depressed? I suspect it has been a great deal, and I reflect with wry amusement – since that is better than mourning, again – that all these negative states also absorb extra energy since, in order to keep them alive, we must insist on them and rehearse our grievances, constantly reminding ourselves why we have excellent reasons for being unhappy. If we simply released them, the worries that underpin our negativity would simply float away.
Energy misapplied can be re-applied in better ways, of course. By refusing to allow ourselves to be derailed into grumpiness, by the realisation that it is fine, it is perfectly allowed to remain content even in the midst of great upheaval. Without noise, the quieter virtues are emboldened to emerge: peace, rest, calm and patience, which can show us a different way to relate to the world’s paroxysms. Like love, peace does not require to be constantly bolstered with declarations of loyalty. Peace, when it is allowed to be, simply is; and reveals itself as the inevitable underpinning, once all the noise has been silenced: We may make a lot of noise, but in the end, it is quietness that prevails.
Perhaps that is why I so like reading, and have gravitated to writing as I’ve got older. These are peaceful occupations that not only allow us to escape from everyday noise, but give us the means to focus on an activity that demands a bit of quiet in order to be effective.
Thanks for listening.