Have you ever felt that indescribable necessity for something but not knowing what it is? Like something is missing? What you might be looking for is peace.
I remember a few years ago I was having dinner with some friends. I was having a good time and my life was going well. We were drinking a few glasses of wine while we talked about everything and nothing. I had a lit cigarette between my fingers that I then rested on the ashtray.
I then lit another cigarette and held it between my fingers until I rested it on the ashtray. It wasn’t until I lit my third cigarette that I noticed I had two lit cigarettes resting on the ashtray and one in my hand. I had lit cigarettes all night and resting them in the ashtray as a lit one after the other, and I wasn’t even smoking them nor was I drunk.
It wasn’t because I smoked THAT much, but because deep inside something was missing. I was restless and I didn’t know why.
This wasn’t the only time this happened. That restless feeling had followed me for most of my life. Even when everything seemed perfect there was always something missing. It wasn’t food, drinks, cigarettes or better weather. It was something else.
Needless to say, I’ve always been a worrier. I’ve worried about everything since I started talking. But even when I had nothing to worry about there was still something missing.
The absence of worry isn’t peace. The absence of worry was simply not worrying. But peace on the other hand… peace makes the mind calm, the body still and the spirit cheer.
My entire life I’ve been moving around the world like a cockroach through a kitchen, just restlessly moving. First it was for adventure, then in search of a dream, then out of boredom, then for whatever reason I could find.
When I went to New Zealand I didn’t know what I was looking for. Everyone I met had a plan or an idea of what they wanted.
My time there was pretty chaotic in so many ways. Not only because I have a chaotic mind that never rests but also because I am extremely sensitive to external stimulations. I can´t stand loud noises, crowded places, buildings, concrete and bright lights.
I had spent most of my life living in a chaotic and busy city. Always on the clock, always aware of time and busy, busy, busy. However when I traveled, it was always the small towns of the world that I fell in love with, and so I kept moving from one small place to another, searching for something while not knowing what it was but that deep down I knew I craved
The moment I got to Auckland it started mentally shocking me and in a desperate attempt to save my mental sanity from further chaos I went to a small town by the beach. A remote part of New Zealand were the population was 4 thousand people.
I decided to settle down there for as long as I could, always with one foot out the door. Knowing that any minute could be my last. Why? Because for some reason or another I was never able to stay long enough in one place, so that’s why I never unpacked my bags.
On a sunny spring afternoon I took my usual walk to an even more remote part of the beach. I took a boat ride and walked several miles to get there.
Until I found a beautiful tree with long branches that extended over to the sea. I rested my head on an old branch as I felt the sand stick to my legs. The soft, humid wind blowing, bringing the scent of the flowers to my nose, the small waves gently crashing against the sand, making a glittering sound with the broken shells.
I stared at the sky, while I took small sips of my ginger tea and then I felt it. Peace.
There was nothing that I desired, I felt complete and absolute calmness, my mind was resting at last. The world around me felt like it had disappeared, time stopped; there was nowhere I needed to be except there in that exact moment.
I had everything I needed and everything I wanted, there was nothing missing. I felt complete for the first time in my life.
I recently wrote to an acquaintance and in his reply he wrote to me, “I hope you find peace again.”
Of course after surviving the biggest battles of my life I had forgotten about the most important thing, peace. I was so focused into being happy again that I had forgotten that peace is longer lasting, more serene and more fulfilling.
We wish for happiness on ordinary basis, but do we ever wish for peace? Peace is feeling contentment without the euphoria, is feeling in harmony with yourself and the world around you. Peace is a crucial feeling of our wellbeing and yet is so neglected by the masses who are always in search of happiness but rarely peace.
I ended up staying for 8 months in that town and peace was almost always present, I didn’t experience euphoric happiness, but there was no need for that when I had peace. I smoke through happiness but with peace I can happily lay the cigarettes down and not light one up again.