Day 321 – Peace within

Last day of my leave. I want to make the most out of it, but I also want to take it easy. Easy on myself. Not giving myself the pressure that life and everything has to be epic all the time. I just drove around Uganda with my sister. We had an amazing time. That’s enough. 

Work thoughts are creeping up again. When you live right next to the office, it’s hard to separate work life and private life sometimes. It’s already a blurr in some moments. A beautiful one, but still a blurr. 

Last day of holiday. Of spending time with my precious sister. It’s bittersweet. 

But this morning, in my little devotion time, I was reminded of words by Henri Nouwen. It’s not about how much we do. How busy we are or how many people we help. It’s about being at peace with oneself.

Yesterday I wrote about freedom. Being free. About it being hard labour. So is inner peace. 

I often feel we have a romanticized idea about inner peace. It’s about yoga poses on the beach in matching fancy leggings. It’s achieved in white houses with blue doors in the South of France. It’s about early morning coffee with a supercute dog, a perfect journal and a healthy breakfast. It’s that one instagram picture liked by more than x number of your fellowers. It’s the type of inner peace that we read about in magazines and find self-validation in through social media. 

Is that really inner peace though I wonder? It seems more like presenting outer peace to the world, pretending we are just as harmonized in our broken, restless hearts. 

Peace within is hard. I find it hard. It might be the perfectionist in me. It might be the drive to do well, to prove myself, to validate myself. It might be the realization that real inner peace cannot be found in myself, but I need the real source of peace, which is Jesus. And with His inner peace comes endless freedom. 

And still, the everyday reality remains. Inner peace is also hard work. It’s about determination to show up on my yoga mat every morning. It’s about going out into the busy, crowded city and still enjoy what it has to offer me. It’s about the garden and my home grown tomatoes. It’s about reading. Picking up the book I started in, but never quite finished. It’s about persistent prayers. Every moment of the day, not just when I think I have to pray, but as a life line, like breathing. In and out. In and out. 

And if I think about it more, I realize that Henri Nouwen was right. Inner peace isn’t obtained by what we do, how we serve and how many people’s lives we affect. It’s about that inner peace within. 

And still the question remains, why then do we try and get so much validation from outside peace. This craxy, restless world that isn’t peaceful at all. We still fail, fall and find ourselves lost in the brokenness. 

But wasn’t it through the brokenness that life is made whole again?

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