This is part 8 of a series of posts: onetwothreefour, five, six, seven.)

Trying to find a peaceful song
To sing when everything goes wrong
Till the peaceful valley calls me home
-“Peaceful Valley,” Ryan Adams

I want a peaceful soul.

But there are others who surround me. I am not alone. And they make it hard to have peace. Not only because of their actions against me. Though some are vengeful. And hurt. Though some do not know the way of peace. Nor care. Wherever I go, they are there. But they are not really the problem so much as my own self in dealing with them.

I know what can be in me in relation to them.

And I am prone to take up arms. Arms like jealousy and envy and self-absorption. Like a child I am absorbed with my own cares and expect the same of them. When they are not absorbed with my cares, violence. I can wield the weapon of selfishness. And flippancy with skill. Arrogance and pride are part of my arsenal.

I am without compassion. So peace is really impossible. Their problems are in the way. I wonder how it is I alone understand the way things should be. So I become angry. My mood is fixed by how things are in my own stratosphere. I grieve for those who grieve if by those you mean me.

How is peace with others possible if those others are pawns to move and problems to be moved out of the way?

They pull in front of me in traffic. They mess up my order. Are loud in the library. They are dirty. Ugly. Uninformed. These others do not like what I like. And dislike what I like. They are loud and quiet. They ask me to feed them and play with them. They ask me to help them. They have problems. Issues. They send me emails wanting me to fix problems.

Worse. I invest in the idea that the removal of the things they do which I do not like will give me the peace I want. Deep down I know this is not the peace I need. In fact this is the peace of a mirage.

What I need is a peace in the midst. I need a peace that will stand between me and the others – a peace taking away my habitual desire for weapons to use against them.

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