The Retirement Quest: The Never-Ending Search for Peace

Mar 9th, 2009 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Seeking peace will not bring the seeker to a final destination, unless you count death. Peace is often elusive, particularly if life seems beset with stresses, pain, brokenness and alienation.

A worthy pursuit, peace is often interrupted by unknown and unexpected interferences. It is then that the challenge to sustain the pursuit will be all the more crucial. Bombarded by forces beyond our control, the peace seeker shall forever be in the midst of challenges that test our mettle.

Peace is the subject of literally thousands of self help guides, the theme of many inspirational books, the essence of many pithy quotes, the core of spiritual searches.
Some are profound. Others are empty. The source of peace, while assisted by external
sources, will never be the means to sustain Peace. Peace finally comes from within. Its lifeblood is found in sharing and giving peace to others.

Peace is not something one can hoard for a rainy day. It cannot be deposited in an account to draw upon when needed. It is an active and perpetual exercise to generate it and to extend its life by distributing it to others. Think of it as something you do by rote or habit. Being peaceful creates peace. Maintaining a peaceful demeanor provides example to others. Showing peace in the face of crisis or internal warring emotions is a model of the power of peace.

Life is not always what we anticipated or expected. Perhaps there are days when life just isn’t giving us what we think we deserve. There’s the catch. Deserving a good life isn’t guaranteed. The bumper sticker that proclaims “There, but for the grace of God, go I,” is a flight of ego fantasy that suggests comparative worth. There will be no peace in that. There is no peace in praying that you are more worthy than the other person praying at the altar.

The quest for peace requires a ready reminder that our attitudes toward others and ourselves requires daily inventory. When slippage occurs, seeking external inspiration may be helpful. Examining the perceptions we have of ourselves and others may require an overhaul of ourselves. “I have always been this way” does not justify unhealthy behaviors. Confessing that there are serious flaws needing correction or radical surgery in our soul is often a good starting place for achieving new found peace.

The ritual of persons from other cultures to both greet and bless each other with signs of peace is not unlike the practice of “benediction,” which means “good words.” Offer good words to those you meet and greet. In return, peace will be nourished in your own life and soul.

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