SNAP: Stories for Living

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Story #11 – Peace and Perfection: NOW

I awake at 3 AM. Half dreaming, I stumble out of bed to write down the images in my head. I had a dream that I was exercising at the gym by walking around the track. Then, my feet began to burn with an impatience to move. I was suddenly overcome with an intense desire to run as fast as I could. I wanted to shock the dead flesh of my body into feeling something. I wanted to bump up my heart rate so I could get a runner’s high from the release of endorphins and adrenaline. I ran, flush faced and glowing with delight.

Panic struck as I glanced behind me and saw dark shadows clasped to my feet and struggling to keep their grip. I realized I was running to shake them loose! I was trying to free myself from their choking grip that has followed me since my youth. Cold hands seized upon my chest and ripped at my heart. Five fingers clenched the breath from my lungs; five fingers named Distress, Depression, Anger, Resentment and Fear.

Dreams like this are all too common among survivors of clergy abuse. In waking hours, it is often difficult to clearly identify or describe feelings and body sensations that intrude on daily life. Those five demons can raise themselves in thoughts and threaten to destroy hope for joy, peace and love. So, in 2009 I learned to stand up and shout “NO! I deserve better! I deserve to live a life of joy, peace, love and bliss!”

Thus stating clearly my intention, I set upon a quest to rise from the ashes of abuse. I encountered many wise people, helpful therapists, loving family members, and steadfast friends. Looking for wisdom and love in the midst of my inner turmoil, I determined that I cannot change the events of the past, but I can change how I hold the past in my mind. I sought out books, websites, teachers and devoured wisdom from any place it might appear.

The result of my quest in 2009 is my own startling realization that, in this perfect moment, I am perfect! I am perfectly the person I need to be in order to go where I need to go. Everything is as it should be in order for me to achieve my life’s purpose, which is simply to grow in wisdom and expand my ability to love. So, IN this moment, I can be grateful for all events that brought me TO this moment.

I can now hear the words of the Christmas angels who said “Do not be afraid.” Since fear, not hate is the opposite of love, I can let go of fear so I can make room for love. I let go of trying to control my feelings or the events that happen around me. Instead, I focus on the peace and perfection that is always infinitely available to me in the present moment. The brightly lit candle of hope is only found in the gift of the present moment. Our hope is the gift of now; maybe that is why we call it our “present.”

Merry Christmas!

Note: this story is from 2009. View other 2009 stories and 2009 voting results. View current stories.