One day, my husband introduced me to Serenity.
Ok, so I wasn’t exactly looking for a Firefly class transport ship, but I love the show and it really got me thinking. Sometimes our serenity is right in front of us and sometimes we have to go out looking for it.
One thing’s for sure, we can’t depend on anyone else to GIVE us our serenity, in fact, it’s very likely that someone is going to try and take it. Maybe not intentionally, like in the show Firefly, but by distracting us, diverting our attention, trying to make us buy, give, do, or believe something that we don’t want, because it benefits them.
My opinion is that we find Serenity when our actions align with our beliefs. When we act according to how we feel, we are living what’s called our “authentic selves”. Which is a trendy way of saying being frigging honest about who we are.
At first glance, it seems an easy thing to do. Then we encounter peer pressure and people and their varying degrees of opinions. In our quest to be liked or loved, we may begin to give a little on our own opinions, which is fine if you’re actually changing your opinion, but if you’re just pretending so you can be part of the crowd, you soon find yourself changing a little here and a little there, until you can’t even remember what your initial belief was. Once this happens you really start feeling lost and unsure, which makes it even easier for other people to tell you what you think and believe. It’s a vicious cycle that’s easy to be trapped in and there goes serenity out the window.
Verbalizing our opinions and desires is what helps shape our lives. Our thoughts affect our actions which create our reality. When we just nod our head and go along with the crowd, we are not creating a life that suits us. We are just existing in a shadow of a life, a shadow of someone else’s making. Overwhelming fear keeps us in this shadow: fear of loss, fear of embarrassment or being “found out”, fear of being left behind, fear of being hated or missing out on something.
My life used to be a fake copy of other people’s dreams and ideas. I hunted because that was cool to the people I was around the most. I drank crappy beer because they all did. While I loved riding motorcycles, I didn’t love the biker look or lifestyle, but I wore clothes that weren’t me anyway and anytime I went to a rally, I felt like I was in some kind of costume. Needless to say I had a hard time making friends because I didn’t want anyone getting too close and realizing what a fake I was.
There were some very opinionated people in my life who said things like “you don’t really believe that” and “you’re a bleeding heart liberal”, whenever I was brave enough to voice my opinion. I heard these statements enough times that I began to think something was literally wrong with me for not thinking the same as everyone else, so I tried drinking their beer, eating their food, and spouting their political opinions, just to be part of the team. At the time I couldn’t really see the damage this was doing to me and I didn’t know that anything bad was happening. I was often depressed and endured so much anxiety that I would break down, screaming and crying in the middle of the kitchen floor.
It was a scary process, but I finally started making my own way.
During the transition to my current life, (which has taken many years) I occasionally slipped back into depression and moments of anxiety. I had been living with the of fear of being found out, or being called a fake for so long it was hard to shake that feeling. Looking back to see how far I’ve come towards being true to myself, I can see the progress I’ve made over the years and can finally give myself credit for my hard work and accomplishments.
Now I can appreciate how those small changes, implemented over time is creating the life of my dreams. Trust me when I say, it’s nowhere near perfect. I still get frustrated in heavy traffic, I often feel like I’m in a big hurry, and I sometimes forget to be grateful for the little things. There’s times I keep my opinions to myself because I don’t want to ruffle feathers, but I try not to show agreement with something that I don’t agree with.
During my quest to understand the world around me, I discovered more and more that I didn’t believe all the things my church was telling me. I left that church and went to a different one, then a different one. That one didn’t set well with me either, so I asked the pastor for information on their beliefs, thinking I was just misunderstanding it. I wasn’t. Slowly, I began to realize I didn’t believe in God and that was why none of these religions fit. While I didn’t find much peace and serenity in my church, I know I did often find it in prayer. Turns out prayer is much like meditation and meditation is now one of the things I do to build my serenity.
I’ve recently discovered that when I turn my thoughts inward and listen to what my heart has to say about the world, I learn a lot more than I ever did by listening to other people’s opinions. I’m learning my own path to Serenity and now I’m on a quest to discover how other people find serenity. I’m especially curious about people who have left religion or have a different or offbeat spirituality. If you don’t believe God will take you away to heaven when you die, you need to find your peace somewhere. I want to know where that is.
Meanwhile, sign up to receive my blog and I will share what I learn as I seek to create more Serenity in my life and the world.
Mother of Three
Happy Wife of Joe
Homegrown Serenity Founder