Calm in your heart

On Sunday, my friend, Wic, published a post called I Choose Peace.

It was, like so many of the Letters to Pogue, thought provoking, and contained many nuggets of wisdom. This particular statement from that post has sat with me the last two days :

”PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, no trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, my country is one of high crime, high unemployment, huge issues with corruption within the government, and poverty – just to mention a few.

I wasn’t surprised to discover that South Africa is ranked as the second most stressed out country in the world, losing first place to Nigeria. We gained our second place standing  based on homicide rates, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), income inequality, corruption, unemployment, pollution and life expectancy.

I found an article from 2019 – which means it was researched, tests were done, and it was written all BEFORE the current pandemic.

There is a meme making its rounds on social media that states that ‘living in SA should be allowed to be listed as a skill on my CV’. And yes, most of us here DO laugh at it – but we know the truth in those words too.

In the article I mentioned above, I also happened to have a good belly chuckle at the following extract – because it is just so true :

Bring out the stress balls – South Africa is a mess! A recent global study has revealed the main factors which have South African citizens living in a perpetual state of anxiety and despair. Let’s take a look at the findings.

It has been said that there are two types of people in South Africa: those who can handle massive amounts of stress, and those who need bail money. As South Africans, we even find it stressful to avoid stress, and end up stressed out in anyway. We wake up screaming, and then realise that we haven’t even fallen asleep yet.”

I knew the info in the article. It’s hard not to when you live it, although it’s worse than when the article was written. I also know that my American BFF wouldn’t know any of what was going on if it wasn’t for me – she doesn’t get to see our ‘true news’ in her country, as such. I send her newspaper article links and keep her informed, and she is always shocked at how they (in the US) know nothing about most of it.
I don’t like politics. I don’t like to be negative. But let’s go back to that statement I shared above –
”PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, no trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.
Life, for me here, is stressful – not as stressful as it is for multitudes of others in my country – but it’s still stressful. It’s also quite exhausting – constantly having to be aware of every person who moves, looking over your shoulder in broad daylight, wondering about your safety when you’re putting groceries in your car etc. We live in a constant state of awareness – and that’s tiring.

But I sleep well at night (although if there is a report of someone suspicious within our complex, or sirens on the main road outside, or people screaming, or gunshots, then it may take a while to get to sleep) – but I sleep. I wake during the night with my dogs, but I have no problem going back to sleep unless something ails me.

I don’t worry as much as I possibly should.
I still spread kindness and a smile.
I may not have achieved complete inner peace – there are still some things I need to wrestle with – but I certainly think that peace, the kind that keeps my heart calm, is a very large part of me.
My grandparents sang in the church choir my entire childhood. Grandpa had two favourite hymns, and the one was, ”It is well with my soul”.
In the pandemic, with all that is happening around me, I find myself referring to that hymn a lot in the sense that even though I seem to have had physical ailments (not the virus, no), I have taken comfort in the fact that it is still well with my soul.
There are difficult days – where it is an hour by hour motivational talk to myself to get me through. And it is on those days where I remember how important it is to feed my soul, so that it can be well.
I do not bury my head in the sand and not acknowledge that the problems exist. Outside influences DO affect us…. but it’s how much we are willing to let them affect us where the ‘answer’ lies. I also know that there are places in the world that are worse off, and it hurts me every time I think of them.
My hope for all of you is to achieve that inner peace that can help keep your hearts stay calm in the midst of the storms of life. To pursue a path that will give you the assurance of ‘it is well, despite the circumstances’.
Keep going, dear friends. Peace ❤

9 thoughts on “Calm in your heart

  1. Good afternoon my friend,
    I really appreciate your post and there is a lot of Chaos and uncertainty in the world especially today with Coronavirus and its effects on the world and society.
    Calm and peace I truly believe are a state of mind that many people strive for and yet very few people attain.

    A very thought provoking blog post once again and thanks for sharing your insights.
    I hope that you and your family are staying safe and well 🙏❤️
    My thoughts and prayers reach out to you and your family.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Meg,
        I am doing surprisingly well given that it will be 5 weeks on Friday since Kath left and although we are still friends I can’t see us getting back together again.
        I am happy in myself and I only want the best for Kath and wish her every happiness in the future.
        I hope that you and your family are staying safe and well 🙏❤️🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am glad that you are doing well, my friend. I am sorry that your relationship with Kath is almost definitely over, but I am very happy to hear that you guys have managed to maintain a friendship. I am thinking of you, and sending hugs and prayers your way x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hi Meg,
        Many thanks for your kind words and support x
        I actually feel happy because Kath is happier than she has been for the last 6 months or so.

        I think that the telling time for each of us will be when the other has found someone else.
        I personally would be happy if Kath found someone as long as Kath was happy.
        I accept that it’s been a really difficult time for Kath but I think that she did the right thing for her.xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “But I sleep well at night” ….. with all that stress, uncertainty and chaos around, if you have peace of soul, you have everything . The more I am getting to know you, I am admiring you more and more. You are one hell of a woman. Keep that up. Lots of hugs XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your very kind and beautiful words, Amber. ❤ I don't know so much about being one hell of a woman – I have my mini meltdowns along the way 😉
      It's easy to get overwhelmed… but then I remember the strength is not mine alone, and I reflect on all the times I have been able to 'just keep going'.
      I get sad, I get angry – but I don't stay there, if that makes sense?
      Much love to you, Amber. Thinking of you xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Smiles. My dear country – Nigeria ranked first. Phew!. 😪
    Someone still made a jest similar to that “enlisting it on one’s C.V” in reference to working under pressure quality. 😁

    But truly, His peace is what sustains us. There are many things happening that should cause anxiety in us but we choose His peace. 💯

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought of you as soon as I saw the stats! We’re quite the pair, aren’t we 😛 😉

      Yes, we choose not to let the turmoil engulf us – peace is definitely the better option 😉

      Much love to you, dear friend ❤


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