Serenity, Love, and Grace are my oldest friends.
Before I knew their names or understood the magnitude of their tender power, I felt the peace and strength their presence gave. These dear, old friends taught me the art of looking and listening inward.
In watchful stillness, they stand sentinel over me today, waving me back home whenever I wander away.
Whatever my behavior or misbehavior, they call to me from somewhere deep inside, “Hey, that’s okay. Come in and we’ll get through this together.”
They hold the door open, and as I pass the threshold, whisper, “Keep breathing.”
There, in a long sigh, I find them. And Grace wraps me in her easy elegance.
There, where I feel the earth support my weight, I feel them, too. And Love embraces me with the highest adoration.
There, in the places I allow my gaze to rest, I see them. And Serenity holds me with her calm and steady eyes.
There, as my face settles into a half-smile. There, where my palms lay open to the sky. There, in the subtle movement of head and spine aligning, I meet my oldest friends. Once there, they remind me that I am home.
“Home is where your heart is,” they tell me.
Sure enough, there, within my heart, inside that space beyond space, I find my home. Outside of tally marks and crossed out calendars, I find my connection to the me that knows only of unbreakable eternity and shared humanity.
And there in my home, I can stop the rushing and forcing and competing.
I know their names now, Serenity, Love, and Grace, and I’ve experienced a fraction more of their depth. They’re still my dearest friends and teachers.
No matter my transgressions, they say, “Hey, that’s okay. You’ve wandered and now you’re back. Come in, please. Stay as long as you wish.”
They welcome every part of me in and teach me how to do the same. Always with serenity, love, and grace.
Every day, I hear more of their influence in me.
My misgivings and worries, my oversights and suspicions, my timidity, my jealousy, my resentment, I welcome home. Each is a remembered self, frozen in time and attempting to serve me in its own limited capacity. Each, hungry for rebirth.
They’ve waited all this time to witness how much I’ve grown since they were assigned their duties. To each, one by one, I’m practicing saying, “Hey, that’s okay. Come inside and we’ll look at this together.” With my compassion, they’re finally able to rest.
My pains are my teachers, too, and it’s through my willingness to learn that I’ve been able to teach them in return.
I catch myself sometimes still, shutting out their lessons, mistaking them for problems to black out.
So, to myself I’m learning to say, “Hey, that’s okay. Come back home and try again.”
Every time I return to the space inside, I find that it’s expanded somehow as if to say, “Hey, that’s okay. You’ve returned, wounded maybe, scarred maybe, but changed and grown.” And there, I find my oldest friends once more.
I tell you this in hopes of offering you a hand, like a dear, old friend, as you navigate this human experience.
But what do I know? Who I am to say the reason we suffer or love or fail?
I can tell you this, though. I’ve found my oldest friends, Love, Serenity, and Grace, standing by, faithful and patient. They don’t rush. They don’t boast. They don’t keep score or force their way through. Therein lies their strength.
They’ve taught me that I don’t need to rush or boast or force anything, either. And they’ve taught me that ours is a friendship built on dedication. I need only be willing to breathe or look or listen. There, I will find them with open arms, no matter what path I’ve taken on my way back home.
Align with the serenity, love, and grace in you and love yourself, come what may.
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