Sidewalk Bends

Exploring the soul and it's reaches.

Posts Tagged ‘peace

Fool’s Peace

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Peace is not solely attained by changing the world around us. We cannot bring peace nor understanding to others without first bringing it to ourselves. True peace cannot be forced nor implemented through fear. External peace without internal peace is simply a show that fools no one except those who wish to be fooled.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

June 28, 2013 at 7:04 am

Long Suffering

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The words I could not say…

We love you.

We will miss you.

Forever in our hearts there will be a place for you.

We miss your company and yet you have not gone.

We miss your smile and yet you have not stopped smiling.

We miss your guidance and yet you have never stopped guiding.

We miss your warmth and yet your light shines ever brighter.

Go in peace, but never too far away.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

May 26, 2012 at 8:57 am

Planting a Seed

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green light

This is dedicated to my mom who inspired this thought.

Several years ago while meditating I decided to ask God to show me Himself. I asked Him to show me what God is, and to remove any of my preconceived thoughts of God and of existence itself. I asked that any internal and external biases be removed so that I may come to understand.

As I asked this through my heart, I attempted to quiet my mind. What I experienced and what I saw I could not expect. With my eyes opened, I became blind. I could not see anything. Slowly my vision went, and everything became black. There was not even a hint of light. With my ears straining to hear any voice or sound, I could hear nothing. The buzzing of the street lights disappeared and the distant traffic became non-existent to my ears. I had become deaf. Next my racing mind seemed to pause. All thoughts sank away. Not even an image or random thought had crossed my mind. It was quiet, yet at the same time I was all too aware that it was quiet. It was not overwhelming. I was peace.

Not a worry had occupied me. As I became aware of this emptiness, this lack of sensation, I began to see a tunnel in my mind’s eye. At the end or perhaps it was the beginning, I saw what appeared to be a green light, beckoning, almost like a cocoon. With that, I began to hear again and I began to see again. The image had disappeared and thoughts came flooding back.

At the time this occurred, I thought I had understood what happened. I thought I knew what God or perhaps my inner self was trying to tell me. I found solace in this quietness, this communion of sorts. And yet today I found myself seeing more understanding in this experience. I found God to be everything, and at the same time I found God to be nothing. I found God to be peace, inner peace, a choice seemingly made by me, but not entirely by me. Perhaps like a seed in our heart, God is there waiting to be nurtured, waiting to show us our true selves, our true potential.

What or who is God to you?

War and the Inner Monk

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BuddhaIs there war? Does there have to be war? To many the answers are obvious. One only needs to look out their window or turn on the television to see the effects and destruction of war. It’s easy to point out examples now and throughout time. The answer almost seems matter of fact, and yet perhaps it doesn’t have to be that way.

Is there war or is there only struggle? Internal and external struggles, perhaps they are the same. In others we see our shortcomings. We see the things we would like to change in ourselves. But rather than seek a path to understanding ourselves, we fight and we deny. We deny others a choice so that we do not have to face the one choice that sits right in front of us.

Rather than try to ask ourselves why we struggle to accept, or why we have each chosen the path we have selected, it almost seems easier to destroy all the things we do not yet understand and all the things we have chosen to deny. Is there war? Again, the answer seems an obvious one. We see others fighting and destroying each other, and yet this war is right inside each of us. In each of us there is a struggle. It’s not the struggle to fight what is right versus what is wrong. Instead it is the struggle to love ourselves. It is the struggle to accept ourselves in the face of self-denial.

When we are faced with questions that seem obvious, yet seem filled with doubts, we often cater to the responses of our friends. We pander to our inner monk. We bend the will of our heart in hopes of counting all of the nods of approval. To this we must ask ourselves, is it better to be ourselves or is it better to count the pupils that burn a hole through our very soul?

We can try to fill a void with praises and head counts, but until we can face ourselves, and until we can put down that inner struggle, will we be able to see our true selves. We are the prying eyes. We are the countless voices. We are the emptiness. We are the fullness in every breath. We are the inner and we are the outer. We are all there is.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

April 6, 2012 at 5:15 am

Driving from the Backseat

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highwayThere are things in life that have to take its course. Although we would like to have control over every single aspect of every event that happens to us in life, we have to understand that what happens is not always understood right away, or ever for that matter. Grabbing on to every bit of life for the sake of feeling in control only leads us to doubt ourselves when the things we think are going to happen don’t quite match up with what we’ve told ourselves.

The road starts to disappear, a clear path seems to be overgrown with obstacles, and what we are left with is the trust that we’ll get through it all. We can grab the wheel of control tighter or we can let things take its course. However at some point we have to understand that no amount of maneuvering or trying to drive from the backseat will change the outcome. It only adds to the stress and to the feeling that everything has slipped from our grips. So in the end we can sit and enjoy the ride or we can try to avoid facing ourselves.

This does not mean taking a back seat to life, but quite the opposite. It means enjoying every aspect of it. It means not counting the time. It means not worrying about what’s in back of you or necessarily what’s two steps in front of you. It means living for the moment, regardless of what comes. It means accepting the lessons of life, whether they come as happy moments or heartaches. It means learning to take joy even in those difficult moments when we find it difficult to stare ourselves in the mirror.

We’ve got to face this road, but not alone, never alone. That is a choice, like all other choices, made from a place of love and serenity, or from a place of fear and loathing. Though we might sometimes come from a place of fear or hurt, it’s never too late to turn a new leaf, to shine a light on a difficult moment, and enjoy life.

Cost of Happiness

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happy faceThe perfect life, the dream; It doesn’t exist unless we make it exist. By our doing we force our dreams to become a reality. But what are those dreams? Are they the things that we tell ourselves will make us happy? Is it the dream of wealth, the dream of being heard and recognized, the dream of fame, the dream of comfort through worldly or emotional needs? What is it that drives us?

My dream or so it was a long time ago as a child was to be happy, for my family, my parents to be happy. It was for a world with peace. I wasn’t sure about everything else. I saw that not having to worry about money made some happy, or rather made some think they were happy. I saw that those who had prestigious jobs or a higher education made some think they were happy. I also saw that receiving presents or buying cars and being seen made others think they were happy. All the while, in the back of my mind, but at the front of my heart, I still clung onto that dream of peace, internally and externally for others.

I was never sure how to achieve that dream, my dream as a child. Sometimes I thought the best way to achieve it was to force it on others. Other times I thought I could take away people’s choices, or make a person feel there was no other choice but mine. Demonization and using guilt were other ways. None of these ways seemed to work, at least not for long. People were making choices that seemed to agree with what I thought I wanted, but not always because they truly wanted to make that choice. Some felt pressured. Some felt guilt ridden. Some did it to show face.

What’s peace, without open acceptance? It’s meaningless. What’s happiness if it’s temporary, or comes at the cost of someone else’s happiness? It’s meaningless. Your dream, and my dream; Perhaps they are the same, or perhaps we envision their realization differently? But is what is seemingly good for one, also good for all? At what cost will your happiness or my happiness come?

The cost of happiness…is free.

Contradictory Forces

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hand redirecting water“Enlightenment” and “want,” or “desire” are two contradictory forces. Whether these desires include the desire for material gains, worldly gains, or whether they include the want for peace, wisdom or knowledge, they distract from that which is. A desire for change is not necessarily bad, though that is often based on judgment dictated by our upbringing and expectations.

The act of wanting something is like a great hand being placed in a river and trying to redirect the flow of the water. The water will continue to flow. Which direction it flows is not by our choice. We may try to change the flow of the water by placing boulders in its path to prevent or redirect it but no matter what we do, it will keep coming. In some cases we are more successful than others, and what we desire comes to fruition.

However, what comes as a result of our actions is not necessarily what is meant to be. We are allowed that choice nonetheless. The water that was once flowing may stop and all that lies beyond may go to waste, or a new path may be created and what was once dead or inconceivable is given life. But what happens when we are gone, or there is more than one person or being who tries to exert their will on this river? Whose choice is the right choice? Whose choice prevails? Our desires may lead us in the same direction, or they may have us at each other’s throats.

Regardless of these desires, the river that is life continues long after we are gone. So although we may want some form of enlightenment and we may think we have a method of achieving this, the very desire that leads us to it, and the inclination that brings it to our attention, are the very things prevent us from understanding it. With each desire we change the very thing we seek.