She sat in a circle of other women, sewing as they mostly knitted, as they all chatted in a flow of ideas ranging from the personal to the abstract, and her face never changed. Her character oozed from the skin of her cheeks, making her stand out amongst this group of friendly, lively, interested people. My eye kept flicking back to her as my wife and I chatted over cups of tea and slices of deliciously moist carrot cake.
She wasn’t beautiful, but then she was. Her allure arose, as does my wife’s, from an inner peace, an assurance that she was OK. In both cases, and I know my wife well, this doesn’t contain an iota of self-inflation, but is an easy contentment with oneself, a being happy within their own skins.
For a brief period of two years many years ago, I attained that hallowed state and from time to time I reside in it and what a place it is! From there, life unfolds in all its complexities, with all its troubles and trials, but you face as best you can each massive onslaught with equanimity. It is rare to find such people and you instantly recognise their ‘purity’ when you do.
It must arise from a mixture of genetic tendencies and the way one was treated in infancy. If in our first years we had each had clear, uncluttered love which respected our uniqueness as well as our position as another equal member of the family, we too would most likely have grown up more contented than we generally are.
With such inner peace, we wouldn’t now feel the need to fill the gap its absence creates inside, with the clutter of seeking satisfaction outside. This doesn’t mean we’d have lived in a vacuum, for being comfortably oneself sends attractive messages to those around us and we find we are liked, as is my wife, by most who encounter us.
I use the plural ‘us’ as if I am inside this hallowed ring, and yes, from time to time, I am. That I mostly write books to do with this place of inner peace can only be done because I am often not there, but seeking the seemingly elusive path back to it. My wife has no need to write such stuff because to her it’s not a problem. And I must because I feel the loss and want others to know that wonder too.
Imagine a world in which we were each content. Our immediate surroundings would entertain us, we would be enriched by those around us, no matter that we disagreed, for we would celebrate our common ground, not make discordance because of our differences. In such an existence perhaps the Trumps of this world would not have developed into extreme personalities bent of egotistical pursuits which abnegate the rights of others and The Planet.
Yes, I have found my way back to this because we need to act and act fast and my intention is to illustrate how everything must return to this because it is the only fight we must fight. And there are so many ways we can do so. By finding a way to love ourselves without ego, but as amazing creatures equal, not better, to all other living things, we will find what we are looking for - contentment, happiness, call it what you like, and this alone will diminish our craving for the absurdly consumptive existences we each assume we must live to feel satisfied.