Peace can only be found in yes

This past week has been a challenging one for me. Academically, I’m being challenged in ways I haven’t before, socially, my friendships are strained, and personally, I’ve been challenging myself to not fall into that all-inviting rut of doing no more than just enough.

Underlying my daily actions for the past year or so has been a smoldering ember of doubt. This doubt — which really isn’t the right word — is that I’m not being true to whom I actually am. That I am, in other words, being bound by perceived limitations that I create for myself or a misappropriation of my priorities.

This ember has burst into flame several times — fanned by times when I have felt most alive, be it at the SOA vigil, after the sweat on my service immersion, in Pilsen, during via cruces or sitting on the roof, writing in the glow of a street light — times that I term “kairos moments”. It is a feeling — of my whole being is crying “Yes! I am alive! This is me! Amen!” — a feeling is what I know to be joy. And it is a joy, a sense of purpose, an exclamation of the heart that I only feel through action.

I don’t feel this intense joy in research or my studies or whatever else there is. And these moments of immense truth — they keep driving me to further discern just who it is that I am, and just what it is I believe, and what is the action the combination of answers to those fundamental questions dictates.

But those moments of joy are transitory. They are Maslow’s actualization, and I know full well that they are extraordinary because they are extra-ordinary — that is to say, because they are distinct from the normal. But I strive to live my life in a way that always fosters and welcomes the moment of Kairos while doing the truth in the everyday.

And that means, that I need to be open to the truth, beauty, and fullness of each moment. Thich Nhat Hanh says “There is no enlightenment outside of daily life”; Paulo Coelho says, ” When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.” Dan Millman says: “There are no ordinary moments.”

And it is with this, that I have finally been asking myself again the big questions that I seem to shelve whenever I reach external pressures that challenge me in the ways that the past few days have.

And I’ve finally been open to thoughts I’ve been shelving for along time. And it has been challenging. And life giving. And in doing so, I finally understand — with my own truth, with my own story, Anthony de Mello’s insight “Peace can only be found in yes”.

Have an extra-ordinary day.

— Tim

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