The words, “Daddy, that doesn’t sound very good.” jolted me back into reality. My four-year-old daughter had slipped up behind me without my noticing. Quickly wiping the tears from my cheek, I turned around to see her sleepy eyes and her curly hair tossed into a bird’s nest — clearly, I had woken her up.
After taking her back to bed and tucking her in, I resumed what had become my nightly ritual of playing the guitar. I would strum away on my guitar and sing Christian songs until I was overcome by the words that seemed to be written just for me. My divorce having been filed only a few months prior, this was the only thing that brought me any peace.
While I wasn’t very good (as my daughter so innocently pointed out), it didn’t matter. What mattered was, for those few minutes, the storms of my life abated and the pain was pushed out of my mind. Playing the guitar was my daily pause button from the hell I was enduring.
At first, the peace was fleeting, lasting maybe a minute. But, as time went by, the peace lasted for as long as I played. I found I could plug back into that peaceful state whenever I needed it just by picking up my guitar. I found my daily slice of peace — and so can you.
Six Ways to Find Peace:
Finding relief from the daily turmoil of divorce is not as difficult as you might think. What you need to do is identify those things in your life that have brought you peace in the past. It could be anything, as long as it brings you relief — even if only momentary — from the painful realities of divorce.
Here are some suggested ways to find peace:
Music: Has it been a long time since you listened to the artists you enjoyed in your teens? Listening to your favorite music from the past can transport you back to a better, simpler time. Christian music, since it is rooted in Scripture, can feed your soul in ways that other music can’t. Find your local Christian radio station, or Spotify playlist of contemporary Christian music, and plug into the songs that will speak to your aching heart.
Nature: Ever notice how watching a sunset, or looking out over a mountain range fills you with awe and wonder? It’s no wonder since being in nature brings you into direct contact with its Creator. You may find that a 20 minute walk each day refreshes your soul and brings you peace — plus, it’s good exercise.
Journaling: Artists, musicians, and writers all communicate powerful emotions with their hands. There is a direct connection between your hand and your heart. Take advantage of this reality by writing in a journal. There is no right or wrong way to journal. Just be honest with yourself and let the pen (or keyboard) fly. Write whatever is on your heart. You may be surprised at how relieved and peaceful you feel after just a few minutes of candid journaling.
Hobbies: Whether it was fishing, painting, sewing, or woodworking, our hobbies were a cherished use of our free time as kids. It is a sad reality that, for many of us, the demands of life tend to severely limit our free time, and our hobbies are often abandoned when we become adults. Connecting back to those things we enjoyed doing as kids by picking up a long-lost hobby is a great way to find peace.
Reading: The expression “curling up with a good book” conjures up images of a carefree, relaxing day spent by the fire in an overstuffed easy chair lost in a tale of adventure or intrigue. Reading is one of those things that can suspend reality and transport you to a better time and place. And isn’t that just what we want on those difficult days that are so often a part of divorce?
Adoration: Our Lord’s presence calmed the stormy seas and assuaged the fears of the apostles; He can do the same for you. Let His presence restore calm and peace in your life by seeking Him out in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Whether or not the Eucharist is exposed, simply being present to Our Lord will have the same calming effect for you that the apostles enjoyed.
Just Do It
Unfortunately, we can get sucked into the monumental emotional and physical demands of divorce and never get around to doing those things that can help us endure the pain. Take a few minutes each day to usher peace into your life, and don’t be surprised when you find yourself looking forward to these much needed moments of relief.
Question: What is a sure-fire way you have found to bring peace into your life?
© 2015, Vince Frese