Serenity does not run in my family. My brother has a t-shirt that says this: “I’m not yelling. I’m Greek. This is how we talk!” So from the womb, I became used to loud, animated talk, and quite a bit of yelling.
Becoming serene did not come naturally for me. It happened as a result of a serious illness in 2014 that has left me quiet. My family now often says that I am very quiet, a big change from the way I used to be.
This I know . . . End Stage Kidney Disease forced me to calm myself down, to become more peaceful, to open my personality up to a new serenity. It has been so good for my emotional, spiritual and physical health. How did I do it? I became alive in the present moment. I learned to pay little attention to the past, and I learned not to be anxious about the future. That change in perspective brought me serenity and peace. I like this quote about mindfulness:
Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.
( Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life)
I am grateful for the things that have helped bring me peace – reading the Bible, prayer and meditation, being aware of the beauty of nature. I needed to get there.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27 NIV)