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Beside Restful Waters

by Gregory Hermann


Be happy!

Live life in a certain way!

Make choices that come from happiness, and express happiness!

So, just what is my source of happiness?

In my co-addictive nature, I rely on outside influences to make me happy. When my wife acts in a certain way, she makes me happy. When my job offers great benefits, it makes me happy. When the candidate of my choice is elected, that makes me happy. A new car, the anticipated gift, your response to my actions, these can make me happy.

All these situations, events, and responses can also cause my anxiety, frustration, anger, fear, and unhappiness. When I rely on others and/or outside events to make me happy, I am doomed to unhappiness.

The sages, saints, and wisdom speakers tell us: “happiness comes from within.”

Fr. Richard Rohr reflected on the life of civil rights leader John Lewis. Fr. Rohr share the inspired words of Mr. Lewis. I will share them here:

Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant.

Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates. Know that the truth always leads to love and the perpetuation of peace.

Its products are never bitterness and strife.

Clothe yourself in the work of love, in the revolutionary work of nonviolent resistance against evil.

Anchor the eternity of love in your own soul and embed this planet with goodness.

Release the need to hate, to harbor division and the enticement of revenge.

Release all bitterness.

Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won.

Choose confrontation wisely, but when it is your time don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice.

And if you follow your truth down the road to peace and the affirmation of love, you shine like a beacon for all to see. Then the poetry of all the great dreamers and philosophers is yours to manifest in a nation, a world community, and a Beloved Community that is finally at peace with itself.

A final thought from me: again, I have heard the wisdom keepers, saints and sages remind me that the only way to truth, peace and my divine source is quiet, stillness, resting my mind. My times of unrest are times when I do not practice stillness in meditation and contemplation.

I offer you this reminder as a gift for the new year: Practice stillness and know peace.


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