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April 20, 2016

The Letter P


Being a writer and a true lover of words, I find it very poetic and symbolic that the Hebrew word for peace, Shalom (pronounced SHAH-LOME,) also means hello and goodbye.

Most of my life has been filled with activity. My mother was always very close to her family of origin and we grew up with lots of people and activity buzzing around from the time we woke up in the morning until late at night.

I was one of those kids who fought going to sleep at the end of the day for fear that I might miss some of the excitement and all the activity going. And although I look back and have good feelings about those times, I realize now that it has always been an effort for me to allow myself to just go slow, to ease up.

What does this have to do with Shalom and its multiple meanings? Well….pretty much everything.

Hello is a beginning…it is the greeting for the start of a meeting or conversation. Goodbye, the close of one. The symbolism I find in the many meanings of SHALOM is the idea that peace should be the constant, not tumult or confusion. And, as I’ve mentioned here, that is quite contrary to the life I knew.

Today, peace is something I seek out. It is not something that I feel will ever come naturally to me (see the aforementioned disclosure about the way I was raised). But, it is something that I find a need for in my life. I strive to make my waking time the “hello” part of my day, and the time right before bed at night is my “goodbye” time.

Peace of Mind

Since it doesn’t come easily, I consciously have to dedicate the time to slowing myself and my thoughts down, and allow peace, shalom, into those moments. I no longer feel the desire to hit the ground running, and start my days with a bang. Rather, I seek a few moments of peacefulness, of gathering myself and honoring the calling for silence, for serenity, in which I connect with something still within me. This stillness rests in a place that is deeper within me than the place from which I draw the rest of whatever I need to get through the rest of my day.

And the more I practice this in my life, the more I find a desire to revisit this place because this has begun to become the most valuable moment of my days…and the solitude… the stillness…that begins to wash over me…. when I breathe in and out and feel the need to do nothing more than that… that is when I find myself in peace.

What role does peace play in your world? Do you find it comes to you naturally? How do you find peace in your daily life?

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