"Peace of Mind" – An essay written by my Grandmother in 1982

“To inspire means literally to breathe into and infuse with life.  Inspiring words influence our thinking, enliven our sensitivity to life’s meanings, arouse us from lethargy, and exalt us by strengthening the heart and restoring the soul.” 
 ~ Charles L. Wallis

My grandmother passed away a few years ago, but she’s still with me in many ways.  She is my inspiration and sometimes my muse…especially when I sit down to write.  I’m told my grandmother was multi-talented.  I wish I had known this and had paid more attention to her when she was alive. She also wanted to be a writer, yet never really had the chance to shine.  I feel her with me when I write – it brings me happiness and peace.  My grandmother wrote this essay when my grandfather, her husband, was ill and dying from cancer.  I’m sharing it in her honor – with love – and peace of mind. 

Constance Harris 

 

Peace of Mind 
By Constance Harris ~ 1982
Joy, happiness, health, peace of mind, the ability to sense the pleasures of life; these are the apparent ambitions of all of us.  We are in constant pursuit of the things that give comfort.  When we are saddened by circumstances that sometimes we ourselves cause, we seek to remedy the cause in order to relieve the pain of being sad.  When we are ill, physically, we try to correct that which causes the illness, either by our own effort or the aid of a professional.  We know when we are mentally at peace by the feeling that “all is well” with ourselves and the world – when we have no pains, physically or mentally.  We can go about our living from day to day with the energy needed to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves.  Which are what? – The pursuit of those things which give us pleasure, joy, happiness, health, peace of mind; things that will assure us of a near to constant state of being.
The health of the mind has finally gained recognition as the important source of all the well-being of the rest of the body.  Because of this publicity, we are being made aware of the common mental ills going on in all of us.  As a result, a sense of comradeship seems to be growing with all who are seeking the same goals of a “well and healthy” mind.  We are no longer frightened of the quirks of emotions when they happen to us.  The more we can talk about and discuss problems of emotions, the less overwhelming they become.  As we have always been told, the power of any thought is growing so long as it is kept closed within the silence of our minds and thinking.  Take as one example the simple excitement of anticipation before an upcoming event, one that we have looked forward to for a long time.  When I was young, I remember that I didn’t want to talk about a planned trip to the zoo… a rare treat for the family.  It was so special that it was kept within my thoughts for days – quietly to be relished and savored until the actual event.  My father was just the opposite.  He would talk about the plans, displaying pleasure by whistling, cutting up and teasing, until the event…when it finally came, had lost a good bit of its gloss and appeal.  Is this good or bad?  I have often wondered what caused me to feel this way, and was I wrong in fearing – perhaps, a let down from an over exaggeration of the anticipated pleasure?  As I have grown older, I have accepted this state of mental existence for myself, realizing what it does for me.
In reading publications, I have come across comments of some of the more successful authors, and one that comes up time and time again is the failure of writers to want to talk about what they are in the process of writing.  They take this stand not because they are withdrawn or afraid of discussing their writing, but because to discuss the creating of a piece of writing in progress will reduce the power of a “train of thinking”, will affect the organization of the plan of a plot.  Even to read other writings can do this, but not so detrimentally as actually releasing creative thoughts by speaking them, releasing them, so to speak, to the point of actually losing them completely.  Here is a lesson we can pay attention to with our own everyday thoughts and the effect they can have on our own well-being.
To hold in, mentally compresses the power of a thought; whether it be good or bad.  We can save the good for the good it will accomplish when released.  It is our choice as to when and for what reason that should be.  We can also hold the bad thoughts for too long, allowing them to grow until their power can result in making us physically ill.  The hoarding of the two extremes of thought, the joyful and happy, or the painful, hateful, and worried ones, isn’t healthy when indulged in to excess. As in all things, there is a “happy medium”, a balance to be maintained.  We should feel some of each in order to develop the senses of what to appreciate.  How would we recognize sadness if we had not experienced joy, or health if we have not gone through the pain of illness?  We must know the results of both in order to develop our own well-being and to help others in sharing and knowing the struggles they endure, to ease their mental anguish by revealing our own struggles…and solutions.
The exercises to maintain a healthy mind are so simple and childlike that they are so often overlooked.  To find peace and security we have to look within ourselves and establish it through thoughts we allow to occupy our thinking.  “As a man thinketh, so he is”.  To dream of what you want to accomplish is the very first step to any success.  Envision what you are aiming for and keep that vision before you.  Think about the good that you are striving for.  But, it works just as well for good as it does for evil.  Remember this.

And finally, there is love.  The omnipotent love of all creativity.  With love all things are possible.  With love there is the security we seek.  When one seeks love there is no room for hate.  Love yourself.  Be happy with what you are becoming through your efforts to grow.  Love what God reveals to you in the delights of other life around you.  Hear what He says to you when you feel His presence in the inspirational workings of your mind.  This is the good – the healing good – the thinking that guides into the perfect, until you experience the peace and health of mind and body.

Author: Mary

ABOUT MARY ~ I am a "late-blooming" writer from Texas who specializes in creative writing/poetry. I have a background in music, the performing arts, and enjoyed 14 years in sales/marketing & as a special events planner in the private club industry. I am a 1990 graduate from The University of North Texas who started off as a music major (voice), but I wasn't "feeling" it was the right fit. So, I took a break, changed directions & graduated with a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management. I was an athletic, healthy young woman who also displayed an unfortunate pattern in the men I chose in life (life lessons indeed!). After a brief marriage in the early 1990's, I decided to focus on my career, yet 5 years later I met hubby #2. So, with more maturity & high hopes for success, I married again & became a full time stepmother of two. Along with several rewarding events & fond memories came more challenges, yet I maintained a fun, successful career in the food and beverage industry until 2001. Life...as I knew it changed when I received the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Looking back, I must have been in denial or a state of confused shock as to how dramatically my life would actually change. I attempted to work a few more years after diagnosis, but I was becoming more unpredictable, forgetful, & lost - my job performance was never quite right anymore. You see, this disease affects everyone different. I went through relapses & other issues, but my mobility was intact - then. Unless you REALLY know me, I was then & continue to be labeled an "invisible symptom" case. My MS enjoys messing with my brain, & many other body functions. Anxiety, mood changes, nerve pain, heat & fatigue are debilitating - quite an uphill battle especially when stress is involved. A few more "in denial" years went by & I dealt with this vile invasion of my "internal room-mate". My husband couldn't understand, nor could he handle my ever increasing health issues - he hated every part of it (I don't really blame him for that). But, he avoided being around me when I was suffering - he {didn't sign on for this & I sure didn't look sick}. He was embarrassed as to how my MS affected his lifestyle. So, divorce and other challenges came into play in 2009. Those were painful, rough days. I know now I was suffering from a nervous breakdown. Not yet had I thought to seek the help of a professional therapist to help me cope or to help purge the noisy voices & chaos inside my head, so I began to purge through writing. WRITING saved me! I attempted to compose little songs & dove into playing piano again - I even taught myself a little acoustic guitar & it felt good...soothing. I had found a form of therapy which enabled me to breathe again; a healing tool that didn't require a prescription. This journey to reinvent myself actually seemed plausible via my artsy background & new creative outlets. I've become a student again & the benefits of turning off our "auto pilot switch" & instead focusing on learning new, foreign things & activities is priceless. This "rewiring" of the brain is called Neuroplasticity. Writing (primarily poetry) & music has filled me with a POWERFUL passion, purpose, & endless possibility. This may sound odd, but I'm grateful for the tough times! There's this gift called "resilience" - my MS & other life struggles have gifted this to me. A gift which forced me to find "me" & to focus on the important things in life...to laugh, live selflessly with compassion & passion. Find me on: 🔸Twitter: @pettigrew66, @MSpals, @MSpalsPoets 🔸Facebook: MaryPettigrew48 🔸LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/mary-pettigrew-1b582330 🔸Instagram: 🔸https://www.mspals.org Acknowledgments and Press ~ • Two of my early poems were published in the U.K. in book compilations of poetry: ~The Summer of Sport: Forward Poetry 2012 ~ Poetry Rivals Collection 2013 • Featured in 2 articles in The National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 'Momentum Magazine' ~ 2013 = art therapy & MS ~ 2015 = connecting via social media • My work has been featured/published in various book compilations, blogs, websites, as well as other multimedia platforms including: www.pajamadaze.com www.disabled-world.com www.HealthCentral.com www.MyCounterpane.com www.MS&MeRadio/TBI Network Something On Our Minds (SOOM): funds The Accelerated Cure Project "Twitter Q&A" - A Writers Experience (details forthcoming) • Creator & Co-founder of MSpals: a global organization (2014)

4 thoughts on “"Peace of Mind" – An essay written by my Grandmother in 1982”

  1. Hi Mary!

    When you posted earlier today on twitter that you were going to write about your granny it immediately triggered my will to write about my dad, so I did on my blog. I was looking forward to this article!

    It's mindblowing that she wrote that in 1982! That's the kind of discussion that is hot today, and she's so assertive yet warm… She was a beautiful person outside and inside, you are lucky for having had her in your life for a while 🙂

    Like

  2. Hi Mary, As a new best friend I thought I'd have a look at your blog. I think your grandmother and I would have been pals. This is an excellent and thoughtful piece which I will read every now and then. :0)

    Like

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