On the phone with a fellow traveler this morning, a question arose. Is Serenity boring? Let us consult. So Oxford Languages says: serenity is the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. Boring (same dictionary) means not interesting, tedious. This called up an immediate yawn in a three-part sigh, my hand over my mouth and feeling tired. If we go a step further and look up Depression, Oxford says: a medical condition in which a person feels very sad, anxious and without hope and often has physical symptoms as being unable to sleep. (Of course, that is without Depressed Anonymous.)
Clearly, none of these is alike or interchangeable. Serenity is a beckoning warmth, it invites us to “calm”, “untroubled ” waters. At least every other day, I walk the 1 and 5/8 miles around Jamaica Pond. This habit I acquired from hearing at a meeting how walking could help my depression. Each day is a little different but my favorites are the clear-as-glass, not-a-ripple in the water except the trailing stream that follows the single file geese babies sandwiched straight up between the mom and dad. And the end of day dusk walks with enough light for the trees and shrubs to be two places at once: on the shore and topping the water in a marvelous mirage. When it is quite dark dusk, it takes a while for eyes to focus in such pale light. But then comes the grand surprise: a crane or heron in silhouette of black, white and grey. These are the gift of the day and evening: the Pond giveth….. Oh, Thank God for nature, it sets me right, it lifts my heart, it takes the toxicity of the world and injects it with its antidote of Sacredness.
Now, about Serenity. God does grant it but maybe not right on waking. After an inspirational reading, a little meditation, my regular yoga, a walk around the condo praying for the planet especially the animals and blessing the space, talking or texting with my DA family via phone/What’s App, things are feeling pretty good. Good enough to start my day both knowing and feeling I am not alone. These, for me, hold the seeds of hope and inspiration.
Today I started something new. Because I want that sacred thread through my day, that conscious contact with the Power greater than myself through my day. I want extraordinary, I want to have it, to hold it, to live it. If you had a catechism you may remember the very first question/answer. “Where is God? God is everywhere”!! How I wish that teaching was expounded so we could learn and know that there is nowhere that God is not, to the edges of the Universe and to each and every heart, God is there. And so is Divine Peace, Joy, Presence, Knowing, Bliss. These, like God, are always available. The Universe (another name of God) holds no grudges, and wants me to receive all of its Good and I can have that Good. I only need to catch the glimpse (like that heron on the dusky pond) to see it with my very own eyes and to remember God is with me and all is well.
For these ideals, I find a new use for my phone. Every two hours I sent an alarm and so when the chime rings, there I am in an instant appointment with Higher Power, no need to wait in line. I talk and listen and offer a prayer. Since last Summer its been particularly challenging and that reminds me my very best prayers are “Thy will be done, not mine” and “Thank You.”
So this is how I’m wired now, wired with Twelve Steps and single days. If you are wired like this too, we can answer the question together, is any of this boring? “We think not.” And as for Depression, it is what it is. Against me alone, it can take a shot, although I vow to kick that beast to the curb every time. But against me + my Higher Power, and me + the Power of the Group, it doesn’t have a chance.
Is Serenity boring? I/We ….. Think …… Not.
Doreen K., New Year’s Eve, 2023