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The Invisible Thread of Calm

by Aaron Pace 5 days ago in humanity / friendship / family
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Real calm has only one source.

The Invisible Thread of Calm
Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

A warm, June sun had just appeared over the horizon when I walked toward the building where I would be married in just a few short hours.

I was terrified.

In a classic case of cold feet, I had spent most of the previous night wondering if I wanted to be married at all. I knew I loved, so deeply, the young lady with whom I was about to make a most sacred commitment, but I was afraid of commitment, of intimacy, of being able to fulfill what I saw as my responsibility to provide for her and our future children.

I don’t remember how long I paced the long walk in front of the building before my bride-to-be appeared. I hid my anxiety as I embraced and kissed her before we walked in together.

We ventured to two different areas of the building to change. I prepared myself quickly. My escort came and walked me down a long, ornate hallway. Near the opposite end, a kind of foyer opened up. He motioned for me to take a seat near what looked like a very old, hand-crafted table. Such were the times when the building was constructed.

My bride, he assured me, would be along soon enough.

I waited; the passage of time feeling interminable. I sat alone, alternating between looking down the hallway, studying the craftsmanship of the table, and staring into my hands.

Then, something remarkable happened.

Movement, from almost the opposite direction from which I arrived, caught my attention. I turned and saw the most radiantly beautiful woman I had ever seen.

My mind went back quickly to a sentence I recorded in my journal four years early. “There’s something very special about that girl.”

I had written that line, presciently, about the woman I was about to marry.

My pulse quickened, but in the same moment I was overcome by a total sense of peace and calm. No experience in life before or since gave me the kind of stillness I experienced in that moment.

I stood up, and reached for my bride’s hand, all doubt dissipating as our fingers intertwined.

That experience was almost twenty-two years ago. We’re a little bit older now. I’m one of the fortunate ones. My wife and I have worked hard on our relationship. She’s my best friend, my most trusted counselor, my partner in raising our five children in this crazy world.

· · · · · · · · · ·

That kind of persistent love requires effort. The world tries to paint a picture of love that’s disposable; use another person until they no longer suit your needs then move on.

It’s no wonder there’s so much discord in the world today. True, lasting calm can only come from relationships bound together by enduring love. That kind of love is the invisible thread of calm that connects us; that nurtures us, and gives us the capacity to do good things in the world.

Why?

When you love in that way and know that it is reciprocated, so many other things either fall into place or fade to a position of unimportance. That kind of love creates a bond of trust in which you know you can rely on each other. It’s not about having expectations of how the other person will show up in your life, but knowing that they are intimately aware of your needs and choose to show up in both needed and delightful ways.

The world needs more committed relationships where two people come together to form a family then work hard to make sure it endures, remembering that the truest relationships are those where two imperfect people refuse to give up on each other.

Even in a world that’s becoming increasingly lost in the fog of moral relativism, happily ever after relationships are still possible. Contrary to an emerging attitude, societies are far more than “a collection of autonomous individuals out to enjoy life.”¹ The heartbeat of any great society relies on committed relationships to remain strong.

· · · · · · · · · ·

While the bedrock of any good society may be in solid familial relationships, all other types of lasting, committed relationships provided added stability to the foundation. Good friends who love and support each other, good neighbors who watch out for one another, those are essential, and often aid families in being successful.

Lasting friendships are often forged during the most difficult times in our lives. We all have opportunities to be present in someone’s life when they need a good friend: to mourn with them, to comfort them, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in whatever difficulty they may face.

There is also a measure of peace in being a friend to ourselves, in remembering that peace and calm come from serving others but also in giving adequate time to taking care of ourselves. Adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and moderate exercise have all been proven to enhance our ability to be there for other people when they need us.

· · · · · · · · · ·

I won’t pretend to understand how human relationships are formed; how someone can go from being a stranger to being a spouse or life-long friend. I do know, however, that they are critical to the long-term well-being of any society.

In closing, a wonderful sentiment from an unknown author:

Friendship is so weird…you just pick a human you’ve met and you’re like ‘Yep, I like this one’ and you just do stuff with them [maybe even spend forever with them].

Thanks for reading!

· · · · · · · · · ·

¹Rod Dreher, “A Christian Survival Guide for a Secular Age,” Deseret Magazine, Apr. 2021, 68.

humanityfriendshipfamily

About the author

Aaron Pace

Married to my best friend. Father to five exuberant children. Fledgling entrepreneur. Writer. Software developer. Inventory management expert.

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