Searching for the lost kingdom of peace…

“Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.”

Eugene O’Neill

My mother used to tell us a story when we were kids. It was about a far away kingdom ruled by a wise Queen. The wise Queen ensured her people had access to her, to approach her with any troubles and seek her help. As time passed, more and more people began to come to her with complaints about their problems. A dying relative, an incurable disease, a lazy spouse, an irresponsible child, a wasted fortune…problems everyone had but everyone preferred to believe no one else had. 

The people demanded that the Queen make their problems vanish, and as dissatisfaction in the Kingdom grew, the Queen saw that people became ungrateful, angry at their own lives, blaming fate and God and everyone else at their misfortunes. They wanted peace but they were far, far away from it.

The wise Queen, fed up with her people, called all of the land and announced that she would take away all their problems. There would be a giant pot placed in the city centre and they could write down all their problems on a paper and throw it in the pot. This would make the problems go away. But, only on one condition. They would have to pick up another paper from the pot in return for theirs. The people were delighted. They waited eagerly,writing out all the problems they could think of and threw it in the pot. Picking up another paper they happily went home.

In a few days, there were thousands of people back at the Queen’s doorstep. “Please” they cried, “Give us back our own problems. These are too much to bear”. Everyone wanted their own problems back. They begged and pleaded with her to return their own problems to them. They would be at peace only if they could rid themselves of the new problems and embrace their old ones. The Queen knew that the lesson had been learnt and she put the magic pot back and people could return with their own problems………. As my mother would finish the story, somehow, somewhere the burdens of my heart would ease and I would feel an unexplained peace settle upon me…..today when I look back, I believe it was the spark of gratitude that lit up glimmers of hope. #giftthelight

Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart. Sarah Ban Breathnach

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