True Peace In A Difficult Situation

by Tess on December 21, 2009

Baby birds?

Creative Commons License photo credit: allspice1

True Peace

There was once a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace.

Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Over head was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.

All who saw this picture thought it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, and in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall.

This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush, a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest. 

The King chose the second picture as the winner. "Because," explained the King, "Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the true meaning of peace."

Inner peace is a gift we give ourselves when we learn to live in the present moment regardless of what is going on in our world. It takes dedication and commitment to stay centered and grounded. Yet, the rewards are priceless.

How can you choose to bring peace to every situation this holiday season?

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    { 42 comments… read them below or add one }

    Hilary December 21, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Hi Tess – the King said some true words .. just staying calm at the back, while the babble and fury carry on in front you – if it doesn’t affect you, let it be.

    So .. I shall be calm, peaceful, go with the flow (not the rushing waterfall though), help others, show gratitude, smile at all, and wish peace to the world and particularly all whom I know – where-ever they may be ..

    I hope you have a peaceful Christmas and all is well
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Hilary´s last post…Kissing under the Mistletoe – how did it all begin? and Asterix! =-.


    Mark December 21, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Thank-you for sharing this very wise story, one which I will share with loved ones over the holiday! I love this! Thanks for the inspiration.
    .-= Mark´s last post…No Room At The Inn =-.


    Quinn December 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

    It is easy to be peacful, kind and spiritual when we remove our selves from the world but to live every day with those characteristics in our fast past modern world is a challenge. A challenge worth taking however for when we bring these attitudes in to our daily life the roaring waterfall and the thundering clouds of others become that much easier to be around.
    .-= Quinn´s last post…What I have been staring at this week =-.


    Daphne December 21, 2009 at 11:48 am

    This holiday season will be a test for my peace. I will breathe deeply and purposefully to maintain my center. I will awake with yoga stretches to remind me to connect with my present moment. I will remember your story to help me. Thank you for sharing this, Tess. Happy Holidays.
    .-= Daphne´s last post…My First Blog Award =-.


    Lori December 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Hi Tess,
    I loved how you phrased you final question, with a personal responsibility to choose to bring peace into situations.

    I think I need to brand that phrase into my forehead as I prepare to embark into the final days of the holidays. What you said really sums *it* up.

    Thanks for the great story, too, Tess.
    .-= Lori´s last post…Front Porch: Brave, Bold Tess =-.


    Tess The Bold Life December 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    My grandson has been sick for the last few weeks. Being at peace, in spite of everything has helped immensely. It’s the one big thing I have control over! Amen! And love and hugs to you through out the holidays.

    You’re welcom! It’s short, sweet and to the point. Joining you in peace! Tess

    There is no doubt you’ll be peaceful. I have all the faith in the world in you. I will hold you in a place of peace in my heart!

    Ah, yes, personal responsibility…there are days I wish I knew nothing about it;) I’m there with you…in responsibility and peace!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…True Peace In A Difficult Situation =-.


    Jannie Funster December 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Wonderful post!

    Peace for me will be listening, hugging, smiling, dancing and laughing.

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last post…With Not A Dry Parental Eye In The House =-.


    Patty - Why Not Start Now? December 21, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Hi Tess – What a beautiful story. It’s very affirming and reminds me that the precious moments of life are happening all the time, amidst the chaos and rumble. I’ve been feeling a little down today about the state of the world, and it was just what I needed to read. Thank you.
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last post…Before the New Year =-.


    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now December 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    This is exactly what I’m trying to teach on my blog. When we have inner peace no matter who we work with or what difficult project we are involved in we are happy. We are making the most of our present situation.

    I love the set-up of your point. I’m also working on doing a better job of setting up my main points. A writer is really just trying to dig through the thoughts to reach the soul. It isn’t easy, but you accomplished this in this post. Great job!
    .-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last post…Theme of the Week – More Listening Less Talking =-.


    Hayden Tompkins December 21, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    That was one of the hardest things about being with my inlaws for 6 months. I kept thinking that I should be able to find peace in that situation. I guess what I’m saying is that intellectually – yes – I totally get what you’re saying but that when it came down to it, I wasn’t really able to get in a place of peace.
    .-= Hayden Tompkins´s last post…The Pain of Our Pain =-.


    Erin December 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    The perfect post for this day. I love stories with a big delivery. It is true it can be hard to find peace. Not all family relationships are peaceful and it is a family time of year. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Erin´s last post…Relationships =-.


    diantha December 21, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    This is such a wise story! Being in the present moment works for me…by living there as much as possible, the worries and fears, anxiety and demands fade away. And i find my own little nest of peace anywhere I am. Thank you for a wonderful post!


    Jay Schryer December 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    This is very wise. It takes a lot of hard work to find peace sometimes, especially when everyone around you is having meltdowns and drama on a daily basis. For me, the key to finding peace has been learning to let go of the problems that other people are dealing with, and maintain focus on myself. I know that might sound simple to a lot of people, but it took me the first 35 years of my life to figure out that I didn’t have to be sucked into the drama of others!
    .-= Jay Schryer´s last post…A Christmas Story =-.


    Keith December 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Hello Tess!

    This story illustrates well how we can experience peace, no matter what may be going on around us. When I read this I also think of every day life, which can be so challenging at times. Despite what I see on the news, the negativity I frequently encounter in others, the price of this or that, I can carry peace in my heart. I think it is in this way that we can be a living example of hope and encouragement to others. I work on this always so I can be that hope because after all, it’s better to be a part of the solution rather than the problem! :-)

    Thank you for the Peace your blog helps to propagate in the world.
    .-= Keith´s last post…It’s Time To Get Real! =-.


    Patricia December 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Ah a lovely story and a peace full theme. Thank you for sharing some light on the solstice day. Blessings be…warmth and light. thank you.
    .-= Patricia´s last post…Peaceful Service – Practices of Peace =-.


    Joy December 21, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Beautiful:) I think you bring yourself exactly as you are –no pretense, no “cover”; you bring your authentic joy, love, grace, to the situation. Whether you are toiling away at work, enjoying a holiday gathering, out and about running errands, if you mindfully bring yourself and find the good in “it” peace automatically follows. It’s when we let worry or fear step in–over all of the what-if’s, and the extras that the holidays can bring–that the energy shifts and peace is evasive.
    Much peace as you celebrate with loved ones, and wrap up this year:)


    Lance December 21, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Tess,
    Sometimes things can get a little chaotic. I can choose to bring peace by being a little goofy, sharing a smile, taking all the kids outside, helping out in all the preparations, and being relaxed….

    Tess, I hope your holiday season is filled with much love and beauty…
    .-= Lance´s last post…Sunday Thought For The Day =-.


    Sarah Lulu December 21, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    So very true ….and I am doing the very best I can to do exactly that ….this Christmas. xxxx
    .-= Sarah Lulu´s last post…Letting life and Christmas and my heart unfold.. =-.


    Peggy December 22, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Happy Day Tess!

    In the chaos that comes with the family parties and Christmas gatherings, I find the best way to reclaim my energy, refill my pitcher, is to spend time on my yoga mat…or if it’s too cold in my basement, I’ll bring my mat upstairs and practice a few rounds of Sun Salutation. Just me, going through a handful of poses, matching my inhales with my exhales, and focusing on where next I anchor the root of my big toe.

    Blessings and peace,
    .-= Peggy´s last post…Your Moment of Bliss =-.


    Evita December 22, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Oh wow Tess, you are so awesome at finding these types of stories and messages!

    How true! Anyone can find peace perhaps in a secluded monestary, but how many can find peace in the midst of a war zone…. that is a great thing to reflect upon.

    For the majority of us, it is indeed about finding peace in the everyday life, no matter what is happening with our families, the financial world, or our jobs, etc….amidst all this can we find peace?

    What a beautiful post!
    .-= Evita´s last post…It’s A Wonderful Life and Your Role In It Is Irreplaceable =-.


    suzen December 22, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Hi Tess!
    What a magnificent story! Finding peace amidst the chaos isn’t easy, it takes a lot of practice – years sometimes! I’ve found if I am TRULY peaceful, I can slip into that “observer mode” and not lose the peaceful center. It has taken decades to get there – to be the little bird nest humbly existing amidst the terrifying surroundings, just doing it’s thing though the worst is around it. My mantra is simple – I AM love so I BE love.

    Wishing you and yours the most glittery joyous of holidays,
    .-= suzen´s last post…Happy Winter Solstice! =-.


    Sara B. Healy December 22, 2009 at 10:35 am


    I LOVE BLOGGING…especially when I come to a site like yours and read such as magical story. It brought tears to my eyes, but in a very good way. I hope that I can learn to be like this King and find the calm even in the midst of chaos.

    Thank you so much for sharing this story:~)
    .-= Sara B. Healy´s last post…Picture Story: My Turn Now =-.


    Stacey Shipman December 22, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I try to keep inner peace by breathing. In the moment that’s really all I have. It is sometimes easier said then done.

    This was a great story, too. It’s all about perception…

    Happiest of holidays to you and much success, health and happiness in 2010!
    .-= Stacey Shipman´s last post…Reflections =-.


    Jodi at Joy Discovered December 22, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Tess!
    I really love the way you told this story. What a pleasant reminder of the meaning of inner peace. It reminds me of Eckhart Tolle’s description, which is that we are like a body of water, with ripples and whatnot on top, but beneath the surface calm and serene. I feel peaceful just thinking about this! :) Happy holidays to you, Tess. May you be calm and joyful the whole way through.
    .-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s last post…Love, Love, Love =-.


    Julie December 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I really enjoyed this blog; unfortunately, trying to find peace among all the chaos has been difficult for me. Nevertheless, I try by reminding myself that there’s nothing I can do and to go with the flow. =P


    Chris Edgar December 22, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for this Tess — reading this story, it occurred to me that many of us would think of the storm, waterfall and so on as loud or otherwise un-peaceful, but we don’t necessarily need to label them that way. Certainly the birds don’t — like in your story, they just carry on doing what they do.


    Tess The Bold Life December 22, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    I will join you in all those fun and peaceful things…smiling, hugging listening and having fun!

    That state of the world stuff will do it every time. I mostly stay away from it.
    I believe there is more good than bad out there just that the good isn’t being broadcasted in every way, shape and form.

    I think your blog is doing a great job of getting down to soul matters. I can’t take credit for the story only posting it. Thanks for stopping by.

    I’m not sure I could have done it either. In fact I know I couldn’t especially after reading what a difficult situation that was. Only know you were suppose to be and I’m sure you were all playing the parts you were meant to play for each other’s best learning.

    I think for me one of the ways I remain peaceful is keeping my opinion to myself and not pointing our when others are wrong. Most times it’s just not necessary. Peace to you my friend!

    I agree the present moment is where we find peace and I love the image of your own little nest!

    Not an easy lesson to learn and even though I know this I sometimes fall back…like just yesterday! Great reminder to stay out of the drama of others especially when it’s those you love.

    I’m with you and being part of the solution and not the problem. I don’t have to allow others or the problems of the world to knock me off my calm center. Only there am I a part of the solution.

    Thank you and you’re welcome! Shine on Patricia…I know you will:)

    Yes I agree and one big blessing of the year was findiny your blog and getting to know you through it. I’m so excited for our future and how our life adventrue’s will turn out. Thanks for being in my life.

    Yes we love our hubbies to help out and laugh and goof around. I wish you the same Lance and I’m happy to walk into the new year with you as my friend.

    Welcome to my blog. I’m with you all the way only bringing peace where ever I go. Happy holidays!

    I love hearing about your yoga adventures. I’m one step closer to getting into a class;)

    I know we can. We can also lose our peace but we only have to recenter ourselves and choose peace again. Thanks for the compliment!

    I love blogging too and your blog is always fresh with insights and stories that I enjoy. May your holidays be filled with love and joy.

    Yes it is all about perception and when mine is off base I will join you in breathing and centering.

    I agree so let’s go with the flow right through the holidays and into 2010~
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…True Peace In A Difficult Situation =-.


    jenn December 22, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    LOL when I first read this friend, I thought peace at our family xmas, I have a few moijtos ;) Seriously!!! My hubbys family doesn’t really like me! LOL

    What do I do??? I really do just try. I go for a walk in the middle of the day and just grab a good magazine after dinner is over! LOL
    .-= jenn´s last post…FOCUS =-.


    Daphne @ Joyful Days December 22, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Tess, I love this story and its moral. I’ll remember this!
    .-= Daphne @ Joyful Days´s last post…The Gift of Forgiveness =-.


    Hulbert December 23, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Hi Tess. I really like this story. I agree that peace isn’t about what things “look like” on the outside, but how we feel like on the inside. Things can look perfectly on the outside, but there can still be turmoil and disturbance inside of us. If we learn to be more conscious of our surroundings and the moment by letting them be, we can remain more peaceful individuals. Thanks for sharing this. :)


    Hilary December 23, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Dear Tess – may your grandson be peaceful, rested and much loved – which I know he is ..
    Blessings to you and the family at what is obviously a difficult time – especially as you’ll be worried about your mother too ..
    with love Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last post…Mum and Hardwick – decking out the tinsel .. =-.


    Tess The Bold Life December 23, 2009 at 4:11 am

    Well isn’t that the insight of the day! I’ve not looked at it that way but will now. No sense judging just go on being peaceful! You’re brilliant and I appreciate you taking the time to comment and help us all out over here!

    It sounds like you make the best of the situation! I love the way you create your own happiness in a difficult position. Continue to make merry!

    Happy holidays and may you have a wonderful 2010.

    Yes if we can only “let it all be.” Because there really isn’t anything we can do anyway and being peaceful and going about our business is the right thing to do. Happy holidays and welcome to The Bold Life.

    Thanks for your care and concern. It means so much to me. I appreciate you today and always.
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…True Peace In A Difficult Situation =-.


    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord December 23, 2009 at 4:17 am

    What a great story, Tess; I loved it. Vivid, poignant and something that will stay with me as I head into the next few days (at least!). This Christmas as I spend time with family I don’t see very often, I’m going to try and remember to give what I want to receive, i.e., unconditional love and nonjudgment. By giving them first and expecting nothing in return, I have a feeling the Universe will find a way to balance itself out and return some to me anyway. (smile)

    Best to you and your family ~ LOVE, JOY & ALL OF GOD’S GOODNESS!
    .-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last post…Funny Cookies =-.


    CherylK December 23, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Tess, that quote is a favorite of mine. I have it posted on my message board. I love the story you’ve attached to it!
    .-= CherylK´s last post…The Best Caramel Corn Recipe Ever =-.


    Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker December 23, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Tess, I love this story. For me to be in a peaceful state of mind, I have to be in balance and grounded instead of bouncing off the walls with my energy. Learning to act rather than react to people and situations is usually difficult to maintain but the result of the effort is well worth the time that it takes to master my own thoughts. Oh to be like that calm and graceful mother bird with her household surrounded by all that turmoil, especially during the holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanks for visiting my blog.
    .-= Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker´s last post…The Spirit Of Christmas =-.


    Tess The Bold Life December 23, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Yes I think the Universe will return all that love and understanding right back to you as well. It’s been a wonderful year getting to know you. xo

    Thanks for stopping by. Great minds think on the same channel!

    I just returned from MI and visiting my family. I did remain calm, loving and understanding and came home with a heart full of joy. I know you’ll do the same!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…True Peace In A Difficult Situation =-.


    Angelia (Texas) December 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    What a fitting reminder of what true peace is during this time of year.

    Merry Christmas dear Tess! May it be richly blessed with all things good and true.
    .-= Angelia (Texas)´s last post…Timeless Deeds =-.


    Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills December 24, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Nice story Tess. Indeed, true peace comes from within. And yet, there can be no inner peace where inner conflict exists. So, to find inner peace we must first create inner harmony. True peace is the natural result of an inner environment that is in harmony with ones true self.
    .-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last post…The True Essence Of Giving =-.


    Robin Easton December 28, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Dear Tess, this left me sooooooo deeply moved. I have tears in my eyes. When you described the little bird in it’s nest amongst the waterfall and storm clouds. I felt the deep deep peace of it within me. It actually took me back to my life in the rainforest. Oddly one of my most peaceful times was sitting in the forest during a tropical deluge/storm. Down on the beach the wind was raging and the surf roared with tumultuousity, but up under the canopy there was often a sense of calm and of being sheltered.

    I used to LOVE both walking along the shore and swimming in the sea during a violent storm (didn’t have to watch as much for crocodiles and sharks in churned up surf), but it was more than that. I would walk from the wind-whipped beach and up into the forest…and I could sense the peace there.

    I used to marvel how I could be in the midst of a great storm and experience such peace. I remember thinking how the peace I experienced under the canopy was becoming part of me…and would go with me even if I one day left the Australian rainforest. Many years later I still marvel over how that peace DID become me. After all these years it is STILL with me (as if it happened yesterday), imprinted on my being. Maybe that is why Nature is so good for kids, for ALL of us, because if we spend enough time just ‘being with’ Nature she anchors us deep into her abiding peace and love…a never ending peace. We are no longer adrift from our source, so during the storms of our lives we have something vast and loving that keeps us literally ‘grounded’.

    Thank you dear Tess for such a moving story. I’ve missed being here. I was away and the break did me good…although not long enough. :) I am hugging you for your very touching and deeply thoughtful kindness. Robin
    .-= Robin Easton´s last post…Share Your Legacy? =-.


    Tess December 28, 2009 at 10:57 am

    With practice we can have peace at any moment in time. It’s our choice weather we want to move our ego out of the way in order to go for it. Happy 2010.

    Yes and inner harmony takes self- acceptance and letting go of my ego. Not a easy thing to do in the midst of a storm. Especially if I’m invested in being right!

    Peace imprinted on our being. Well I want that Robin! That’s why we can’t wait to purchase your book! I was one of 10 kids and grew up on a produce farm. We worked in the fields from sun up to sun down. I found peace in nature. I believe we detached from the strenuous work and escaped into the beauty around us. It was difficult then but truly a gift as I learned to become one with nature. I prefer to be out doors any day, any time, any where!
    My hubby and I are enjoying hiking AZ.

    You’re amazing. Thanks for sharing with us.


    Jan December 28, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Lovely story, Tess. Breathing in, breathing out, breathing with a slight smile in my heart and on my lips eases everything. Trusting that all is well no matter what is happening. Everything is at is should be. I choose my response….not react. Breathe….

    May your new year be glorious, my friend. May it bring health and love and wisdom….and fun! xo


    Diana March 31, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I really apprecisate the Kings insight and find it useful!


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