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Mindfulness: Finding the Inner Safe Harbor

Updated on September 10, 2012
The eternal seeker!
The eternal seeker!
As a child I was withdrawn and painfully shy.
As a child I was withdrawn and painfully shy.
The elusive peace I had always sought was found for a time in the mountains
The elusive peace I had always sought was found for a time in the mountains
That which I sought was within me all along.
That which I sought was within me all along.

An interesting topic for sure since for much of my life I considered myself a loner, shut off from the rest of the world by a self-constructed emotional wall designed to protect me from the pain I considered inherent in life itself. I must have been a student of the Middle Ages growing up because the idea of tall castle walls and a protective moat to keep out all would-be attackers sounded quite attractive to me for quite some time.

As with all things in life, however, this concept of aloneness and the related question of how to achieve it have changed over time just as I have. To better understand where I am today it is necessary to take a look at where I was; only then can a true appreciation of the growth of me as a human be fully understood.

EARLY CHILDHOOD

From a young age I was a loner, perhaps instinctively knowing that pain was associated with relationships or perhaps necessitated by fear of actually being known for who I was. Yes, I think that is much closer to the truth. If you only knew who I was you would be disgusted and would cringe as I approached you; better to avoid that nasty scene altogether.

Family gatherings would find me reading under a tree or in my bedroom alone with my books. Put me in a room full of people and I would be as alone as if in the middle of the Sahara. I was the quintessential good kid, seen but not heard, more than willing to smile when spoken to but anxiously awaiting the moment when I could slither off to my alone place and be safe.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/On-Being-Adopted-My-Reflections

LATE TEENS AND EARLY ADULT

Only the location of my alone place changed with the added years. As I grew older and gained my driver’s license I was able to head off to the mountains and my love affair with Mt. Rainier matured. There I could find the solitude I so desperately needed; there I could find the solace while surrounded by the majesty of nature.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/My-Love-Affair-With-Mount-Rainier

There was no need to “be” anyone other than myself when in the mountains. There were no expectations of me there; the mountain accepted me, kept me safe and nurtured that part of me that hungered for the solitude it provided. It was a match made by the gods and I felt, finally, that I was home.

ADULT YEARS

The truth finally caught up with me as I entered my late twenties and early thirties: no matter where I went, there I was. There was no outrunning the fact that I was not happy with who I had become; my thoughts weighed too much and eventually I discovered a way to finally leave the reality of it all. Alcohol became the solution, or so I thought, for in alcohol I was able to blot out all thoughts and wrap myself in a blanket of altered state. Yes, I had finally found the ultimate “alone” place. It was safe and always available for me whenever the trials and tribulations became too much to handle. Eventually, though, as with all quick fixes, the rewards changed to penalties and I sought the long-term benefits of recovery from the self-imposed hell I had resided in for so many years.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Alcoholism-My-Personal-Story

TODAY

I discovered while stumbling through the recovery process a quote that was always on the desk of Dr. Bob, one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’d like the share that quote with you now.

Humility -- from a plaque on Dr. Bob's desk.

Perpetual quietness of heart.
It is to have no trouble.
It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore;
to wonder at nothing that is done to me,
to feel nothing done against me.
It is to be at rest when nobody praises me,
and when I am blamed or despised,
to have a blessed home in myself
where I can go in and shut the door
and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace,
as in a deep sea of calmness,
when all around and about is seeming trouble.

http://www.cyberrecovery.net/forums/showthread.php?t=729

Finally I had found peace of mind. The secret, as mentioned in this quote, was for me to find serenity and toss aside my ego. Alcoholism is such an ego-driven disease. The world is just a stage for an alcoholic and as long as the players on that stage perform as the alcoholic wishes everything is fine. If, however, there is a deviation from the script, the alcoholic tries harder and harder to impose his will on the other players. A losing proposition to be sure, for the alcoholic truly controls no one, even himself. Thus the scenario is destined to fail time and time again.

However, once humility replaces ego, then control is no longer the all-driving force in daily existence. Acceptance is the key. Once an alcoholic is able and willing to accept life on life’s terms then life becomes carefree.

BOTTOM LINE

Having committed my heart and soul to this way of life, my quiet place now is that deep sea of calmness inside of me where once existed a turbulent ocean of angst, blame and shame. I cannot be hurt there for it would be impossible to hurt me as much as I had hurt myself over the years. I find no reason to be irritable there for I simply accept that which happens as the way it was meant to be. The world does not need my permission to go about its daily business; in fact the world will do quite nicely when I am dead and gone for the world is much more important than I am. I am but a small piece of a much larger puzzle called life and today I am quite happy to be that small piece.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Saying-Goodbye-To-A-Life-That-Wasnt-Working

MY QUIET PLACE

Today I am at peace. Those words may not seem important to you but to me it is the culmination of a lifetime of searching. I am loved and I am capable of giving love in return. I am happy and I have found the ability to give happiness in return. In the process I have found compassion and empathy and understanding where once there was only bitterness and self-loathing.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Love-The-Word-The-Meaning

Ironically the answers were always inside of the questioner; that which was believed to have been lost was in fact in plain sight all along.

In the words of a dearly departed mentor and friend, today life is good.

Are you still looking for happiness?

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    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Oh how I loved this hub;and i cam also relate here;which made it even more special'

      You were a loner in your younger days;well so was I;except for my beautiful dog who was also my best friend.

      An up up and away here.

      Take Care And Enjoy your weekend.

      Eddy.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Awesome Bill, That place as you say, was always there and always will be. We all need to go there from time to time.

      Thank you for yet another wonderful article of truth!

      Voted Up! and shared

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eiddwen, always a pleasure to see a comment from you. How nice to have a faithful friend as your dog is for you. Thank you for your continued support and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mark! Your support is very important to me as is your friendship. You are a man of depth and as such will always be special to me.

    • rsusan profile image

      Rika Susan 5 years ago from South Africa

      This is an awesome hub, billybuc! I am so glad you reached this place in your life. Thank you for sharing your journey with such honesty. Lots of food for thought here for all of us.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Susan, thank you! It has been a long, painful journey but one so worth it. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. My best to you!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      What a nice place you have reached after such a stormy and difficult journey. You are a fortunate person to have survived.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Wow, you are an incredible person...your sharing is going to help multitudes of people. I read your story about alcholism. My sister married one and I can relate to so much that you have written. LOVE the Humility plaque on Dr. Bob's desk. What a genuine, sincere person you are. Your story manifests so much HOPE for those who are going through what you have been through. You are so correct about the sea of calmness within yourself. The SPIRIT within is the key to everything, we just need to be more aware. THANK YOU, I KNOW you will be used by that "inner calmness" to lift up many, many people. Blessings always, Sparklea :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 5 years ago from SW England

      I'm so lucky not have been that low at any point of my life. But you survived through your own perseverance as shown here and in other hubs of yours. Always much thought and care put into your hubs, billy, and it shines through every time! You manage to do this without self-pity, a difficult thing for most people. A great read as usual. Up and interesting.

    • davidkaluge profile image

      davidkaluge 5 years ago

      Little wonder it is written "The kingdom of God is within you" and you are sure to find peace in God's kingdom so why look outside.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I agree that being alone is essential to just growing into a person of real character and insight. But also, just to get perspective. Sometimes, I can't think around too many people. If I just have some music and some time to reflect, things become clearer. I guess that's how I became a writer. However, I totally understand where you're coming from. Thank you for sharing your insights.

    • Sonya L Morley profile image

      Sonya L Morley 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      I know exactly what you mean about finding the peace within you - the time I spend alone every day is when I check in with myself and find my balance again if I have lost it. Your writing is so wonderfully honest, it always strikes a chord.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Xstatic, you are so correct; I am indeed a fortunate person and I drop to my knees in gratitude each day. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sparklea, what a kind person you are and what wonderful remarks. If my words do indeed help others then it will have been all worth it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, your kindness seems to know no bounds. Thank you! It is an incredible second chance I have been given and I'm loving every minute of it. I am so thankful that you didn't have to go through what I did. Bless you and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Davidkaluge, I had to look outside in order to find the inside. Thank you so much; some of us learn valuable lessons the hard way.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alecia you are very welcome! Solitude is now something I cherish rather than run to, if that makes sense. I appreciate you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sonya, you are very kind and I agree completely; the peace is there to find if we take the time to find it. I'm glad you learned that lesson without having to take a detour like I did. Thank you for your kindness!

    • albertsj profile image

      jacy albertson 5 years ago from Pittsfield, Ma

      I can so relate. In so many ways. Happiness is fleeting, it will always come and go. But Peace, is what I'm looking for. Interesting how when addictions start, we feel in controll, or at least we think we are, but then they actually controll us. God, you're talented.

      A deep thinker, and very insightful. Glad to be your pal.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you my friend. Honestly I still get embarrassed when someone writes something like "God you're talented." It's like I think it can't be possible or they can't mean it or I just got lucky...it can't be that I actually have talent. :) I appreciate you greatly and thank you so much for your friendship and support.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 5 years ago from Isle of Man

      Another powerful article in which you lay bare your soul and in doing so you touch so many hearts.

      "Alcoholism is such an ego-driven disease." is a very statement that you make.

      Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Xavier! If we do not have the truth what have we? As always, I deeply appreciate your following. Thank you!

    • ziyena profile image

      ziyena 5 years ago from Southern Colorado

      Voted up Billy ... we all need our moment.

      Definitely feel the need quite often. :)

      Wonderful hub, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ziyena! I wish you a wonderful weekend filled with food for the soul.

    • rtburroughs2 profile image

      Robert Burroughs 5 years ago

      This hub reminds me so much of my own life.It also reminds me that there is so much more out there. Great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rtburroughs2, thank you and I agree, there is so much more out there. I appreciate you stopping by and reading my hub. My best to you!

    • moonfairy profile image

      moonfairy 5 years ago

      Congratulations on reaching the end of your long, painful journey and for finally becoming you. You're honesty is astounding and I thank you for sharing your stories.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Moonfairy, I thank you! My honesty is a guarantee that I will stay sober, and that may not make sense to anyone else but it makes great sense to an alcoholic. I appreciate your kind words and I appreciate you.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Billy, I always enjoy your hubs, particularly on topics like this. Personally, I have worked to discover the happiness that is there in small moments throughout the day. Its not necessarily a feeling of ecstacy, but one of contentment. Being in the moment is, itself, serenity. Alcohol takes us away from that and prevents the experience of true happiness. So glad you have found the path to your own joy! Best, Steph

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph, I love that term "being in the moment." It perfectly describes my life now and I'm happy to hear it describes yours as well. Thank you for your perfect comment.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      It is good to see that you have arrived at the place where you now find peace. Thank you for sharing your very honest and heartwarming journey

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, you are very welcome, and thank you for visiting me in my quiet place. :)

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Another wonderful hub Billy. You really do provide an insight into your subjects. Thank you.

      voted up / awesome.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Albion, thank you Sir! One of the advantages of reaching a certain age is the insight that comes with the experience. I'm just happy I lived long enough to have insights. :)

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      I am so proud of you. That you have fought the demons and come out the other side, to find a love you could never have imagined is truly inspirational. Not only are you blessed, but so is your lovely wife, who has found in you the man you were meant to be, a man with love in his heart, compassion and empathy. I wish you both, joy and happiness in all your days going forward. You certainly bring that to me in your writings. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trish, there are days when I am just overflowing with words I want to share with others. I want to grab people and try to explain that the only thing that matters is love....stop spinning wheels and concentrate on the reason for our existence.

      I know you know this my friend. Thank you! I feel we are kindred spirits and that brings a smile to my face.

      your friend,

      bill

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      Oh, I know that feeling! When I see and hear all the drama going around, especially on a social network that I won't mention, it just infuriates me. It makes me question are people's lives so shallow that they spend hours upon hours trashing people? This is not to say that social networks are all bad. They aren't. There are people who participate in them for very legitimate, meaningful reasons. I have been a participant myself, however, my intent was not to be there to find out the latest dirt.

      So I get what you're saying, how you would like to tell everyone that love is all that matters.

      I do agree we are definitely kindred spirits :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trish, I do not dish out superlatives like sugar on cereal so believe this to be true. I greatly respect Eddy on HubPages as one of the kindest, most genuine and loving people I have met. You are in the same category. I hope one day you and I can sit down as friends and enjoy each other's company over coffee; until that day I will squeeze every ounce of joy out of our online friendship.

      Peace and love my friend

      bill

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 5 years ago from Minnesota

      You've got a wonderful hub here, it was very insightful and it made me ponder about myself as well. Thumbs up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pink! We all have that special place inside of ourselves where we can find peace if we are willing to give welcome to it.

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      I am glad you found your happy and quiet plac Bill :) You deserve it!

      You are right..."Acceptance is the key"! Voted up!

      ps...thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Audra! It was either find it or die. I didn't like the second option! Take care my friend and thank you for being you.

    • luse profile image

      luse 5 years ago from Boston, MA

      Great hub, billybuc. I enjoy reading writers who pour their hearts out onto the page. It really sounds as though in an attempt to find your own "alone" place, you found yourself. I commend you for that.

      And you're completely correct, as mentioned at the end of your hub, today life IS good. Difficult to remember sometimes, but definitely true.

      Great hub!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Billy... such a nicely written piece and like a mirror for me to looking into. Peace is where where we find it. For me at one time it was in the wilderness. Miles and miles away from the influence of man. Yet deep inside the inner turmoil battled to see who could win. When a man is 200 miles away from outside influence you would think there would be peace and yet today I can stand and say I had not found anything close to what I feel today... love your heart to share and allow us into your world. Your words will help many Billy... Keep writing.

      Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Amazing journey of healing and preservation of the man whom you have become...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Luse, thank you so much. I know of no other way to write than to pour my hearts out onto the page, and I'm very happy that you enjoy that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, I have a hard time with praise such as yours. I'm just a man...it's been an interesting journey but so many of us have similar journeys. I have never thought of myself as special and yet others gravitate towards my story, as I do to yours. I love the fact that you were 200 miles from the outside and couldn't find peace....and it was right there inside you all along.

      Thank you my friend; I will keep writing in hopes that someone will be helped by my words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, I look back and do find it amazing I'm still among the living...we both have a story to tell and I look forward to following your journey as I walk mine.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      Funny, yet another thing. I was such a loner growing up. Still am - never have subscribed to the popular crowd. Oh, how I've wanted to at times. But I recharge by being home. I LOVE being home. You can read, write, draw, hike, walk, think, listen, cook, and be with your family to your heart's content and you don't have to put on any act. Ah...but that is why I live on a little tiny farm! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh sure, Cyndi, rub it in about that farm! :) When we get our farm I may never leave it. I'll just move in and die there years later and never leave the property. :) Thanks buddy; glad you are enjoying life on the farm. Freedom is right around the corner for you!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      I am a person who has to have my alone quiet time to reconnect and find balance. I tend to be hyperactive if I don't get this time. I hope sometime I can just learn to be at peace no matter where I am. I enjoyed the AA poem you added here. Voted up and shared on Twitter! Take care, Kelley

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kelley; without my alone time I'd be a raving lunatic and we wouldn't want that. :)

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      A great write Bill! I am not as experienced as you are! But I can surely relate to being a loner.. My favorite place when I wish to be alone... Is my childhood bedroom at my home in my hometown... There lies a mirror... Which I feel has been alive all my life... 'cause I talk to it... I am myself in front of it

      Thank you for a great read

      Rahul

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rahul, what a great place for you to be alone and I love your reason...you are yourself in front of the mirror. Love your comment and thank you for stopping by. Peace and happiness to you my friend.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Did I miss this one? I love that Pretenders' song, and I love how you talk about that peaceful home inside yourself. I'm striving for that. You have so much to share, Bill. So proud to be your friend. Many votes on this one. Sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, Jon really dug deep for this one; I had completely forgotten about it until he posted it. I'm glad you like it my friend, and you can bet I'm proud to be your friend as well. Eight months ago you took a nasty hit and you bounced right back up and made a new life; I greatly respect that!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 4 years ago from USA

      It is interesting, but I've just been asked to review a book about this same idea, about not thinking we are so important in the big world plan and overcoming our egos to find contentment.

      I found good a good story, just like I knew I would. Thanks for writing here.

    • Jlava73 profile image

      Jennifer Vasconcelos 4 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      Hi Billy,

      Your Hubs always offer truth and that is what makes them so valuable, along with your unique perspective and experience. I often find I need to get quiet and access that place of peace that exists inside.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, it took me a long time to find that quiet place inside of me, and without humility I would have never found it.

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jlava, I like your new profile picture! Very nice! Thank you; I can say for sure that inner peace is all that it is rumored to be and more. :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      We all need our time alone to get to know what we want from life. In the madcap business of existence, your hub comes as a whiff of fresh air, Bill.

      Voted up and beautiful.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      I can relate to this. I was like that as a kid. I just spoke to people when they asked me something. Great hub!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

      Beautiful hub! With so much going on around us in the world today and all the technology, I think is becoming harder and harder for both kids and adults to shut out all the "noise" to find a quiet and peaceful personal place.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 4 years ago

      I truly treasure the quiet place where my thoughts can rest. Great hub Billy!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, I missed this one, I can so relate to this, I tend to retreat into the garden when I feel the need to escape, but my home and families are my soft place to fall. Thanks for sharing so very much.

      All my best to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, we indeed all do need a quiet, safe place inside of us; amazing how many people have not found that place.

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello Made! I always smile when I see stop by. Thank you my dear and wishing for you that quiet place as you go about your busy day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree, Kris, it is much harder to find that safe place within, and I find that kind of sad. :) Thank you for the visit and have a wonderful week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sunnie; I see you have a new hub so I'll be there shortly.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, thank you, and all my best to you! You seem like a warm, caring person, and I appreciate you taking the time to always visit.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Thanks Billy, such a moving way of expressing your life. I so love it when I go into a peaceful place and some of your writing becomes a part of my life. Enjoying the energy of it, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, that is very nice of you. Thank you; if you can find any peace on this election night, go there now!!!! :)

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