Serenity is bliss. The absence of stress and anxiety is a beautiful and wholly desirable concept, and I believe that it is one that is achievable. There are magnificent individuals who radiate the impression of complete ease and appear calm at all times. I can definitely envisage how this persona is possible if one disassociates from life’s difficulties, if one “switches off” and chooses not to engage with the more troublesome queries arising from our existence. The stylized mental technique of meditation could provide an escape from the claustrophobia of living within my own head. A self-induced consciousness, if I were able to achieve it, could potentially provide temporary serenity. Unfortunately, I am a demanding young lady and crave more. I desire to be able to confront my obstacles and uncertainties, not avoid them, whilst retaining an aura of serenity. I can imagine John Heywood’s response, “wolde you bothe eate your cake, and have your cake?" Perhaps it is not possible to both delve deeply into your fears whilst maintaining peace of mind.
Jeannette Winterson once spoke of the “strange enclosed feel of your own world”. When the scope of your world has been reduced to your bedroom and you are struggling on in continual pain, the ability to not become self-absorbed and to be reminded of the world beyond your boundaries is that much more challenging. It may, however, be the key to finding my retreat by providing a path to see past my own struggles without having to disregard them.