Shantih


Shantih girl 2

Shantih – Poem on mixed media

Shanti is a Sanskrit word and means peace, calmness, tranquility. It can be spelled either  with or without an ‘h’ at the end, however, the inclusion of the ‘h’ at the end, most commonly seen in the popular modernist poem by T.S. Eliot, ‘The Wasteland’, translates it as, ‘The peace which passeth understanding.’

The Bible talks about this ‘peace which passeth all understanding’ when it addresses the issue of anxiety. I used to get very anxious, in fact, most of my wrinkles probably come from how anxious I used to get. I have learned though, that there is one infinitely bigger than little old finite me, that is able to carry my load, thankfully.

When I became a Christian, I used to get anxious daily. Sometimes I would return home from work in tears. Then one day, out of nowhere, I sensed that God spoke into my heart, “Staci, you fear me as you feared your dad”. I think the manifestation of that fear was me trying to please God religiously. Whenever I felt the anxiety come on, I always thought it was because I was doing something wrong in the eyes of God. Over time, I realized that God’s love for me didn’t depend on what I did. His acceptance of me was purely and entirely an act of mercy and grace.

One of the most fundamental needs of human beings is relationship. To me, being a Christian is all about that – Relationship.  Relationship, and not religion.

…My joy and peace. These intangibles slake the thirst of your soul, providing deep satisfaction.” Sarah Young-Jesus Calling

Are you an anxious person? How do you seek peace?

Advertisements

47 thoughts on “Shantih

  1. I have heard it said that you view God as you do/did your earthly father and for me that was true. I still struggle with “not being good enough, or doing enough, or praying enough” and I need reminders that all my earthly deeds are “as filthy rags” (paraphrasing) and that God only sees me THROUGH Jesus and as such I am perfect.
    Love your work…..

    • Oh yes, I’m pretty ‘two feet on the floor’ type of person, but I totally think that there’s something to that. Like a connection. Maybe that’s why we see so many people angry and bitter with God. Because they have that anger and bitter and wrong ideas of how a Father should be.
      Thank you so much for your vulnerability and for sharing this here Robyn.
      And thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement.
      Please have a lovely weekend.
      🙂 ❤

  2. I think that we all get anxious, some days worse than others. I recall Macbeth: “Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” We’re here for such a short time, and possessions in life truly worthless, that without love and a nurturing relationship, it is all meaningless. All sound and fury (anxiousness/anxiety) and little else. Love/relationship is/are eternal and transcends our mortality. Did I stray to far? 🙂

    • Hahaha @Did I stray to far?
      Rob, have you seen the documentary, ‘Happiness’? At least that’s what I think it’s called. It was really good, because it emphasized that the things that truly made people happy, wasn’t the material possessions and money. No, it was found in relationships, human connection, unearthly treasures and the such. I watched it on Netflix. The only thing that bothered me a bit was how they portrayed religion. Like all the war, historical events, etc. It’s not about religion. It’s about relationship with God. Anyhow, if you’re interested, check it out on Netflix.
      Thanks a ton for the comment and enriching the conversation here Rob. It’s great to have you back.
      🙂 ❤

      • I’m due some down time, so I think that I’ll add Happiness to my Netflix cue! It seems that it’s trendy to portray all religion in a negative way. I suppose it’s part of the secular agenda. Anyway – I’m glad to be back, and especially here. 💗

      • So sorry for the late reply Rob. It’s difficult for me to get to WP on the weekend.
        Yea, I think you’ll like the documentary.
        And yes, I agree, not too many that are up and up on the idea of ‘religion’. Haha. Not even me. That is, religion in the sense that it is often portrayed.
        Have a great week Rob.
        🙂

  3. Nice photo. Sometimes I get anxious. When I notice the toll it’s taking, I stop in my tracks and ask, what has changed. That’s a way to turn me back to God’s word.

    • Hi Timi, great to see you.
      Sounds like a great strategy for getting back to ‘normal’. I don’t think I stop and asked what has changed. I think I just sort of go through the process of freaking out, crying out, and then realizing what I need to realize at the time.
      Have a wonderful week.
      🙂

  4. I read in my devotional and I agree that worrying is an act of disobedience for if we trust the Lord as we should we have no reason to fret or worry. So I remind myself of that now everytime I start to worry. Nice image and post Staci! 🙂 ❤

    • Oh yes, it just seems so difficult to trust though when the feelings and circumstances say otherwise. But it’s like you said, we have to remind ourselves of what the real truth is. Go to his word and declare it and thank him for it. Soon enough, His peace that passes all understanding takes over.
      We are so in need of Him, aren’t we Natalie.
      Have a lovely week, my friend.
      Love and hugs.
      🙂 ❤

  5. I have found myself awake in the middle of the night with all the “what ifs”. So I start in with Psalm 23, then Jeremiah 29:11, and I keep going over how many time the bible says that God loves me.
    It doesn’t always put me back to sleep, but it keeps me grounded.

    • Wendy, I know how that is, to be awake in the middle of the night with the mind overly active. Ugh. Those are great verses to meditate on, definitely.
      Have a wonderful week Wendy.
      🙂 ❤

  6. Staci, I want to compliment you, your artwork captures the essence of your poem beautifully. Stunning!

    I love that this post addresses, “Shantih”. While some may know or have studied the meaning, I think Eliot does the word a great service. You know I’m a huge fan of Eliot and I think whenever he uses repeats it tends to be quite significant in his work, as if to emphasize a point that is important to him and in my opinion he is also saying it should be important to everyone. Like wake-up and pay attention to this.

    I don’t know that I can speak directly to “anxiety” but rather the process of over analyzing things. At some point letting go of all of this becomes necessary, the internal questions can remain unanswered, it’s not important to understand the minutia of everything. I believe we can achieve, shantih, “The peace which passeth understanding.” Unfortunately we are human and need to remind ourselves once in a while to let go again and return to a mindset that’s bigger than we are. Anyway, these are a few of my thoughts about shantih.

    As always an excellent post Staci, a wonderful topic, a delight to read and think about. Wishing you a lovely weekend, take care. ~ Mia 🙂 ❤

    • Mia, of all people that read my blog, I knew that you would most appreciate the use of the word, ‘Shantih’ and the mention of T.S. Eliot.
      I know exactly how it is to over analyze things far too well. I find that when I do, I get confused. I often talk to my very head strong thinker husband when I’m like this because he is very ‘reason’ oriented and outside of the emotional aspect that I’m caught up in. Oftentimes he just smiles when I start talking to him. Hahaha.
      I agree that ‘letting go of it all’ is very necessary. That is usually what happens with me. I go through the whole process of struggling through what I am going through, but in the end I do end up just letting it go. Like you said, we are human and need to return to a mindset that’s bigger than we are. I love that actually. That’s exactly what I do.
      Great thoughts Mia, and thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement.
      I hope you had a lovely weekend, and of course, I wish you a wonderfully creative week.
      🙂 ❤

      • Staci, this is such a marvelous post, you’re so right, I do appreciate it and love every aspect of it!

        Ha-ha, you made me smile. 🙂 I do the very same thing when I’m spinning (that’s what I call it) and need to be grounded. The familiar voice of “reason” sheds light on the insignificant, thank goodness, then I’m able to get back on track, by letting go. For me it’s hard to stay in that mindset 100% of the time, fortunately it’s very forgiving, ha-ha, I’m able to return to it over and over again. 🙂

        You’re most welcome, it’s always a pleasure to be inspired by your posts. Thank you, I did have a lovely weekend, wishing you a very creative week as well. 🙂 ❤

      • Awwww, thank you so much Mia. That means so much to me.
        Hahaha, love it @spinning. That’s exactly what it’s like.
        I think it’s difficult for anybody to stay in the mindset 100% of the time.
        Thank you so much for the well wishes Mia. My week is quite busy, but I will try my hardest to find that creative space. Hoping that for you too.
        🙂 ❤

  7. Beautiful soul!! I am happy you feel this peace now…for it is always there…always available to us. Trusting this wonderful place is indeed the best part of the journey!! Sending you lots of love ❤ ❤

  8. Very true what you said about what it means to be a Christian. I agree, it is really about having a relationship with God and to be honest it wasn’t until last November that I began my relationship with God and started to understand what it means to be a Christian. Since then, my anxiety has lessened a great deal and despite not a whole lot of my life changing since the past year, I am more content and more happy. Thanks for sharing your art and words Staci 🙂

    • Really? Oh, that’s great Crystal. I’m so glad you have entered into the ‘relationship’. And I’m so pleased that your anxiety has lessened as a result. I also am very content and happy.
      Many blessings, my friend.
      🙂 ❤

  9. Staci,

    Although I am not an anxious person, I still experience anxiety when things are not sure. All the time, the verse that talks about the Lillies, the birds, and His provision. Or the verse where it is stated that His Grace is sufficient – bring back reassurance that even this shall pass.

    Loved the painting! You are a beautiful creative woman!
    May His peace be renewed in you daily!
    ❤ Dajena

    • Ohhhhh, I would so love to not be an anxious person. Over time I’ve learned to deal with it a bit better, but I am quite an anxious person.

      Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement Dajena. You are so sweet. And thank you for the well wishes of peace as well. May His peace be renewed in you today.

      I have been super busy. I will be by soon to see what you’ve been up to.

      🙂 ❤

      • We are all fashioned after His heart. Living in this fallen world has changed a lot of things in us, but one day, we will be able to embrace our true identity.
        ❤ ❤

  10. You’re most welcome. Staci, as you’ve said before, “gotta love WordPress”, haha! Again, I’m not getting your reply notifications, so if there’s a delay you know why. 🙂

    Yes, “spinning” is a great word to describe the experience, but certainly no fun! Enjoy your busy week. I hope you do find some time to be creative and I will too. Take good care. ~ Mia 🙂 ❤

  11. Peace – a word that evokes tranquility and quietness in our hearts in a world that is in desperate need of peace. That’s why the Prince of Peace came: to give us the peace that passes all understanding, not as the world gives.

    Peace to you in Jesus’ Name dear Staci,

    ❤ carmen

    • Oh yes. I couldn’t live without it. I couldn’t live without Him. In a world such as this, we absolutely need it.
      Much peace to you Carmen, and please have a lovely afternoon and evening.
      🙂 ❤

  12. I find myself singing songs to myself like the old hymn, “It is well with my soul,” or anything else that pops into mind that reminds me of Jesus peace for me. I figure, if the person who wrote that song was able to write it after suffering so much, then it will be a good reminder to me in my much lighter suffering! (http://www.sharefaith.com/guide/Christian-Music/hymns-the-songs-and-the-stories/it-is-well-with-my-soul-the-song-and-the-story.html) Thanks for reminding us of how wonderful Jesus peace is!

    • Hi Heather. Oh great.
      Ohhh, you’re welcome. Nothing like His peace.
      Heather, how did you get diagnosed for Asperger’s? What made the specialists think you have it? I ask because my husband, and others swear that I have some form of Autism myself. I know I have something, however, I always just thought it was undiagnosed ADHD. Anyhow, would love to know your experience.
      🙂 ❤

  13. Wow Staci, ur art play is ‘Shanti’ to me, it always is 🙂 …. u r an impeccable artist, I love ur work.
    I don’t know wat adjective of mine can compliment ur work…I dun have any to make enough justice to it 🙂
    “…Tears appear
    as if to cleanse..” fabulous
    I always admire ur take on human relationships….that just draws ur magnificent soul…..keep posting friend 🙂
    Be blessed and have an amazing weekend 🙂

    • Ugh! Another beautiful comment of yours that did not show up in my notifications.
      Saaransh, YOU ROCK! You really do. I am so blessed by your extreme generosity and sweet words. I really am so glad you enjoy my efforts. And I am so thankful that you take the time to see deeper into the posts (ex: take on human relationships).
      So glad we’re friends Saaransh.
      Please have a lovely evening and sleep. I know it’s probably getting pretty late there, isn’t it?
      Blessings.
      🙂 ❤

    • Thank you so much Julie. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Please forgive me for taking so long to respond. It’s because I was on a bit of a break and have just returned a bit here to WP.
      I’ll be by to check out your blog later today.
      🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s