Photo credit: Martin Beek via Flickr
The reporter asked the actor, “With your great success and growing family, is it possible for you to find peace in your own home?”
“That depends,” the actor said, as he handed an autographed napkin to a female fan; home can have different meanings. My home that stays constantly at peace is the one Tad Williams once wrote about…”
“Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.”
You know,” the actor opens into a roaring laugh, “I have a new wife expecting any day and three teenage boys at home. If there is peace at home, I must work hard to find it!” He lingers in thought for a moment. “But seriously, yeah, I actually do find peace, even through the most chaotic day.”
The eager reporter asked, “Briefly, if you don’t mind, sir, how do you find this peace?”
“Well, it took a long time, but once I embraced contradictions and tensions as precious gifts, peace just happened. Now I understand the words of Joss Whedon in his 2013 Wesleyan commencement address. It is in our nature to have, according to Whedon, “inner paradoxes of which we’re all woven…”
The actor continued his dialogue summarizing Whedon’s words, “The tension is our body naturally wanting to die, you know, on a cellular level, but something drives us and shouts, no! Go out and achieve great things for yourself and the world.”
According to Whedon:
“…this ability to recognize and embrace our inner conflicts and bipolar tensions…is a blessing rather than a curse.”
…You have, which is a rare thing, that ability and the responsibility to listen to the dissent in yourself, to at least give it the floor, because it is the key – not only to consciousness, but to real growth.
…This contradiction, and this tension, it never goes away….Peace comes from the acceptance of the part of you that can never be at peace. It will always be in conflict. If you accept that, everything gets a lot better.
Suddenly a cell phone rings and the actor excitedly answers, “I’m on my way, honey!”
“Listen, it is my wife. She’s in labor. I gotta run. Hey, I hope I answered your question. You should check out Whedon ’87 Delivers 181st Commencement Address. He lays it out straight:
“Don’t just be yourself. Be all of yourselves. Don’t just live. Be that other thing connected to death. Be life. Live all of your life. Understand it, see it, appreciate it. And have fun.”
The reporter closed up her notebook and thought, in all we do, no matter where we call home, contradiction and tension is always there to honor and acknowledge. If I learn to understand my own inconsistencies and not judge others for theirs, then, my inner peace remains an active part wherever I go.
Headed back to her office, the reporter smiled. Assignment completed.
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