Advent is a season of waiting and preparation, but mainly in the sense of setting aside distractions and creating space to see what is important. However, what the commercial side of this holiday season often encourages is a state of anticipation and of lack, prompting us to think that something is going to be suddenly different when we get this thing or feeling. There is a danger in this, as we can fall into the trap of linking our happiness to some future moment. True contentment comes from working with our life as it as – from surrendering to what is – and not trying to escape from it.
Peace can only exist in the present moment. It is ridiculous to say “Wait until I finish this, then I’ll be free to live in peace”. What is “this”? A diploma, a job, a house, the payment of debt? If you think that way peace will never come. There is always another “this” that will follow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you’ll never be able to. If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise there is only hope for peace “some day.”
Thich Nhat Hahn, The Sun my Heart