The popular Christmas blessing “Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men” was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem Christmas Bells.
But what is peace and how do we achieve it? Politicians attempt to force peace by redrawing the borders of countries, yet peace does not prevail. Peace activists rally for peace and are willing to fight for peace, yet peace does not prevail. Spouses demand peace in their homes, if only their wife would be more cooperative and less nagging, yet peace does not prevail.
Peace Is a Vibration
Humanity’s view of peace is that we must rearrange our physical and mental worlds to achieve peace. Although peace is expressed physically through lack of violence, hatred and arguments; its existence is not determined by physical circumstances. Peace is a vibration. But it cannot be realized because it is obscured by our own internal turmoil and judgments. This is not easy to see for we are masters at hiding from the truth.
We wear masks that distort the truth. As adults we hide behind the mask that everything is “fine,” “nice,” or “not bad.” These are all common responses when we ask a co worker how they are doing. Notice how automatic and upbeat the responses are? Can everyone really be that okay? Doesn’t anyone have any problems? We do; we just don’t want to appear weak so we hide it from others and from ourselves. This is inauthentic living. We are not true to ourselves. Shakespeare encouraged us “To thine on self be true.”
How can we change anything if we pretend it does not exist? We are hiding from is the emotional imprinting that we received long ago. This imprinting told us that love was conditional, that we had to show up in a certain way. Love was used to manipulate and control us. This is not the nature of love. Love is unconditional and given freely. Since this view of the world conflicts with the true nature of love, it causes internal turmoil. This is in conflict with the flow of life and is so appalling to the core of our being that we hide from it, bury it and suppress it. Yet it is the cause of all suffering.
Peace Begins With me
So how can there be peace anywhere in the world if we are not at peace ourselves? Peace is given when we have removed the internal conflict. Peace is a vibration; we can’t do peace or think peace into existence; we must feel peace. Since peace is a feeling, no one can do it for us. We can only feel for ourselves. To feel freely we must integrate the underlying emotional charge of our anger and grief. We must set aside and integrate this internal conflict. Once we do, peace automatically radiates out. Peace, therefore, begins with me.
As Michael Brown says “We aren’t required to make peace just realize (real eyes) it.” In other words, instead of seeing life through our emotional charged mental stories that keep us stuck and in victim land, we can now see with real eyes that peace is already given. We just need to allow it in.
There Is Only “I”
Arrogance is our biggest obstacle. For we believe the problem lies outside of us. We blame the government, our spouse, our boss. We project our internal discomfort onto them so we don’t have to feel it within ourselves. We believe they are the problem; I am just fine the way I am. If only they … There is no “they.” There is only “I.” Instead of judging another person for their behavior, try viewing it as a cry for love. They grew up learning love was conditional just like you and they don’t know how to ask for what they want. Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But it is hard to do when we are in the throes of an emotionally charged situation.
When I am in such a situation, I try to walk away. I take a break from the situation and take 10 connected breaths. This grounds me and puts me into the present moment rather than with the supercharged suppressed emotional content that is causing me to react. It helps me to respond to the person in a more respectful loving way rather than reacting in anger.
When Love Flows; Peace Reigns
When we overcome our anger and stop blaming, we can open up to forgiving. We understand we are not alone. Our plight is the same as that of everyone who walks with us on this earthly journey. They are just hiding it behind the masks they wear. With this viewpoint, it is much easier to let go and forgive. Forgiveness opens the heart and love flows. When love flows; peace reigns.
The peace on earth we seek will be realized for it will have begun with me.