Where Is The Peace?
There is no peace in the world; peace is in me.
Recently a subscriber to the FOR THE PEOPLE blog asked that I share some thoughts of how to find peace in today’s world, a world erupting with hate and divisiveness. These are disturbing times, times as it has been written “that try men’s souls.”
If you are like me, you have experienced myriad feelings of disbelief, anger, helplessness and hopelessness. I have asked questions: What has happened to our nation and its promise to the world? Why did this happen? Are we on the brink of World War III? How do I find peace in this fractured world?
And then a thought comes to me…
There is no peace in the world; peace is in me.
Two Kinds of Peace
There are two kinds of peace. The first is worldly peace, and it rises and falls on a daily basis. It depends upon the words and actions of world “leaders” as well as what my spouse, partner, co-worker or neighbor might say or do. Worldly peace is a wild ride. One moment all is well. I can breathe, and seemingly there is peace. The next moment, I am anxious or fearful, angry or vocally striking out at another fellow human being.
This kind of peace comes and goes. You can call it peace if you like, but in truth, it is not peace—it is a vortex that turns us round and round and increases our dependency on the world of appearances.
Real peace passes understanding. Once there was an art contest. Each artist was to capture on canvas an image of peace. Many beautiful, serene paintings were submitted, but the winning painting was of a mother bird and her young sheltered among rocks during a raging storm. This is the peace that passes understanding because it does not depend upon worldly conditions. It depends upon finding shelter.
Finding Shelter During The Storm
A storm is raging—Storms of words, of opinions, of alternative facts, of lies, of projectiles and weapons, of hate and anger and dismay. We must find the shelter where there is peace, and it is not in the world, it is in us.
Some ideas to consider…
- There is no peace in the world, so stop looking for it in the world. Peace is never found in the world. Stop silently or verbally hoping or demanding that people’s actions and words will be different than they are. A change in behavior and rhetoric might be helpful, but it is not a prerequisite for peace. It is not the beginning of the peace we seek.
- Acceptance is the beginning of finding shelter during the storm. It is what it is. The storm is raging. I will not stand and rage against it. I will find shelter.
This is not resignation. This acceptance is spiritual letting. “Let there be light…” Dare we echo a similar intent, “Let there be peace…”
- Next, let us breathe. When we are anxious, our breath is shallow and quick. The heart races and the mind is tossed by the turmoil of the storm. Breathe slowly. Feel the rise and fall of your chest and watch the mind begin to focus. Hold your inhalation, exhale and hold your exhalation. You are taking control of what you can control, your own breath. You are assuming responsibility for your state of mind.
The storm rages outside. Nothing in the world has changed, but a shelter is being built. The wings of the mother bird are enfolding you. You are finding peace in you, the only place you will ever find it.
- Sheltered by the wings, consider that the divine plan of the cosmos is not divisiveness, but unity; not hate, but love. All the forces of creation support this divine design. Love and unity are natural. This is why each stage of the creation story begins, “Let there be.” Letting implies something is natural, that all the forces of the cosmos support it. Can you imagine what is required to sustain hate and divisiveness? I will tell you. It is the discordant mind of man with its theme of me and mine. It cannot endure. Only love is eternal, only unity is enduring.
The only reason chaos lingers is because we rage against it. We rage against the storm instead of finding the shelter of peace with its message of acceptance, breath and letting. This is a shelter from which we can emerge as peaceful beings and actually do something about the state of the world. More on this in a few moments.
Ponder these things in your heart. Return to them again and again. Realize you are not alone. Others are joining you. Breathing, knowing what is true, building the shelter, a shelter not only for you and me, but for others who feel anger and despair. Come, enter the shelter of the wings and know the peace that passes understanding.
- And then go forth and act, but remember to only act from a peaceful consciousness, from the peace that passes understanding, a peace that is present whether there is a storm or not. This is the only peace that matters. The only real peace. The only peace. All else contributes to the storm.