So many of us long for peace in the world, but we approach this yearning from a place of opposition, of pushing away from what we don’t like or can’t accept. In effect, we take the energy of war into our bodies and our beings and somehow expect that peace will arise from the fighting. We harden our hearts against those who we feel have hardened their hearts against us (or against Truth, or against some Ideal we hold sacred). We place the hardening over there, in those people who are doing it wrong, and fail to notice that we ourselves are also hardened . . . frightened, closed, and at war.
I notice this warring in my Facebook newsfeed. Folks I don’t necessarily agree with point their fingers at folks I may (in principle) agree with; then the folks I may (in principle) agree with point their fingers back. Only these days the finger pointing includes a bevy of insults, derision, and personal attack. No ideas are exchanged. No one is listening. No one is holding the space of open-hearted presence. Everyone is so busy fighting each other . . . even the folks who claim they want to create a more peaceful world . . . even the folks who don’t outwardly claim to want this, but probably do want it on the inside. Everyone is so busy fighting each other that no peace is possible.
If I’m honest, I also notice the warring sometimes in my internal “newsfeed.” While I may not be one to engage in online conflict, being at war internally is not a more holy path, it is simply a quieter one.
We live in the atmosphere of whatever we rehearse. This is a challenging practice to truly grok and really must be experienced rather than conceptualized. If we wish for peace in the world, we must practice engaging from a place of peace. We must learn to find peace in our own bodies, hearts, and minds, so that we can engage the outer world through the vehicle of that peace. We must begin to recognize the war we are fighting inside our own minds, and choose to put down our weapons. This doesn’t mean becoming passive. It doesn’t mean stuffing our strong emotions. But it does mean shifting our focus toward the kind of world we wish to live in, and moving from that place of peace, rather than perpetuating the energies of the world as it suffers and keeping the war going. Because if we continue to believe that we are on the side of Good, and that the other is truly Other, we remain at war and miss the call to peace completely.
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Rafia Rebeck, MEd, MA, LPCC, is trained in the Hakomi Method of Psychotherapy. She offers a warm, sincere, and safe approach for those who seek personal transformation through mindfulness. Please feel welcome to get in touch by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. If this blog postcard was meaningful for you, I invite you to share it with others who may benefit.