In August Tracie Louise posted some designs she created on her lovely photography blog and I asked her if I could use some of them for posts and link to her sales site. I intended to do three and thought they’d be close in time but somehow time got away. Anyway, this is another of her lovely designs and you can purchase stickers, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. at Red Bubble.
My mind has been on peace lately and of course after Friday’s tragedy the focus has grown. The cartoon I reblogged yesterday expressed my belief about creating peace so well—the way to peace is to be peace. Being peaceful and compassionate is really something each of us can only accomplish (or not) as a personal quest so I try to keep track of how well I’ve succeeded at “being peace”.
So when I observed myself growing angry as the gun control debate unfolded and pro gun people talked about just figuring out who’s likely to commit an atrocity and keep them from buying guns (how well that would have helped in this case where the gunman didn’t own the guns…) I recognized that I still haven’t reached that place where my only vibration is peace. I’ve watched the growing debate and the polarization at the same time I’ve worked at finding that neutral space in which I don’t feel I have to engage and yet I feel pulled into it.
And I’ve realized that to a degree our society (I can’t speak for any other country) has kind of a stake in anger, a belief, really, that there are things you’re supposed to be angry about, that righteous anger is good, that in a world of right and wrong you have to be angry about “wrong”… But in a world in which we are all part of the same web of oneness, anger is just anger. I don’t think there really is righteous anger. You’re either contributing the peace and the love to the web or you’re contributing the war and the hatred and anger is definitely not part of the peace and love.
When the discussion of how to stop the violence centers on an angry debate with an “us” and a “them” and fury at whoever disagrees with “us” I no longer believe there’s any possibility of finding an answer that ends the violence. My only answer is to keep doing practices, to keep clearing anger, to work at vibrating only at the level of love. It’s my contribution. I truly believe that when there are enough people all holding the place of love, that’s when we finally find answers that bring peace.
It’s what Jesus tried to tell us, what Gandhi tried to tell us, what Martin Luther King tried to tell us. Nonviolence as a path doesn’t just mean that you avoid hitting or shooting, it means that you don’t offer violence in thoughts or words or deeds. In thousands of years of fighting and cycles of attack and revenge, the world has never come close to peace and yet so many people hold on to the illusion that our answers lie in retaliation, righteous anger, fighting back, etc. In thousands of years of people claiming to follow Jesus and Buddha and other religious prophets who spoke of peace, we have yet to actually believe in it enough to accept that being peace is the answer.
See also: Don’t get mad, be peace