Find the peace within to get to the peace without

Tracie Louise at Redbubble

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

 

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Find the peace within to get to the peace without

  1. Beautifully said.
    I definitely think there are laws and actions we could take to be a more peaceful nation, but you’re right that we have to approach the path of peacemaking with peace not anger. In the last few days, I’ve been asking myself are there any times when violence is warranted. For instance, was it right to fight Hitler and nazism in World War II. I was watching the Hobbit with my kids and wondering about the violence that film ultimately promotes in the name of saving Middle Earth. I have no answers for this. I do know that my path in life is to be peaceful and promote non-violence.
    Thanks for your post. As always, you help me to see another way.

  2. Thank you for this post. I have a hard time listening to the gun control debates without feeling my anger rise, and now I will be more aware of how the anger that I carry inside me is not doing me or the world any good.

  3. Yes, Leigh. I have felt that same pull. Despite turning off the TV and the radio, I am pulled into Facebook and I still check my email. Like you (and largely because of you), I have worked for several years to strengthen that core of peace and let thoughts that do not support that move on as best that I can at any moment. And I have been having so much success, even during the toxicity of the political campaigns and after the election when people did not want to let their “us” and “them” positions go. I held my ground then but have had a bit of a challenge this time. So, thank you for your eloquent and well stated reminder of what we are here for and how important it is that we remember.

    • So many people go for the anger I think its pull is incredibly strong. It takes a lot to stand in that peaceful place doesn’t it? It always helps me to know others are standing with me. Thanks.

  4. Leigh,
    Thank you for this honest post full of wisdom and lovingkindness. I thought you were going to justify righteous anger, then you made the turn that all great spiritual leaders make–love thy enemy. Right when I read that, I hit “follow.” I can’t wait to spend more time with you on WordPress. I am so excited to have found you, but I am trying to maintain equanimity.

    I hope this is not inappropriate, but I want to invite you to join Bloggers for Peace. You are an all-star and our team needs all the players we can get. As you know from the gun control debate (“the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun”), the competition is powerful. We are trying to create a web of peace on the internet that will catch as many angry souls as possible. Your statement above, pretty much describes our mission: “But in a world in which we are all part of the same web of oneness, anger is just anger…You’re either contributing the peace and the love to the web or you’re contributing the war and the hatred.”

    Thank you for the visit and follow. I feel like Christmas came early when I opened the gift of your words on this blog. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo.

  5. For most of my life I have been an angry person. The only time in the past, that I wasn’t afraid, was when I felt powerful through anger. Accepting bearing the sorrow and pain of fear, instead of escaping into anger, has been a slow learning curve. Old age helps. Often just too tired for anger now. Hurt./ fear is painful, but doesn’t require so much energy. 🙂
    Goodies for baddies.

    Thanks for the encouragement to persevere in imitating Christ by staying vulnerable. It does help to know that we are not alone in our struggle.

    • I have a feeling anger usually is a cover for fear and/or pain. I’ve known some people who managed to live very long lives without ever letting go of anger so I have a notion you get a lot of credit for changing… Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. Pingback: The Answer to All Problems » Robert JR Graham

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