Lately, I’ve been worried about the end of the world. My husband says he’s worried about the end of the month! Yes, perspective is everything. Even with my intention to see it all from a ‘higher perspective’, new challenges appear every day, reminding me to be vigilant.
I know the importance of inner peace in preserving my health and wellbeing. So, I set myself the aspiration of daily peace – I aim high in that direction. I remind myself that I can do more good by being cheerful than by being grumpy, no matter what happens, and besides, I feel a whole lot better.
But can I, should I, be peaceful at all costs? Where are the limits? Can I expect to remain peaceful even under the most trying of circumstances? Should I, can I, remain peaceful in the face of injustice? Would I want to achieve peace at someone else’s expense? Does it make sense to fight for peace—or isn’t that a tired oxymoron? Is it worth sacrificing even one person for peace? Whose peace? Who benefits? These are questions I ask myself that keep me focused on my goal.
Staying peaceful requires constant awareness and practice, but it’s a gift I give myself. Like forgiveness, it is not always easy but it has great rewards. Like John Lennon, I like to think big here and Imagine how I could change the world by practicing forgiveness on a daily basis toward any rude remark, unkind attitude, or selfish behavior I encounter. Where there is “un-love” I can be forgiving, rather than judgmental.
Conflicts over ideas and beliefs start wars, the big wars as well as little one-on-one wars. Interpersonal conflicts cause much of our pain and stress, with each party needing to be right. As Jerry Jampolsky asks, “Which is more important to you, to be right—or to be peaceful?”
Part of my vigilance is to ask simple questions: Am I willing to understand the other person’s point of view? Have I really heard that person’s point of view? Has she/he heard mine and how can I peacefully, kindly and objectively get my point across? Can I consider the radical concept that a point of view different from mine may have merit, and respect those who hold that opposing view?
Can I accept the notion that everyone is right from his or her point of view? By recognizing the vast experience that has led to my own viewpoints, can I also acknowledge the experience of those I am not aligned with, and understand how they arrived at the beliefs they hold? Peace comes from allowing other people—friends and relatives, as well as those from other nations and cultures—to accept, celebrate and embrace difference.
Be the change we wish to see in the world. – Gandhi
As just one small contribution to this ever-moving kaleidoscopic world, I have a role to play in world peace. In these times of radical change, smiling and calming my mind is a worthy and impactful contribution. I can offer comfort to those around me with patience and gentleness, decency and goodness. I can be an example to others by recognizing what is real and important. I can see all the crises in the world as blessings in disguise—waking us up to think for ourselves and learn new ways to express compassion and love. It is an endless opportunity for transformation.
If I am not peaceful in myself and in my relationships, then I am part of the problem. I can’t blame anyone else, because how I respond is up to me.
First we must transform ourselves, then the world will transform. – Krishnamurti
As we learn to change ourselves, we become teachers and helpers to others, passing on the lessons we have learned. Every little change I make sends out waves, like the ripples from a pebble thrown into a pond. As I forgive those who have harmed me in the past, and those with whom I disagree, I can begin to recover the sacred part of myself. Release the past—let it go.
Forgiveness is giving up all hopes for a better past. – Jerry Jampolsky
As I become more peaceful I come back to my essence, which is Love. And since everything in the universe is interconnected, when each one of us is peaceful, the planet is healed.
Imagine if we all took this small commitment to find inner-peace with the intention to charge the world with love. Then change for the better would effortlessly emerge.
I know that the one thing I can always change for the better is my own attitude. When I become healthier and happier, I naturally and organically become part of the solution. Maybe we are experiencing a great shakeup as the new paradigm is forming. I trust that everything is working for the good of all.
Trust is the spiritual fertilizer that feeds new understanding and new growth.
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