I've had the opportunity, recently, to reflect once more on what it means to be peaceful.
I have come to the understanding that, as long as we are here, in this reality,
we will not attain perfection with it: Conflict does not seem to have abated and
in my understanding, as long as there is conflict, none of us is truly peaceful.
(Having to do with being part of the field etc. and the underlying unity of it.)
So, the first step to being more at peace is perhaps to embrace
living in a reality that in it's nature is dual...
Many of us wish to be, some of us think themselves to be... peaceful.
There are many layers of becoming more so, a whole life-times worth of it,
it seems. I find it sometimes amusing and mostly astonishing how many
different ways of one-upmanship there seem to be, "enlightened" circles
not withstanding... this having to do with Krishnamurti's comment that
all competition is a form of war...
Embodying peace more firstly requires a willingness to be harmless.
And, of course, just to mention it again: honesty and compassion.
We like to hold great ideals in our awareness. The thing is that it's not so easy to walk the talk.
Quite a few of us seem to find it easy to pretend to already "be there".
Non-judgment for instance is a thing that many people claim to hold when in reality,
judgment is something that happens all the time.
In general i find it recommendable to hold the ideal while acknowledging that
mostly, we still have some work to do around them. ( Work as in: approaching the
Mostly what healing ourselves has to do with is getting lighter and more compassionate -
with ourselves, with the other.
Coming back to harmlessness and peace, well, anytime we are in conflict, whether we
witness it or are an essential player in it, it's a good idea to see/understand the situation
as an opportunity for self- reflection.
So, rather than thinking, oh shit, here it is again, train yourself to think,
how great, i can learn something new. What might it be ?
One of the key ingredients is to take responsibility for being part of it; never mind
in what capacity. Some people have a great desire to be "good" and so call forth
within them the immediate denial of anything they consider " bad" .
When we think in terms of good and bad, or that someone is "right" and another
"wrong", it is automatically calling in the defenses of our wounded self trying
to get on the side of the righteous. Storytelling can be a big part in that.
(Some people hold on to their story because they haven't come to any closure
around it, meaning : they don't necessarily insist that someone else is " wrong"
but that their experience is valid... )
But many times, people use story to fortify their beliefs about right/wrong as
a law. The concept that everyone may have a valid point is not much cultivated
(even if Buddhism talks about "relative truth").
This is actually rather prevalent. Just look at world politics.
When we think in those terms, we may try to find others to corroborate the story,
in order to have a stronger position.
So, to become more peaceful, we would have to take responsibility :
- for being part of the field and co-creators in the happening
- for our own bias
- for any small voice wanting to be "right"
- for trying to distance ourselves by labelling and wanting to give the story
a certain slant
- for any small unkindness in how we hold ourselves/the other
( thinking unkind thoughts is as much an action as anything else.
We would do well to understand the power of thoughts, especially in combination
with strong feelings)
Conflict is a great opportunity to bring something within us into balance.
Screaming louder and louder about having been done to, taking sides, separating
ourselves from the other through, i.e., labeling, is only going to create more of the same.
Many of us know this on some level, but walking the talk seems to be
very difficult - sometimes especially for those who think they are already "there".
There are many layers to why our Soul-self may call in the challenge,
mostly very personal.
But, so far, i have come to identify a few general things.
We create a situation for personal growth in order to :
- find greater understanding/ compassion for the self - this may include changing one's
judgment around being " wounded" on some level.
- understand the woundedness of the other ( often through coming to know one's own better)
- understand the greater dynamic of playing a part in a whole ( which is a good place
to look at judgment i.e. around what people like to call "drama". I've witnessed quite
a few people very judgmental about " drama" while being really good at
making it happen)
- ultimately coming to the layers of acknowledging the dynamic ( i.e. between
2 people while being one of them ) from a place of stillness.
Stillness is, by the way , a great tool - to allow feelings to arise,
to allow compassionate witnessing for all parties, to acknowledge without having to
act or react...
The thing is that things are always shifting, within and without.
When we don't tune in, we become very "grooved" = inflexible in our responses.
When we don't self-reflect, we tend to think it's all "over there".
When we are not still, we can't allow feelings to arise and therefore, discharge/change...
Many of us seem to think that "peacefulness" is something that, once found, will
be more prevalent, meaning stable within us.
Well, i'm not so sure about that. Certainly, some people have been luckier than others
with the initial imprinting of their nervous systems... this being actually a rather large factor,
i believe, in how life is going to play out for us. Awareness of one's initial imprint is
crucial in understanding certain things about one's own make-up...
In general we can make great lemonade after having been handed lemons.
Many people nowadays understand their intial challenge in life also as their
greatest teacher/ ~ ing.
Peace, though, especially in these time of quick changes and speeding, is not
something stable - it is an on-going act of balancing, centering, allowing feelings to
inform us and recognition of why stuff happens...
My personal experience is that there are also times of intensified learning around
what stresses us out personally - which can vary quite a bit from person to person.
I seem to be learning about liking myself even when i get stressed/ wobbly ( relating to
the first level of compassion with self), which is pretty significant for many of us
because the not liking can lead to more stress etc. So, identifying what's going on
becomes rather crucial at some point of initiation.
Certainly there are people who label all this as navel-watching or even narcissism -
my experience with those people is that they don't understand themselves very well and
therefore often delegate the drama... while thinking themselves above it all.