"Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Times are uncertain. They always are, but these times seem more uncertain than others to many of us. How we give meaning and respond to such times determines our experience. Our sense of connection, our deep realization of the Divine within and the empowerment this brings, can seemingly dissolve in fear and anxiety. They cannot really dissolve, of course, because they are Truths. But we can fail to realize these Truths when we allow fear to drive us.
Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the realization of your own Power. The absence of conflict is always temporary, but Peace is eternal. A sense of personal empowerment, realizing the Divine within, can replace fear with compassion. Conflict may exist around you, but not within you. Think of conflict as friction. Physics tells us that for friction to occur, two rough surfaces must come into contact. If one of those surfaces is smooth, there is no friction. When we realize our Power and the reality of the Divine within, we can become smooth surfaces. Conflict may exist around us, but we are not affected and. Importantly, we do not contribute to it.
"Take no offense. That which offends you only WEAKENS you. Being offended creates the same destructive energy that offended you in the first place - so transcend your ego and stay in PEACE."
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
Imagine the effectiveness of being a smooth surface in a conversation about politics, or during a demonstration, or when someone is in crisis. Bringing a consciousness of the Divine – Buddha Mind or Christ Consciousness – to such situations may calm the situation (there is one less rough surface present) and allow you to access deeper wisdom and compassion. We can only access our wisdom and compassion when we are at Peace. Can you be at Peace when there is conflict or drama around you?
"If we want there to be peace in the world, we have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid in our hearts, to find the soft spot and stay with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That's the true practice of peace."
~ Pema Chödron, “Practicing Peace in Times of War”
Softening what is rigid in our hearts – becoming a smooth surface – means to be a more loving and empowered presence. It does not mean being weak or ineffectual; in fact, quite the opposite. Loving people refuse to abuse others or be abused themselves. They convey a Presence of Empowerment to others, which does not instill fear, but connection (although some will fear that connection). New Thought principles and practices prepare us to be that Presence of Empowerment. And the world needs more of that.
Peace is the realization of one’s empowered nature in the face of its opposite – the fear which drives people to conflict and violence. To be a bringer of Peace is not a path of safety and security.
“There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
But we know, don’t we, that safety and security are never guaranteed? We realize they are but a fantasy of a fearful mind. The world is a continual adventure, filled with challenges, for which we humans are well suited. But we forget that far too often. We must remember our Divine nature, our Empowerment, and express our compassion and love from such a consciousness. This will both make our own lives richer and more fulfilling as well as contribute to the well being of all of humanity. We are called to this mighty work.
So, here is a prayer from Ernest Holmes to help you along the way. Say it often, sincerely, with deep feeling, until it is fully embodied within your consciousness.
“So, I say quietly to myself: There is one Life, that Life is God, that Life is perfect, that Life is my Life now. It is flowing through me, circulating in me. I am one with Its rhythm. My heart beats with the pulsation of the Universe, in serenity, in peace, and in joy. My whole physical being is animated by the Divine Spirit, and if there is anything in it that does not belong, it is cast out because there is One Perfect Life in me now.”
~ Dr. Ernest Holmes