Peace from WithinThe world we observe and participate in is a reflection of the thoughts we hold. This is our world. The helping, the hurting, the peacemaking, the war making, the blaming and the blessing are all reflections of us. The key to creating a more peaceful world lies in creating a more peaceful you.
I teach peace. I teach it by asking people to move beyond blaming. In my books, articles, classes, speaking and consulting I teach about the possibilities that lie within us. My life also teaches. Some days I teach blaming and conflict. I am not proud of those days, but there is this part of me that wants to blame, to be a victim, to be right, and to tell others what they need to do. This part of me doesn't teach peace. I see the violence, the hatred, the blaming and the attacking in the world and I know that these events reflect who I am being.
Some days my thoughts and emotions are like a speeding train with no brakes. That's how it is for others who are caught up in war and conflict. They are speeding toward destruction and my criticism serves only to perpetuate it. When I criticize myself for not being peaceful, I add to my turmoil. When I am outraged against someone else's behavior I am, in effect, supporting that behavior.
Does this mean I should just stand idly by and allow people to hurt each other? No it doesn't. My job, if I am for peace, is to be the presence of peace. I am to think and feel and behave in ways that contribute to peace. I am to refrain from judgment, condemnation, and criticism. I don't pretend violent action is okay; I seek to remove violent thinking from my own mind. This begins with how I see others.
When I see others as bad, wrong, or guilty I am not for peace. As a peacemaker I must learn to see others as the expressions of Spirit that they are. They may not know it, but I can know it for them. I may speak directly to their negative behavior while maintaining a respect for who they really are. Peacemakers help people to see what they really want and to align their thinking and behavior with their visions.
In conflict we forget what we want. People in Israel who are fighting have forgotten what they want. They want peace. They want to be able to send their kids to school, own a home, make a good living, and live a good life. The current cycle of attack and revenge doesn't bring peace. Feeling justified that others have died doesn't bring peace. Israel is a reflection of every other conflict on this planet, including yours and mine. We blame; we condemn; we attack; we justify ourselves; we are outraged when the other party strikes back; and the whole cycle repeats. This goes on between nations, between neighborhoods, between married people; and between coworkers. We are all susceptible to this insanity.
Why do I call it insanity? It is insane because we think and do those things which bring us exactly what we don't want. It is insane to offer your child as a suicide bomber. It is insane to drive a tank into a neighborhood and blow up a house. It is insane to plot and plan the next sharp words you will fling at your child's other parent. It is insane to hate the person in the White House when he holds the well- being of the nation in his next decision.
Our thoughts are prayers. Our mental attacks against others are a prayer for their pain which comes back to us. Every attack against another is an attack against ourselves. We have to ask ourselves when we find ourselves in the midst of blaming--what do I want to come of this? It takes courage to ask this question. It takes a clear intention to withdraw your negative energy from a situation and regroup your thinking.
Each moment the question is asked: "Do you want peace?" Each moment you answer with your thoughts and actions. If you hurt someone with your words or your body or a weapon, you, in that moment, do not want peace. If you say to yourself: "No more. I refuse to engage in this insanity. I stand for peace." In this state you want peace. You are like Gandhi, or Martin Luther King Jr. or Aung Sang Suu Kyi or Nelson Mandela.
I find that when I make a renewed commitment to inner peace, something comes quickly to disturb it. I get to find out if I really mean it or not.
I appreciate the opportunity to write this for all of you readers, because at the moment I began it, I was not at peace. This article has served to remind me of what I already know: That we create our own unhappiness. We create our world by our thoughts. We reap what we sow. If we truly want peace then we must be peace. In those moments when I am either unwilling or unable to let go of my hurtful thoughts, I ask for help. I ask Spirit to take charge of my thoughts. If I am truly willing to let go, peace comes once again. My mind clears and I eventually receive the answers I need.
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About The Author: William Frank Diedrich is a speaker, executive coach, and the author of The Road Home: The Journey Beyond The Spiritual Quick Fix, 30 Days to Prosperity, and Beyond Blaming. William offers presentations on moving beyond blaming. About The Road Home, Dr. Wayne Dyer said, "I loved this book's courageous honesty and shimmering passion." William's transformational books and e-classes are at http://transformativepress.com and http://noblaming.com