November 13, 2017

Peace In The Midst

I write about peace a lot. I also think about it, talk about it, meditate on it, and even write songs about it. Right now, I am in the midst of writing a book about peace. For me, peace is the end game, the reason behind every choice I make. You could say that experiencing the energy of peace as often as possible is my main mission in life.

This is not to say that I experience perfect peace, or that I experience peace all of the time. As Dr. David Hawkins reminded us though his work, perfect peace is rare; and, I agree. Perfect peace is rare; however, rare does not mean impossible. It just means that very few actually achieve and embody the energy of peace full time.

In his book, Power Vs. Force, Dr. Hawkins notes that those who demonstrate or embody the elevated energies of peace often tend to withdraw from the world. Hawkins suggests they do so because “the state of bliss that ensues precludes ordinary activity.” For me, I have no desire whatsoever to withdraw from the world in order to maintain my peace. On the contrary, I desire an experience of peace that keeps me engaged with the world. Even when the “ordinary activity” of the world challenges my peace, I remain open to the experience of “peace in the midst” of those challenges, even if I don’t do it perfectly

Peace & The Ordinary World

Every single day, the “ordinary activity” of the world presents opportunities for us to blow up our peace. However, even in the midst of life’s many challenges, there are also abundant daily opportunities to create an experience of peace. For example, just recently, in a very short span of time the lives of millions of Americans from Texas to Florida to Puerto Rico were devastated by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. During that span, I personally lost count of the number of friends and family members whose lives were radically and forever altered by these historically unprecedented hurricanes, especially Harvey and Irma.

I have friends and family from Corpus Christi to Key West. Their personal stories are multiplied exponentially, enfolding the experiences of millions of people just like them that I will never know. Nonetheless, everyone of them needs help just like my friends and family do. In some cases, entire towns were decimated by hurricane force winds and inescapable storm surges. In others, historic rainfall totals created massive flood events that destroyed tens of thousands of homes and businesses. The physical destruction and financial loss is overwhelming.

Even as I write this, an untold number remain either displaced from their homes altogether, or having to perform emergency renovations in order to save their homes. In some cases, basic services like power, water and communications services have still not been restored to their former states. At ground zero for each of these events, food and energy supplies were threatened in many areas creating fear and potential panic for millions.

Work continues even now to restore the basics in many areas, even as waste management services continue to deal with the debris and remnants of people’s lives, which are in many cases simply piled up in their front yards awaiting pick up and disposal. Ultimately, it will be years before the physical and financial recovery is completed. The human toll may never be fully known, and in some cases, may never be fully recovered.

Finding Peace In The Midst

These are just some of the weather crises that happened in this part of the world. Around the world there were many other weather and natural disaster events that devastated the lives of millions more. But, its not just the weather and natural disaster events that are potentially blocking an experience of peace.

On a parallel track, we have also experienced devastating terror and mass killing events, like Vegas and New York and, most recently, Sutherland Springs. Add to these the political dysfunction in America, the opioid crisis and the sexual assault scandals, that daily populate our news feeds, and it’s a wonder anyone ever experiences peace. How are we to find peace in the midst of such large scale crises?

The Potential For Peace Is Unlimited

Unity Minister, Rev. Kristen Grandson recently suggested that we find “peace in the midst” of life’s storms by going within, into the “inward nature” of our own being and wholly aligning our lives with our Christ Consciousness. Without a commitment to live in alignment with the “inward nature” of our Christ Consciousness, peace is impossible. Without peace, our capacity to serve in the solutions is also limited.

To live in alignment with our Christ Consciousness is to imagine and express our creative power to its fullest potential. Imagine how powerful is your personal capacity to express unconditional love. If it were expressed to its fullest potential, peace would not only be possible, it would be inevitable. Because our capacity to express love is unlimited, our potential to create “peace in the midst” of any challenge is also unlimited.

So Much Potential, So Little Time

While our capacity to express love and create peace is unlimited, our time, energy and resources are not. When we are faced with such overwhelming tragedy and human needs, how and where are we to contribute in order to help create the most good for the most people? What is the most effective way to help, when we literally do not have either the time or resources to individually help even just the people we personally know?

In large scale natural disasters, there are always more people who need help than any one of us can personally serve. When so many have lost everything all at once, not being able to help everyone can leave us feeling guilty, as if we haven’t done enough. Even when the tragedy is on a comparatively smaller scale, as in Sutherland Springs, it is still overwhelming to know what can be done to help in the recovery.

However, this kind of thinking is not productive, either in terms of actually helping, or in creating an inner experience of peace. Feeling overwhelmed by either large scale world crises, or even the demands of our own personal lives, can rob us of our personal peace. Without a capacity to experience inner peace, our potential to help is also severely limited. How are we to help create an experience of “peace in the midst” of such tragic conditions, if we cannot create peace for our own selves?

Every Little Bit Of Peace Helps

The first thing to keep in mind is that recovery and relief efforts, whether from natural or man made disasters, will be going on for years. In fact, it could easily be said that such efforts are always ongoing. The recovery is just getting started for the newest events, even as the recovery from older events continues. What this means to us is that there are always opportunities to serve others, both locally, remotely and even globally. In the immediate aftermath of such large scale disasters, our first reaction is to do something quickly and boldly, to make a grand gesture. However, what is more important is to do many little things over the long haul.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu once stated, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” We do not have to go around the world to serve others, we can do our “little bit of good” right where we are planted. By doing it consistently over time, the good accumulates and has exponential effects and consequences, not only for those who benefit from our service, but also within the inner realms of our own Christ Consciousness.

When my own thoughts, words, and actions are in harmony with the Christ Consciousness, peace is the natural result. One thought at a time, one prayer at a time, and one action at a time, this is how I create a consciousness of peace. There is the possibility for peace in the midst of every circumstance. No matter the challenge, peace is possible. Regardless of apparent obstacles, the potential for peace is ever present.

The best thing we can ever do for one another is to contribute to an experience of peace. By making our personal peace a priority in our lives, we develop our capacity to express “peace in the midst” of any experience. Every little bit of peace we create for ourselves contributes to the collective peace, and ultimately heals the world.

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