What I learned in 30 days about peace
Recent world events struck me to the core and at the heart of most of them was the lack of peacefulness.
We are far from perfect beings and we definitely don't behave as such as war continues over religion, power, resources and centuries-old grudges. I don't have to share them all here...you have probably read a news story this week about any of them or you follow along on your favorite pundit-directed news site. This post isn't about what is left or right. And it's not about what is right or wrong. It's about what I discovered in the 30 days I set out an intention for peace for this world.
For 3o days I wanted to set, and encourage others to set, an intention for world peace through either prayer, meditation, walk, ritual, etc.. I had no illusions my small gesture would change the world. I just felt like I needed to do something. But even this took some discipline -- either in prayer or meditation. And every day I posted on Facebook a photo, quote or some kind of imagery that would evoke the theme of peace. Daily prayer and meditation to bring forth peace meant that I needed to, of course, do it every day. It meant taking time to set that intention even in the chaos of my daily life. Guess what was the obvious "ah ha!" moment? Peace takes work. Yes, even on a small scale. Let me explain before you zen enthusiasts get ready to tell me otherwise.
Peace takes work because the obvious outcome of OUTER peace must come within first and foremost. Your relationships with others and yourself are a part of this -- how you respond or don't respond, what you choose to take within you and what you choose to discard. This isn't seamless and it isn't flawless. You stumble as you discover these things about yourself and those around you. You see the faultiness. In 30 days I had misunderstandings, arguments, (and yes, I know Mercury is also in retrograde) but also positive self discoveries, awakenings, compromises and cohesion. All in the midst of still plugging forward with my #intention4peace hashtag posts. Hoping to have everyone join me as we set this intention.
What I also learned? Not everyone cares. And let me explain this too. Sure, most folks would love some peace. But we live in our own bubbles and what we have in our bubbles is what we can tackle. This idea of "peace" is more grand than how simple we paint it in those five little letters. We use the word peace in place of goodbye or good morning. We hold up two fingers an inch apart and say "peace" sending intentions of good vibes to each other. The simplicity is a ruse. We want it, but we have our bubbles. And in our bubbles we do what is safe, easy and comfortable to us. It's not that we don't care to have peace, we don't always have time for it. The time we set for ourselves to be the peace we wish to see in the world gets left behind in the business of the day. Yes, even for you zen enthusiasts. It does. You are human.
That was me. I had every positive intention but some days the best I could muster was my post for the day. And even then I had a few days that I missed so the following posts were catchup. Simplicity is an art form. Peace should be a simple art. But if it were that easy, we'd be a unified world, right?
The takeaway? Making an effort -- a small step toward your intention -- is the best kind of start. Steeped in all of your raw humanity, if peace is important to you, even when you stumble, your effort matters. And every day is a new opportunity to either take the step or not.