During this dramatic and emotional time in our country and the world, what we all need is a heaping helping of inner peace. From my experience, the challenge here is two-fold. First we must recognize that it is possible to attain this state even in these difficult times and then that it is imminently worth the time, energy and resolve it takes to get there. I know. It took me many years and many life upheavals, traumas and challenges before I was literally brought to my knees in desperation – with a willingness to do whatever it took to bring some inner calm into my life.
What I had to get past in order to open to this possibility of inner peace may sound familiar to some of you. Like most people I had heard about the peace that passeth understanding all my life. The rub was that I considered it a platitude, a carrot, a myth that was perpetuated by organized religion to keep members hanging in there. Actually, at that time I had never met a church-going person, or anyone else for that matter, who radiated inner peace, knew what it was, or claimed this was something that was attainable or desirable. While this doesn’t say much for my spiritual awareness back then, it’s just where I was.
As it turned out, the only myth I was wrestling with was the fact that inner peace is not and never has been the property of organized religion. What I have learned is that the universal life force-energy, which we call God, did not develop religion – humanity did – and God has no connection with its dogmas, rules and rituals. It was simply man’s positive desire to try to make sense of why he was on Earth and what he was supposed to do.
I find it interesting that Native Americans have been advising us for centuries that we will never find inner peace through overworking ourselves and rushing through life, which is what most of us do because we don’t know any better. The first step in finding inner peace lies in recognizing there is something in us that isn’t satisfied by the greed and $ucce$$-at-any-price culture that exists today. Many of us know this somewhere in our hearts and minds, but we seem to be stuck in the fallacy that tells us that if we can gather enough money and possessions we can make our own security and have peace of mind. That sentence concludes with the unspoken phrase … and the bloody blazes with everyone else.
The problem with thinking we are independent of everyone else is that it isn’t true. We are actually dependent and interdependent on all others. Whether we are aware of this or not, like it or not, we are one with all life on Earth and what benefits one, benefits all, and what harms one harms us all.
We are also one with the eternal and sublime energy that we call God, which is why when we turn within and consistently connect with this awareness we can cultivate an inner peace and calm that nothing can disturb. The Truth is that the Infinite-Life Force-God is always at peace, as there is nothing that can disturb it. And as we strengthen our link with the Infinite, which is the birthright of every human being, we share in that peace.
This process also opens us to the sanctuary of unconditional love that is the heart’s desire of every individual on Earth, as well as the guidance, support, wisdom and, yes, the peace that really does surpass our understanding.
I learned that maintaining inner peace no matter what happens is not easy but it is possible. The key lies in making it a daily habit to connect with our inner selves and to consistently forgive ourselves and others, which releases the past. Then when any untoward event or situation comes up in our lives, we remember that all life is change. Instead of condemning the incident, and as soon after the optional hissy-fit as possible, we then ask what is to be learned from this “challenge.”
As we continue to take this positive approach, eventually we come to a point where we can actually bless the event or situation and recognize it as an opportunity for soul growth. When we can do this, the time frame for learning the lesson is greatly decreased, and the gift in it – which is always to open us to receive more good in life – manifests much more quickly.
By consistently strengthening our connection with the Infinite within us, and letting go of the past by forgiving ourselves and others – we are on the path to lasting inner peace –and hastening World Peace.
Copyright © 2010 by Fern Stewart Welch [Repeated by request]