Friday, January 25, 2019

Pondering Peace

Meditation, for me, is sometimes calm-quiet, breathing in … breathing out, and other times, it’s an opening to messages. Last evening’s meditation had me contemplating peace.

“A Course in Miracles” says: “To have peace, teach peace,” but peace is more than just talk. People are always preaching peace, but it seems there is less and less peace in the world. There is so much violence and hatred in this country … I watch a lot of history shows, and the times and technology have changed, but the there are still similar issues happening today.

Peace is more than just a word. Peace is an action. To have peace, we must BE peace – in demeanor and heart. Being peace doesn’t mean we will never fight, sometimes it is necessary to fight; unfortunately, some war is necessary.) But for every day people living in our communities, we must practice peace.

Why isn’t there more peace? Why is violence escalating?

Because we are surrounded by it! People thrive on it, can’t seem to get enough of it! The negativity, violence, horror, and atrocities are pounded into us each day with everything wrong with this country and the world (OK, once in awhile there is a feel-good story). There are always wars somewhere with some faction wanting to take over other countries or whatever.

And it’s addictive! People love that adrenaline rush, that excitement in hearing and reading what is happening to others. They fill themselves with violent news, movies, TV programs, video games, and social media. Commercials yelling at you that their product is the best ever. (And what I hear about virtual reality machines that you put on your head – what does that do to your brain?)

Oh, it’s so exciting! And people can’t stop talking about it and spread it farther. Even techno music, with its unnatural beat, which is great for dancing or strenuous work, but to listen to it all the time with it pumping up your adrenaline – not healthy, it stresses the heart, body, and mind.

This continuous adrenaline pump keeping people pumped up all the time causes physical and mental stress. People are quick to anger, quick to violent acts … think about this. What’s this doing to kids? And we wonder why negativity and violence is escalating? Think about how you feel when reading the news. Think about what all this negativity does to your brainwaves, to your children’s brainwaves.

Is this what you really want in life? I hear people say how they enjoy the adrenaline highs … is this just another addiction? Can it be as bad as many of the other addictions if it’s spreading more negativity? If you’re on an almost continual adrenaline high, what affect is this having? And just with drugs, you start to need more and more? Think about this. Is this how you want to live?

So, what can we do? I, personally, don’t believe there can ever be world peace. We are human beings with all the humanist positives and negatives to deal with. There will always be those who want to take or control or destroy what someone else has. And, I believe (and I’m sure there are those who disagree), there are just some bad people for whom there is no hope. (Just look at these dictators and the Jim Jones’ and such.)

This past year I started being more conscious of living wholeheartedly. Part of this had me paying attention to situations that “riled me up.” Commercials yelling at me in excited voices. (And you can’t believe anything they tell you.) I refuse to listen to news (as much as I can). I stopped watching TV shows (even my favorite NCIS) that promoted the bad in the world and violence. I considered the music I listen to and added variety, so it’s not all energetic hype. Songs that are about violence or are nasty/ugly/hate-filled, I won’t listen to at all. I go on Facebook to check messages and comment on good things. I refuse to read all the hate stuff and will hide it. I don’t even want it showing on my timeline.

To be at peace, I need to live peacefully. That doesn’t mean life is perfect. Shit happens and even if I “lose it” at times, I am quicker to recover. I have practices to stop downward thinking. I have gathered affirmations to read over to help me cope with life. I have my writing and art, and gardens and indoor plants. I meditate and practice tai chi.

I believe peace starts small. Start with yourself and find what makes you feel at peace, share it with family, your neighborhoods and friends. Find ways to build peace locally, then move it out farther. Is life perfect? No, but if we all do a little, we can make our own part of the world better.

Note: But let me say, when I’m talking about negativity, this doesn’t include when someone is having a bad day or a personal issue they need to talk over. We all have down moments sometimes and need support from one another. Sometimes all we need is a kind a kind word, a bit of understanding, or a little advice.

Stay away from the negativity.

Spread peace in words and actions.

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