Without war, we cannot know peace.
This is the awful paradox of peace
In truth, we need conflict, anger, and pain to better understand compassion, forgiveness, and peace. However, the sad reality is, if we continue doing things the way we always have, we will most likely never live collectively in peace.
We are born with inherited beliefs and habits that are passed down to us from centuries of “us against them” mentalities. This is how we establish what is most important in life, and what is not.
I know it’s hard to admit, but to fund our lifestyles and live our lives as we know it, we need to focus on external enemies. We do this in an effort to avoid the truth that the real work in knowing peace begins at home inside each and every one of us first.
Turning inward though seems too hard, and yet also too easy. In truth, the very nature of conflict and war, fuels the economy and without it millions of people would be out of work and industries would shut down. The collective purpose of fighting “others” would be lost and perhaps the world as we know it would collapse.
So when people pray for “peace on Earth” I ask them, “what does that look like for you?” and, most importantly, “what are you willing to give up in exchange for that peace?” According to the universal law of exchange, in order to receive something, you have to be willing to give something up in exchange for whatever it is you are wanting. That is true for everything, success, health, wealth, love, happiness, and most definitely peace.
If you want to be successful, you might have to give up time with family and loved ones to achieve it.
If you want to be healthy, you might have to give up the unhealthy foods and lifestyle choices that you currently have.
If you want to be wealthy, you might have to invest more energy into understanding your relationship with money and whether or not you feel deserving of it.
If you want love, you might have to give up the toxic relationship you have with yourself first so that you can start to feel like you are worthy of the love that you want in your life.
If you want more happiness, you might have to examine why you are dependent upon external factors to bring you joy rather than feeling it from within.
And, most importantly, if you want more peace in the world, you might have to give up the conflict and wars you are fighting within you before expecting the world around you to do the same.
As a Warrior Spirit Healer, it is quite literally my job to help people heal all of their mental and emotional suffering and end the internal wars that take them away from feeling at peace within their hearts, minds, and souls. These wars are very real. We engage in them every day whether or not we want to. But the reality is most of us aren’t trained properly to win these wars. Most of us would rather keep deflecting our anger and hatred outwardly onto others, in an effort to distract ourselves from the truth that if we aren’t at peace within ourselves, how can we ever expect there to be peace around us?
A few months ago, one of my military clients asked me; “Why do you care so much about helping soldiers?” to which I replied, “Because it is my way of fighting and being of service to peace in the world.”.
You see, years ago when I was living with a Canadian Special Forces Commanding Officer, we would often talk about war, in particular about his lived experiences in fighting some of the most atrocious human beings on Earth. I always felt the utmost respect and gratitude for these brave people risking possible injury or death in an effort to rid the world of such evilness. Our conversations and his examples, however, also illustrated to me the futility of the situation and that the need to keep fighting enemies would never end.
You cannot capture or kill hateful ideology. You cannot eradiate an entire group’s wounded belief system. Once one leader is gone, another one will inevitably pop up. It is like opposition whack-a-mole, except there is no prize at the end of this game. No one walks away a winner.
Because without the ability and willingness to start fighting the internal wars that keep us separated, keep us angry, and keep us hateful of one another, there will be no end to the wars between us. There will be no compassion. There will be no understanding. And there will be no peace.
My service and commitment to helping these brave soldiers heal from their experiences and start to live in peace at home within themselves, is the greatest gift I can offer the world.
Because without that, without our abilities to extinguish the fires of anger, rage, fear, and sadness within us, we will always keep seeking external enemies to fight.
The question isn’t “when will the world ever be at peace?” Rather, the question is “when will you be at peace with yourself?”
What if we were to stop putting as much emphasis on the need to fight others and more emphasis on the need to fight the inner wars raging inside us? What potential impact might that have in your life and more importantly in your dreams for peace around the world?
You see, these are the questions we need to be asking ourselves as leaders and as warriors, questions that only you can answer and realities only you can achieve, if you want to.
And while world peace seems impossible, it certainly will never happen if we keep our sights focused on outside targets only. Perhaps in turning the scope of our strengths, our courage, and our capacities as warrior’s inwards, our efforts to end the suffering of the world won’t feel so futile.
What if members of the Armed Forces who dedicate their lives to fighting for peace around the world, spent as much time fighting for peace and resolution within themselves as well? What if we all did that as humans of this great planet? How might that help us deal with our conflicts, process our traumas, and live through our adversities? What if by spending more time truly conquering the enemy within, you were able to find the peace you’ve been seeking all your life?
While the reality of world peace may seem impossible at times, the light at the end of the tunnel is that it can become truth and it can be achieved through you.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “peace” as:
- a state of tranquility or quiet, such as:
- freedom from civil disturbance
- a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom
- freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
What would it look and feel like to actualize that tranquility and quiet any oppressive thought or emotion within you? You are the world in singular form.
Let peace on Earth begin within you.