All blocks to peace are self-imposed. Taking responsibility for our thoughts and actions gives s the power to change our lives by taking ownership of what we allow to dwell in our minds. We are not victims of our resentments, upsets, or the attitudes and behaviors that result from harboring any ill-fated judgment with anyone or anything. We choose the anger we hold, and by choosing to harbor a grievance, we have also decided against peace. Peace of mind and dis-content cannot co-exist.
We choose the obsessions, addictions, and goals we use to keep peace just out of our reach. Somehow, we have decided that clinging to resentment, anger, and choosing not to forgive keeps us safe. It does not work and actually works against our safety. In the attempt to keep ourselves safe from others, we attack ourselves. The bitterness, anger, fear, and guilt all produce varying types of dis-ease and become cancer within us and seem to block the light within us.
A mind is an evidence-seeking machine. Whatever we want to believe, the ego-mind will seek proof that it is correct and committed to being right, even at the expense of being happy. We do not see what we look at. Instead, we see what we look for. If we are seeking evidence to prove that someone deserves punishment, we will inevitably find it, but the same is so with forgiveness. When we become determined to forgive, the spirit within will discover the reasons to forgive.
When I began my journey of forgiving my dad, a few of the old-timers in the twelves step groups that knew even a tiny part of my story would ask. “Why do you even want to forgive that jerk?” fortunately, there were others that would answer for me by saying, “Forgiving him is the only way you will ever be free of your past.” One old gentleman, in particular, went on to say, “If you truly want to forgive your father, take a look into his childhood and stop looking so deeply into your own.” By listening to this guidance, I found that empathy could easily replace malice.
Searching the hidden places in the corridor of our psyche, we find all the things that we allow to be more important than peace of mind. By being vigilant for peace, we will find that all of those things begin to become less and less critical. We may find that we no longer need to have the prettiest girl hanging under our arm like a trophy to show off and seemingly make us more worthy. The same is true for the ladies. We may find that we do not need the newest car, the most luxurious home, or the most extensive bank account. We may find that living in the abundance of the light within is finally enough.
A Course in Miracles speaks of the messengers we send out seeking the message we choose to hear. We can send out the messengers of war or the messengers for peace. Which messengers will you send out today? Ask yourself each day, “What do I seek today, war or peace?”
And always remember; To teach peace, we must first be peaceful.