It’s a natural human condition to seek out joy and peace, and the people and situations that make us feel good. But is this really what serves us?
A friend of mine recently had an upset with someone close to her. As we talked about what had happened, she let me know that she was going to tell him how his behaviour had made her feel, the childhood wound in her that it had triggered, and how she would have preferred the conversation and situation to have unfolded.
She was going to ensure that – through open and honest sharing – they both knew how to better navigate a similar situation in future, should it arise again.
Anyone hearing this would think, “What a mature and conscious way of handling this situation.” It’s essentially a debrief. You take a situation that didn’t go the way you would like, you talk about what happened to cause that, you take responsibility for your part in it, and you identify the things that could change. This is how growth happens, right?
But is this true, and is it what really serves us?
I’m going to throw a spanner into the works of these conscious communications….or an alternative perspective, at the very least.
When something happens in our life that we don’t like, and it creates upset for us, it’s human nature to either fix it or avoid it.
And let’s be brutally honest here. By doing a debrief like this, by discussing how we’d prefer someone respond, we’re in fact asking them to change their behaviour so our wounds aren’t triggered.
We’re seeking a premature peace.
But is this what really serves us? Premature peace happens because we’ve controlled the people in our life and the way they respond to us, so that we’re not triggered (or at least, very rarely). This allows us to feel loved and valued most of the time, and live a harmonious, “kinda peaceful” existence.
Does this sound like real Peace to you? Is this the type of peace you really want?
Or are you seeking a different kind of peace – one that starts as a burst of Light from within you, and radiates out? One that consumes every cell of your being, every fibre of your Soul, and leaves nothing – not a single particle – that is not at Peace.
Let’s call this “True Peace” – a peace that knows no opposite. A peace that anchors deep within you, which touches every situation and every Being that you meet. It flows out of you like a fountain, lifting all vibrations around you.
True Peace does not come about through us controlling our outer environment so that our wounds and negative beliefs about ourselves are not triggered.
True Peace happens when we walk through the dark night of the Soul.
It happens when we meet our very own Dweller on the Edge of the Threshold – the darkest and ugliest thoughts we hold about ourselves. It happens when we have blood running down our body, we’ve ached our way through so much pain and suffering caused by our own mindset (and reflected to us by those around us)…...until a spark occurs.
And that spark starts to tell us that maybe – just maybe - what we decided about ourself is not true. And as we start to deeply and honestly examine these wounds, we start to “know” that they are not the truth about us, and that we are indeed a child of Light. Nothing else exists. Nothing else is true about us.
A Course in Miracles says:
“You must look upon your illusions and not keep them hidden, for they do not rest on their own foundation.”
In other words, True Peace happens when we allow these inner wounds, these inner illusions, to be triggered and brought to the surface for us. Rather than running away from these triggers and trying to avoid them, we could instead see them with Soul-filled gratitude.
I had a very painful example of this unfold over the last few days. I’ve had a difference of perspective with my brother over how we should handle some aspects of Mum’s affairs after her death. Because I haven’t agreed with his viewpoint, he’s accused me of being Selfish, and said this in a very strong and brutal way. It’s been deeply upsetting for me.
Every particle of me (except for one) has wanted to smooth things over – to explain myself, so that we can get onto the same page as each other, so that premature peace can be reinstated.
Yet I’m also reminded of another great teacher of mine, Scott Washington. Scott always taught me, “Our ability to achieve self-mastery is directly related to our ability to hang out with tension”.
How often do we run away from the emotional tension – in ourself, or in another person – by wanting to fix that person or situation? And if we don’t try to fix it, we instead try to numb it out with distraction, or substances, or work, or talking to others about it. When we come from this perspective, we want to nudge change to happen in those around us, so they can be happy, and then so can we.
But this isn’t True peace, and if anything it will lure us in the opposite direction – to being “mildly comfortable” in the premature peace we’ve created.
True Peace occurs when we don’t reach for a substance, a distraction, or a conversation to make ourselves feel better. We don’t run to fix it.
True Peace happens when we sit in the utter agonising pain of the situation that’s been triggered before us, and do nothing. Instead, we feel. And the more uncomfortable we feel, the more that our mind turns to wanting this healed – not through controlling our outside world, but through healing our own inner pain so that it can be forever extinguished, never to raise its head again.
We allow change to happen however it needs to.
Sometimes that’s through a 180 degree shift in perspective. This usually starts in us, and flows to the world around us; OR we receive true and Higher guidance on how to best step through the minefield of this situation we’ve found ourselves in; OR it simply dissolves because the vibrational state we were holding inside of us has dissolved…so the outer world is then free to change.
As I thought about my brother’s words, I realised that this isn’t the first time I’ve been called Selfish. My ex-husband called me selfish when I didn’t agree with his point of view. My parents called me selfish when I was 18 and wanted to have an open conversation with them about sex and the Pill.
Those are my adult memories of being called selfish, yet they are the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure there were many other instances in my childhood that I was told I was selfish. I know this because it’s a trigger for me now.
And because I was told this about myself as a child, somewhere, deep inside of me, I believed it. And that’s why I’ve always tried to be so considerate of others. In part, it was a defence against being told that at my innermost core, I’m selfish and unfeeling.
These wounds we’ve gobbled up and believed about ourself are usually the very things we polarise against. We become the opposite of our wounds, and that’s why – when one of our wounds is triggered – it hurts so much. It seems so opposite to who we are and what we stand for. Yet it’s still the truth of what we believe about ourselves.
And yet it’s not the truth of what we are.
This is the Dweller, the very thing we need to eye-ball in order to heal, in order to have True Peace.
And therefore, I am grateful to my brother. His words to me, as upsetting as they are, allow me to see that I am the one holding this thought about myself, which he is then reflecting to me. If he said it any gentler than he has, I wouldn’t have got the full impact of it. So as uncomfortable and emotional as it’s been, it’s also a gift to me.
So next time you find yourself wanting to change your outer world so that you can feel happier, remember this. True Peace is the road less travelled. It involves climbing through a forest of thorns, rather than joining the masses who are dancing in the sun under the palm trees.
Yet at some point, for each and every one of us, we will realise that the dance in the palm trees is merely putting off the inevitable journey through the real forest – the forest of thorns.
Yet what we all crave so deeply - True Peace that nothing can threaten or diminish – well, there’s only one path to that destination. And at some point, we all will choose it.
The question is, are you ready to choose it now?