Jesus came to me a few months ago and happened to mention peace in a portion of that message. I thought it was appropriate to share:
““I came to tell you that peace is everyone’s right. It’s there and accessible. Humans are ignorant, busy with non-essential matters and distracted by the wind. A complex society does that. COVID-19 has helped simplify and for people to refocus: to find Me, God, a connectedness and time to reflect and grow. Very few do. But you can help in your small circle - to remind others.”
So, I will try. Before going any further, let me make sure you understand what Jesus meant when he said ignorant. He was referring to uneducated and unaware, not stupid. So, He wasn’t insulting anyone, of course, but rather stating a fact. People are totally uneducated about how to find peace – which I hope to rectify with this blog.
Most everyone yearns for peace and contentment in their lives, to some it’s reaching a state of Nirvana. People have searched for this idyllic state for centuries in order to stop physical or emotional pain; end wars and upheavals within societies; lessen daily tension and stress, especially in close relationships; and escape from their own anxiety and stress. So, what were the methods used before?
During the “Age of Aquarius”, which peaked in 1968-69 with the Woodstock Festival in upstate New York, young people espoused anti-war rhetoric; preached liberation theologies - drawn from both Western psychology and Eastern Asian religions; self-medicated with psychedelic drugs and rock music – so they could escape into sound; and adopted a “back-to-nature” culture that expressed itself in communes and free love. Many participated but it really only resulted in more civil unrest and a burgeoning drug culture. The good news: that period gave us great music!!
Later, the metaphysical movement took hold and people searched for gurus, authors and speakers, to help them develop their spiritual selves and enhance their health – primarily outside of conventional medicine. Some health improved but this didn’t bring real peace to those searching and there were still those who drowned themselves in liquid spirits or drugs to dull life’s pain – not a particularly productive strategy, either.
I’ll try to provide a couple shortcuts to finding the Nirvana, since living each day in total peace is truly possible, regardless of what life has dealt you: poor health, profound loss, financial devastation, professional rejection or personal disappointment after disappointment – there are two words each of us should remember and strive to attain: trust and love. The words may be simple, but the execution can be challenging without a little explanation.
To make achieving complete trust and living in unconditional love possible – it helps if your own life is more simple and less complicated, so focus is easier. Clutter, believe it or not, generates its own stress. Rushing around trying to accomplish more and more is also a waste of energy and makes mistakes more likely. Time is a valuable asset and when you move at a slower pace, life does that too. That’s why the recent COVID-19 condition and recent isolation has been good – people could re-establish a pace that’s more doable for them.
Now, with a bit slower lifestyle, not overly cluttered with distractions, we move to the subject of trust. By now we all should be aware that we really have little control over the course of our lives. I’m not a fatalist but have enough life experience behind me to realize that as specifically as one tries to plan, God simply has other ideas. The route from here to there is never a straight line, instead is filled with zigs and zags, which make life an exciting and surprising journey. Life isn’t a destination.
Throughout my lifetime, as challenging it may have been, I can honestly say, I never starved to death, I managed to always have what I needed – maybe not what I wanted, but surely what I needed, just in time. The challenges eventually passed and life went on. I’m certain the challenges today, which aren’t quite as bad, I’ll handle somehow, too. Realizing how life flows is having trust.
So, who are you trusting to get you through this? Or, are you trusting yourself, God, the Universe, Jesus or Buddha, a guardian angel or a loved one who passed away, help you through? Whomever it is, when you begin to trust someone or something – you feel more secure. Security fosters peace. See how trust fits in?
Let’s now focus on the role of love. The goal is to reach an unconditional loving state but that takes a bit of education, since this form of love isn’t a matter of simply falling into it. This state of being comes by learning to open our hearts to others – all others. When we open our hearts, we allow the Divine love that continually flows to us to flow through us – eventually it overflows onto those with whom we interact.
When we meet someone and flash an instantaneous broad smile, eyes that sparkle and the energy of love around us – those on the receiving end, find that package irresistible. In fact, that’s exactly what God intended. We should each delight one another with our presence – even if only fleetingly. Once you try this for a while, it’s impossible not to continue and continue and continue. Watching people’s reaction is magical. I instantly love everyone, then decide if I want to spend more time with them or not. The latter is not important, spreading love is.
When living in love, we lose our tendency to criticize, focus on faults or set unrealistic expectations. Instead, we remain nonjudgmental and if needed, poised to forgive – at which time, personal peace is possible. Rising above petty bickering, avoiding drama and overly emotional reactions and resisting hurtful retorts can be achieved if we stay in love and simply elevate ourselves “above it all”.
Peace comes through living in love – and trusting the flow of life. When you can master those, guess what else happens? Your health improves, too, and you end up a wonderful example for your friends, family and especially your children and grandchildren. Most importantly, in the evening, when you wind down your day and lay your head on the pillow at night, if there is a slight smile on your face – you’ve reached the peace and comfort you were striving for.
If we’re at peace with ourselves – we will find peace in our lives.