“Resolving your own personal conflicts is the first step to ending global conflict.”
- Joseph Eliezer
I appreciate this thought, and would expand it to say that healing the addiction to conflict that lives in my mind is the only thing that will heal the conflict that seems to be going on out in the world. I’ve thought about this often in the last few years. Two things that have brought it into focus for me are recent school shootings and the rise of Donald Trump’s popularity as a political candidate in the States.
When I first started hearing about school shootings, they were far from home. I
recognized that the shootings were a reflection of the fear and hatred in my own mind, and it was an incentive for me to intensify my work – to not allow grievances to sit un-looked at, to stop tolerating and building on stories of resentment and maltreatment that would sometimes occupy my mind. I still felt a level of safety, though, because the shootings were in the States.
Well, now there have been shootings in Canada. I have a picture in my mind’s eye of someone turning the gas heat up on the stove higher, a little higher, a bit at a time…
Then, earlier this year, I was following the story of Donald Trump. My first reaction as his popularity seemed to rise and dwarf all other candidates was stunned disbelief. Then I went into fear. Then to righteous superiority.
I started to notice how much I enjoyed thinking about him, because it made me feel so right, so sane. I felt vastly superior. Especially with all of my spiritual practices and all.
I thought his idea of building a wall between the US and Mexico was deliciously absurd, and had many chuckles and a few belly laughs about it. Then I realized that somehow the picture in my mind of that wall felt very familiar….the feel of it, and strength of it, the height of it…why does it seem like I’ve been there before?
Because I have. Because I am there.
I have a wall like that in my mind. I built it many years ago, and have embellished it since. This is what some of the bricks in the wall look like: "I don’t like your tone of voice." "And come to think about it, I almost never feel comfortable around you"…."I don’t like your politics". "I hate the way you don't acknowledge me"…..Give me that trowel and some mortar. There. I’ve slapped another brick into the wall. The brick is made out of the hidden beliefs that are manifesting as fear and resentment in my mind. I don’t want to look at them or own them because then they might be healed, and what would that leave me with?
Let’s just keep building that wall higher. After all, I have the right. Anyone would do the same. I’m only human. I’m just not ready yet to deal with this. There are lots of reasons to keep building that wall, but no good ones.
When I am tempted to hang onto the reasons that I am right, I check to see what I want and the first answer that comes is “I just want to be left alone”, or “I just want to be treated with respect…..I don’t want crazy people to have power over my life”.
I ask again because I want to hear the answer from the deeper level of my mind, the part that doesn’t speak first, and doesn’t speak glibly. The part that is connected to my heart’s desire. It is my heart’s desire. “What do I want…..above and beyond all else?”, I ask.
I hear with quiet, unmistakable certainty “Peace”.
Only the Truth is true.