Tag Archives: give peace a chance

A Cry for Peace

img_9765I cried yesterday. I sat on the ridge overlooking the river and tears spilled gently over my eyelids kissing my cheeks as softly as dew clinging to a leaf in early morning light.

I cried for the children who will go hungry tonight. For the boys who will hoist guns as long as their bodies and kill in the name of a peace they have never known. And for the little girls whose childhood’s are lost to faceless men who believe the only way to know love is to rape it from another.

I cried for mothers who weep at the gravesites of their loved ones lost to war and famine and disease and for the father’s who desperately want to teach their sons to grow into men, and do not know the way to quiet the fear within their hearts that their sons too shall never find their way to peace.

I cried for this world, this planet upon which we each rely for our existence, this planet we take for granted and treat with such disdain.

And I cried for humanity, our humanity, our human kind lost beneath our history of destroying one another in the name of God, Allah, Yaweh, Satnam, All Powerful, Vishnu, and 70 x 70 names I do not know but hear whispered upon the cries of millions of others dying to defend their right to worship at the altar of their choosing.

These were needed tears. Gentle. Cleansing. Healing. They were the words my heart could not speak out loud.

IMG_5846And when the tears were shed, when they had run their course, compassion flowed freely like the river winding its way through the valley bottom below, each passing drop changing the course of the one before.

And in their passing, I was left alone upon the hillside, sitting in the sun, cherishing the beauty of the day, savouring the gentle autumn breeze caressing my skin, the sound of the grasses whispering, the geese honking their plaintive lament as they journeyed south.

There is darkness in this world.

And there is light.

It is in the darkness the light shines brightest.

Yet, I want not to see the darkness. I want not to know its thrall, to feel its drag pulling me under. I want to steer clear of the darkness and still I know, it is only through acknowledging its presence that I will be free to shine my light fearlessly. It is only through letting go of fear of its nature I will be free to stand fearlessly in mine.

IMG_5851I cannot rid this planet of war and pain and sickness and hunger. I cannot heal the children of the world. I cannot silence the guns.

I can create beauty in my world. I can create peace around me by letting go of my fear that to witness the darkness is to let go of the light.

It is when I hold onto light for fear it will go out that darkness takes hold.

I cried yesterday. And I will cry again today. And in my tears, I find myself flowing in Love and compassion, holding onto nothing but the whole truth of who I am and all that is possible when I let go of fearing I cannot change the world.

If not me, who? If not now, when?

We are each capable of changing our worlds, of creating peace where there is discord, healing where there is pain. We are each capable of putting down our guns and holding out our arms in love, peace and forgiveness.

If not us, who? If not now, when?

(This is a repost of September 22, 2014 – Thanks FB Memories. It is as important to remember today as it was when I wrote it then.)

Listen with the ears of your heart.

heart painting copy

St. Benedict, a 5th Century monk who wrote, The Rule of St. Benedict to guide his fellow monks in monastic living, entreated humankind to ‘listen with the ears of your heart’. To let go of the mind’s desire to know the meaning of the words through thought and sink deeply into what comes when we soften our hearts and listen with all its desire to know the soul.

Yesterday, my eldest daughter shared her sadness over the responses she had read in social media feeds to the verdict of a case involving a young man, who in the darkness of a psychotic break, went to a house party and killed five fellow-university students, all of whom were celebrating the end of a year of studies.

It is a tragedy beyond the scope of our thinking minds capacity to understand how this could have happened, or why.

We must listen with the ears of our hearts.

To the sorrow of the families who have lost their beloved children.

To the family of the young man who committed this act of violence.

To the young man who is now under psychiatric supervision and must live with the consciousness of his act for the rest of his life.

We must listen with the ears of our hearts. Those ears do not decry the failure of justice, ignoring the power of the mind to break down and drag a young man into the darkness where he hears only its roar driving him to strike out against the world around him. In the devastation left behind, those ears seek to understand, to know this act of violence was not of conscious mind. They seek to find ways to be present for those who are filled with the pain and loss of what happened so that they can help ease their burden.

Those ears do not seek vengeance. They do not judge. They do not condemn. They seek only to understand the soul’s calling out for humanity to stop the violence. Stop the killing. Stop the wars and drugs and rapes and horrors we commit against each other every day and to be present to one another. To love one another. To cherish one another. To be with one another in peace.

My mind cannot begin to imagine the pain and sorrow and anger and grief of those involved.

What my mind can imagine is what I need to do to be present in our world so that my presence creates a place where healing and peace can take hold.

Adding my anger, condemnation, judgement does not ease their burden. It does not pave the way to peace.

Adding my compassion, my heartfelt, soul-driven desire to be of service, to be present from a deeply soul-driven place of listening with the ears of my heart calls for me to soften my heart and let go of judgement. It calls for me to lower my voice filled with condemnation and be present to the pain and suffering. To stand where I am in peace and know it is what I can do in this moment.

 

As a friend said over tea on Sunday, she does not want to add more violent discourse to society’s already violent discourse about so many things — politics, our leaders, the economy, what is happening in our world. She only wants to add peace. Compassion. Caring. Love.

And if she cannot add those, then she will stay silent. She will not join in the discourse.

Sometimes, it is all we can do, what we must do to listen with the ears of our hearts.

Stay silent and hold peace in our minds.

In that way, peace has a chance to take hold.