March/April 2007 Spirituality
|Rev. Christine Green|
We are reminded on a daily basis what a fragile line we walk between peace and conflict. The world is a much smaller place. War might look like it’s happening somewhere else, but daily we face inner conflict and turmoil that causes us pain and suffering.
Remember the words of Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?” A simple request seems so reasonable until there is a conflict. Since our human nature is 98 percent emotional and two percent rational, conflict causes a physical feeling of anxiety and an emotional feeling of insecurity. When anxiety is experienced, we have a choice between reacting or reflecting. If we neglect to choose, our default mode is reactive.
Our reactive mode runs the gambit – do we fight or flee, struggle or surrender, attack or withdraw? The need to appease is part of the reactive mode. All too often we suppress or deny our true feelings in order to appease the parties involved. This action can be destructive to our self-worth. We can change this pattern by speaking our truth using I statements instead of you statements.
The reflective path takes commitment and intention. It cannot be established during the conflict – it is something we have to practice before the conflict takes place. When we are reflective we observe both our own behavior and others. We use that two percent of the rational mind that allows us to feel compassion and love and eventually forgiveness.
There is a lesson in A Course in Miracles that invites us to focus our thoughts: Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter. It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises. The lesson invites us to notice our fearful, anxiety-producing thoughts and offending personalities or events and repeat a new thought: I could see peace instead of this.
By choosing to see peace, we have an opportunity to observe and relate to the situation in a new way. We may still be troubled by the conflict, but observe it with an intention for clarity. The practice engages our higher self and we are guided to a more peaceful solution.
Mother Teresa said, “If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.” We can learn to forgive when we are willing to reflect and not react. It takes practice and commitment and it is one way we can begin to change our experience of the world.
Wayne Dyer stated it best, “How do you get world peace? You get world peace through inner peace. If you've got a world full of people who have inner peace, then you have a peaceful world.”
Rev. Christine Green is a spiritual mentor guiding her clients on their spiritual path through individual sessions and classes. She is a contributing writer to Pearls of Wisdom, Breaking Through and NW Women’s Journal. Visit www.sacredheartministries.org.