Peace is not something to conquer. Peace is not a country to occupy or a declaration or an agreement resolving a dispute. Peace can’t be bought in the shops, can’t be eaten or smoked (okay, maybe with Marijuana or some other drogs, and partially for some hours drinkable with alcohol).
Peace is everywhere, something we can only harvest after letting go, working out, leaving behind, giving away, sharing, helping, serving… Something which lives – or not – within you, within me, and even in that beggar who sits opposite of the corner shop two blocks away. And peace can come to our doorway through forgiveness.. but that’s the trick: it’s not always outside, not always someone completely different from us who is needed to be forgiven in the first place that we could feel better. That I’d be in peace. Sometimes, it’s my own self, my circumstances, my whole life story with all the ups and the downs, that very moment when I remember I chose something I shouldn’t have done, those moments when I did not listen to myself and I did not trust my instincts though “I knew”. Those moments of self-anger, self-pity and self-torture, as if it wasn’t bad enough to be in a hard situation already. Geeezz.. Do you remember? Therefore, in a way peace may appear as acceptance. However, it is not acceptance, though acceptance may lead to peace! Like a first step. Like stopping to fight against something obvious, like forgiving myself to be who I am and what I cannot change.
Peace is not the lack of fight. Sometimes I have to fight for long and go through different levels of hell and keep my spirit all along, before I can be blessed with peace. Peace is power, peace is the sum of what is in a moment, a whole being, a whole self, a whole world, a whole connection with all those who are part of it – starting with myself. This is not egoism. Peace is never alone or disconnected. This is not putting myself ahead of everyone. This is to finally recognize and have an eye for realizing that I will always treat anyone else outside of me the way I treat myself inside my head, my heart, my spirit…
Peace is a blessing. And we are so blessed to be able to live and born and grew up in a country where there is no war. Of course the Second World War’s trauma is still in the air, still in our cells, in our parents’, grand-parents’ cells, we’re not that far yet in time. But there are far worse situations presently, where peace is missed and days are filled with death and loss of loved ones and even of those who may not have been loved by us.
World peace – I have no idea if it will be possible one day. We are so many. And we are so different. And the only way we have learned so far to solve problems is war, aggression: since many thousands years it’s been like this! Maybe it depends on each one of us personally to plant the seeds for a different future, to forgive ourselves and to teach our kids to recognize and live in a different reality. Unless I stop hurting myself, I won’t be able to stop hurting others.
You don’t need to believe me, you can try it for yourself! All changes we wish to see in the world, we need to start on the closest person to us: ourselves. Such as the Dalai Lama said in Washington DC, USA in July 2011, where I heard him personally addressing this question. That’s my prayer for each one of us to commemorate #WorldPeaceDay: may we forgive ourselves for all we have missed, for all the mistakes we’ve done, for all that doesn’t let us sleep because our conscience brings it up from the unconscious when we want to bury it the deepest possible corner of our memory. May we forgive and may we be forgiven, to not only rest, but also to live in peace while we are alive.