In this age of technology and information, now more than ever we are constantly aware of the devastating conflicts that are currently plaguing our beautiful planet.
Climate change and senseless wars are the brutal reality, while our media is riddled with sex, violence and self-destructive materialism cleverly disguised and attractively packaged to distract us from the reality. Fueled by the shortsightedness of greed and power, our world leaders are doing little to help reverse the momentum of our increasingly apparent decline.
Losing Sight of What Matters
It is all too easy to lay blame solely on those in power; however, the conflicts and wars that affect our outer world are symptomatic of a much deeper issue. They are but a reflection of something much closer to home.
There appears to be something missing from humanity. Somewhere along the way we seem to have lost sight of what is truly important: connectedness. Not only to each other and the natural world to which we belong, but connectedness to ourselves.
Collectively we are responsible for our plight — and collectively we can change it. But before any lasting positive and effective change can truly happen on a global scale, each and every one of us must look within and take 100 percent responsibility for the quality of our own lives. For world peace can only truly begin with inner peace.
The Inner War
So what happens when our ‘inner’ world is at war with itself? Whether this inner war is due to beliefs, self-loathing or nasty inner critics, it reflects back into our outer world in the form of anger and fear, misunderstandings, strife and, ultimately, chaos. We all struggle internally with something within ourselves at some point in our lives. For many of us this struggle is seemingly unyielding. Relentlessly at war with the conflicting sides of ourselves, we feel stuck and consequently unhappy.
At times, we roam our outer world completely unaware of how unhappy we truly are, subconsciously projecting our misery onto those around us; subjecting them to our negativity.
This negativity, if left to its own devices, can become an infectious dis-ease of the spirit that easily affects others, potentially spreading to pandemic proportions. Manifesting itself in a multitude of ways, negative energy can become — as we witness daily via the media — an extremely destructive force.
The Dark Cloud
We are all too familiar with the expression misery loves company, yet what we often seem to forget is that company seldom loves misery. Yet there are those of us who are so attached to the dark cloud surrounding our heavy hearts that perhaps we feel if we drag others into our pit of despair at least we won’t be alone.
However, very few of us actually enjoy or have the desire or patience to be around people who seem to be miserable or angry most of the time. Or people who always find something to complain about or are always negative, pessimistic or fearful. We consider them to be downers, draining our energy and the elusive zest for life we all wish we could hold onto indefinitely.
Their contagion reminds us of our own negative tendencies and we hate them for it. Consequently, we secretly hate ourselves. Instead, we crave being around more positive people who seem to enjoy a good laugh and a good time. There’s nothing wrong with that except that we tend to gravitate towards these people because it is what we want for ourselves. We seek a different contagion. Yet if those people weren’t around to help us escape from our own internal misery we would be right back where we started…alone with our dark cloud.
Quite often we also turn to substance or other forms of distraction to relieve ourselves from the burden of our own negative thoughts. We seem to be perpetually trying to escape from this dark cloud within our souls, hoping that if we deny it long enough it will just one day magically lift from our heavy hearts and simply disappear.
Looking Within for Happiness
Wouldn’t it be more empowering to learn how to be more positive within our own minds and hearts — to become that person for ourselves, rather than forever being dependent on something outside of us for our own happiness?
When we constantly look outside ourselves for happiness we become shadows of what we truly are: unfulfilled hollowed spirits with no real sense of purpose, desperately in search of an ever-elusive happiness. We are constantly trying to fill an insatiable void within ourselves in order to feel whole …to feel connected. I dare say this void is not actually what is missing from our lives but rather something we have forgotten that already exists within us.
Our wholeness and our connectedness have simply been shrouded over many centuries by some sort of collective amnesia. Dwelling inside each of us is everything we will ever need to be whatever it is we truly want to be.
To reveal what that is, we need only choose to embark on the journey to do the necessary soul searching. It is definitely not an easy journey but it is an amazingly simple one, and it all begins with kindness. (See my Life As A Human article “Random Acts of Hello Counteract Unhappiness” for more on this subject.)
The Positive Shift
By consciously shifting our thoughts and internal dialog to a more positive vibration and being mindful of our behaviour and the choices we make, we not only empower ourselves to live authentically, but we also set an example for others to follow.
Through self-love and genuine kindness to others we create community. Through community we learn to care for and about each other and collectively work for the betterment of society.
If our wishes for world peace are indeed true, then we owe it, not only to ourselves, but also to the entire world to be the best we can be.
Call me an idealist, but if everyone suddenly decided to spend time and energy on rediscovering our innate wholeness, on cultivating a sense of inner peace and embracing our connectedness to all that resides within the natural world, we would undoubtedly be in a better position to create a growing global family with the same altruistic objective — peace.
It seems so simple and, frankly, I’m not quite sure why we have let it get so out of hand. However, what’s done is done. Now, in this age of technology and information, we have a voice. More and more people around the globe are stepping forward. We are becoming increasingly aware that we have a choice and that it is in all of our hands and our hearts to change our inner world. Only then will we see it reflected back to us in an outer world of which we can all truly be proud.
Happy soul searching!
“Peace” samantha celara @ flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.
“Shadow in steam” john koetsier @ flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.
“Spring Light Meditation” h.koppdelaney @ flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.