Finding Peace in Political Turmoil
by Carol Howe
Given the growing level of chaos in the world these days this next statement might sound outrageous to some, but peace is an inside job! We have presumed an “obvious” connection between behaviors/events around us and our distress. “We” are upset because “they” are so inappropriate, uncaring, greedy, or irresponsible. If that were an accurate connection, then everyone should be having the same emotional response to, say, our current political situation. It may be surprising to hear that some people have had no internal disruption to their inner peace despite all that is unfolding in the world. So what element separates the frightened ones from those feeling safe, happy, and continue contributing to society?
Beliefs, thoughts, and where we place attention are the deciding factors. First, the subject or focus of our all-powerful attention is always a prayer, a request for more of that very thing. No matter where you place your attention, you will receive the exact equivalent of what you are thinking. The universe simply delivers the results - whether it’s something you hate or deeply desire - because it has no way to decipher the difference. This is the underlying principle behind “what you resist persists.” To resist anything requires placing your emotional, undivided attention on it and, inevitably, it will be magnified, enlarged, and treated as a request for “more of the same,” not reduced or eliminated as is the desired result. So engage the power of the universe by focusing on what you do want to see in your world, not what you’re against.
It follows, then, that attack and violence can never bring peace or safety, personally or collectively. What you desire for the “other” is visited upon you because the thoughts are in your mind, capturing your attention. Your thoughts create and increase your experience, not someone else’s. Nor can defenses save us for exactly the same reason since they require placing focused attention on the “enemies,” and indeed, they will seem to multiply. Therefore, if we sincerely want to live in a peaceful, safe world, the conflict in our minds must end since it is mirrored in our daily external world. Just as you can’t make the reflection in your household mirror be anything other than an exact replica of what you are wearing at any given moment, your daily experience also faithfully reflects the contents of your mind, your beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes.
Another related idea is that what you give or offer is increased in your experience. So when you offer another the “gift” of being wrong, seeing them as worthy of contempt or judgment, that “gift” will be delivered to you in exact measure and your distress will remain a mystery as long as you believe anything/anyone but your thoughts determines your experience. Those who live out of a daily diet of judgments and resistance to people, situations, and conditions inevitably wreck their own peace of mind, not because they are being punished but out of ignorance that our always-powerful thoughts, our interpretations of events, are triggering the stress response, altering body chemistry, making peace of mind completely impossible.
If we exchange judgmental thoughts for compassionate ones, recognizing that fear is the driving force behind all unloving decisions, and we choose to offer our understanding, our emotional state evolves into one of safety and contentment - no matter the external circumstances. This does not mean we approve, condone, or support the fear-driven behavior, but simply understand it as the call for love and understanding that it is. And our answering that deeper call for help, always brings peace.
We thought our internal life and thoughts were private, and nothing could be further from the truth. One’s “outside” and “inside” lives are a seamless whole so choose wisely, kindly, thereby making your contribution to the safety and happiness in the world.
Carol Howe is one of the original and most respected teachers of A Course In Miracles. A personal friend of co-scribe Bill Thetford, she wrote his biography, Never Forget To Laugh, and is also the author of Healing The Hurt Behind Addictions. Throughout her 40 year career with ACIM, she has helped many thousands on their journey to inner peace. To download a free copy of her new book, “The Best Guide Ever to A Course in Miracles, visit https://www.carolhowe.com/p/ebook
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