Restorative Hatha Yoga Mind & Meditation Practices
Personal Guide for Expanding Consciousness
Peace vs. Violence
Everyone wants to live in peace, but no one can create peace through violence. Hatred is self-serving. People who hate, justify their behavior by turning the "other person" into the enemy and then, de-humanizing them. "The enemy" provides the focus for violence. The first step in violence occurs when the hate-filled person "blames" the other person for his/her personal disappointment: my reality isn't MY ideal.
Internal hatred starts as frustration that arises as agitated energy patterns in the emotional body and revengeful thoughts in the mind. The hate-filled person is consumed with violence within. The stage is now set for violence in the outer world; all that's needed is a word, an action or deed from the enemy to work as tinder to set off the hate-filled person's reign of terror.
Once the fuel ignites, flames of abuse through words and actions consume rationality, the ability to listen and compromise. It shatters appropriate social boundaries and everyone in its wake suffers. Violence consumes children, lovers, partners, friends, families, neighborhoods, cities, states and countries.
In our present time, destructive actions have become so prevalent that people are numb to them: they have become the "social norm". Hatred no longer exists as a temporary state, but as as accepted "state". People today are living in social relationships that "feed" off violence at every level - personal, social, economic and political. Children bully other children, parents bicker in front of their children, abuse each other and divorce. Neighbors discriminate. Politicians deceive and manipulate. Greed thrives in the marketplace. The social needs of the poor, sick and elderly are ignored. Wars rage everywhere in the world.
Violence is destructive: it destroys Life and self-propagates like a virus when it finds a weakened ethical/moral environment to reproduce itself in. This perfect breeding space develops by a lack of rational thought, an abundance of selfishness, an unwillingness to have compassion towards others and the absence of personal self-observation and reflection.
Self-inflicted violence manifests as people who destroy themselves and others: people who choose suicide and murder - suicide bombers in cities and airports around the world; American cops who murder black men on a daily basis; soldiers and terrorists who murder their neighbors or people in far-off lands; parents who teach hatred to their children; lovers who destroy the self-worth of their partner; parents who selfishly mold their children to serve their needs: the list is quite endless.
It is easy to be violent: just focus on negative feelings inside you until you are full of anger. It is so easy and acceptable that it's the way most people live. The difficult path is to self-reflect and "own" your personal thoughts, action and choices. It is easy to get into a violent pattern that destroys relationships because all you have to do is justify your behavior against your enemy. It is easy to be selfish, greedy and deceptive because you can get further in this world if you lie, cheat and steal. You have more money to spend on the things that you want if you are greedy. You can make your spouse and children live to please you if you beat them into submission by destroying their self-worth.
There is a reason violence is so present in the world: people choose it, justify it and act it out. It the the dominant energy among humans today and it sources from within the individual. Few people want peace: it's too much work to find it within yourself. Inner peace requires letting go of past hurts and acts of injustice and choosing to respond in the moment with understanding. It requires you to see each person as a fellow guest on this planet whose feelings, wants and needs are of equal importance to your own. It is hard to let go of prejudice and to act with understanding and forgiveness. It is hard to realize equality because you will feel like you are losing something: you are - your fundamental justification of inequality = "I am special. I am right."
Inner peace comes from choosing what you focus on; choosing your perspective towards your environment. It comes from respecting others, the Mother Earth and all living things. Inner peace comes through acting in a nurturing way that supports the cycle of Life - birth, living and dying - and it means that you "self-observe" constantly to keep yourself in alignment with the Higher Ideals - Love, Truth, Harmony and Beauty. Inner peace is a personal choice that requires dedication to peaceful thoughts, actions and deeds, regardless of how others treat you. You have to be the source of it; it has to spring from your own mind and heart. When you make the choice to live peacefully in this violent world, you are living the path of peace. Others my disdain you, cheat you and steal from you. They may even be violent towards you through words, actions and deeds, but they cannot take peace away from you; they cannot stop you from offering a peaceful, honest perspective of "what is"; they may deny you access to the things in the world that you seek, but they cannot take away your spirit, your beliefs and your vision of the world. Those all exist in another space - your inner world and no one can destroy your inner peace unless you allow them to. This is what great leaders of non-violence know. They hold strongly to the peace within and they, by example, teach others how to do the same.
Every lifetime is short. While living, you can make changes within yourself to promote peace by being in charge of your choices, actions and attitude. You can choose to at selfishly or show concern for other living beings; you can choose fear and worry or you can choose to trust in the Higher Power of Love, Truth and Peace. You can blame others or you can look in the mirror and transform yourself into a loving, peaceful being who resonates with peace within your own heart. You can be an instrument of peace by living peacefully everyday, every moment, every lifetime. Or you can be a source of violence: it is your choice. It is your life: you choose your own destiny.
Published July 2016 by Melinda Peterson