One of my first mentors told me, “Whatever you embark upon, the goal is always peace.”
My mentor did not come from some isolated, sheltered background where he never experienced hurt, pain, loss and trauma. He came from every conceivable form of violence imaginable, and because he experienced the opposite of peace for so long, he understood the significance of peace more than some.
The challenge is that even when we know and have lived the exact opposite of peace, and have come through our struggles and want to help, we can bring a warlike mindset to healing work. A warlike mindset will not produce healing, only confusion, and when people are confused they tend to go to what is comfortable and understood even if it’s not what they truly want.
In order for us to not bring confusion to the healing work we do, it is imperative that we continually ensure that our mindset is a demilitarized zone where peace dwells, is cultivated and shared.
Our mind’s zone is truly within our full control regardless of any outside circumstances. We as humanity will not know peace until we first know it within our minds. The challenge for so many is that although people often say they want peace, their mind continues to be a militarized zone that is always attacking or defending, and seeking better ways to improve this cycle from the perceived enemy.
What if the entire life span of a militarized mind is the enemy that is not only being harbored by us, but is a most vicious dictator that is ruining our true growth as a human being?
Messengers from all cultures and religions have stated in one form or another that when there are rumors of war, and talk of war, that a war is coming. Understand that what they shared with all of us is that there cannot be rumors and talk without the thoughts first. Warlike thoughts produce warlike language, which will ultimately result in a reality—a reality of war.
If we truly want peace, then we have to be clear that peace is also a reality, a reality that first begins within our thoughts. When we hear talk and rumors of peace, rest assured that it will ultimately result in a reality—a reality of peace.
In a demilitarized mind you will not allow others to house weapons of mass destruction, such as, gossip, contrived malice, prejudice, discrimination, unwholesome thoughts and unskillful desires. Within the gardens of a demilitarized mind exist appreciative inquiry, respect, patience, compassion, empathy, understanding and love.
A militarized mind will hit the panic button either declaring an emergency lock-down or a full scale attack over differences in opinions and perspectives. A demilitarized mind knows that different opinions are wonderful, and there is no attack or defense needed, and surrender to another’s views are never expected because surrender only happens in war.
A mind that is a demilitarized zone is not interested in being right, but in understanding.
Missed-understandings are missed opportunities to cultivate peace, which is why listening from the heart will awaken heart-language and true dialogues, not monologues.
In a demilitarized zone our meetings with ourselves and others will not be discussions and plans of character assassination, accusations, competition, defense and attacks. The meetings will be focused on solutions, collaboration and looking at how to place differences together like pieces from a jigsaw puzzle to create a beautiful picture. Everyone holds different pieces but no piece is less necessary, or less significant than anyone else’s.
Perhaps peace is the greatest gift we are sent to this life to share, and for some, the first thing we forgot. Peace can also be the next thing we remember in this moment, right now. Peace is not a process but a decision. There are only two sides we can take, love or fear. On the side of love is peace, and on the side of fear is war.
For those who truly want peace, now is the time to demilitarize our internal thought process and allow peace to take over the world within us, then the world outside of us.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Brenna Fischer/Editor: Travis May