Peace Definitely Begins with Me

One day this week during the late afternoon, my husband and I were enjoying some appetizers on the back lanai. It was our day off, and the peacefulness of the moment permeated the air, when suddenly we were disturbed by loud voices coming from the neighbor’s yard. The intensity of the argument increased with profanity and physically threatening slurs. We struggled with whether or not to call the police verses getting in the middle of a family argument. We immediately began giving a Spiritual Mind Treatment (prayer). when suddenly, a young girl in the group ran down the driveway. Within five minutes there were police cars, an ambulance and a firetruck at the scene. It seemed that no one was hurt and everything came to a peaceful conclusion.

This event is important to me because of the feeling with which it left me. My life is a peaceful one and I have to say that my being remained disturbed that evening. It was hard to shake it off. I wasn’t disturbed so much about this particular incident, but because it gave me an even deeper meaning and explanation for the unrest in our world. It was a microcosm of the macrocosm, and I knew that until peace could be obtained at this individual level, peace could not be obtained at the global level. It was clear as can be; and, then going even deeper into the microcosm, I landed smack in the middle of myself and all of us. Peace most definitely begins with me, with us, not with “them.”

Today, all is quiet within our neighborhood. It is as if nothing ever happened. But, I wonder what lies waiting to erupt once again if each individual doesn’t take care of his/her side of the unrest. Will it once again rear up and strike out? I think the answer must be yes; for if our world is any indication of the repetition of violence, we can see that this is true and inevitable.

But, how will we bring ourselves to this peace? It is an inner journey that entails confronting all of our “demons” and loving them into wholeness. When I use the word demon, I am talking about anything within us that makes us feel less than the magnificence that we are: childhood traumas that have never been resolved, feelings of lack, distrust, anger, and anything that says: “I am not enough.”

I ride the road of peace through my spiritual practice and constant awareness of those things that separate me from my Center and from others. I take responsibility for my life, all of it, doing my best to never cast the burden on some outside person or thing or event. Even yesterday during that event, I had to examine why I was there and what was mine to take care of within myself that caused me to be witness to the violent situation.

More than ever, I am conscious that peace is an inside journey that is the responsibility of each and every one of us individually. As we pray for world peace, let us begin to peel back the onion of our own unrest and give it the love and attention it requires. It takes a village, all of us, working together to lift the consciousness of the earth. As we are doing our inner work, we can discover what we are “for” instead of what we are “against,” and then begin to march in that direction. We are in the midst of a great awakening, a transformation of consciousness, and let us not lesson the importance of this pivotal time in our evolution.

Love and Aloha,

Rev. Rita Andriello-Feren

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