Updated: Apr 8
When you live in a peaceful country like New Zealand, it’s easy to take peace for granted, but we shouldn’t, because right now there are more than 40 active conflicts going on around the world. The closest involves our neighbours in Papua New Guinea a mere 5,000 miles away.
In 2012 the number of people estimated to be effected by war was 172 million and that tally did not take into account the many thousands of people providing aid to those in need and those trying to put an end to the conflicts. By the end of 2014 there were 19.5 million refugees and more than half of them were children.
Though we may care deeply about the plight of the innocent victims of war, not all of us can be aid workers or international peace ambassadors. Even so, each of us has a role to play in bringing about world peace, starting with ourselves.
These days all it takes to start a conflict is a few words spoken in anger on social media. When we see our world leaders venting their anger on Twitter or Facebook, it signals to the rest of us that that kind of thing is acceptable. Even bad-ass. But it’s not cool. Not even a little bit. Especially when there is a very real possibility innocent people will get hurt because of it.
I totally understand how gratifying discharging your anger on social media can be, because (regretfully) I was guilty of it myself a while ago. That was before I realised the difference between Power and Force.
Ashamed of my angry Facebook post, I deleted it soon afterwards, not because the person who wronged me apologised and righted their wrong-doing, but because I saw how my anger spread like a virus to my friends, who then vented their anger on my post, which made me feel validated, but at the same time uncomfortable. Some of my friends were also friends with the person I was angry with and their posts were very defensive. Before long a post conflict arose and my friends were bitterly divided, which was not my intention at all. All I had wanted was to express my utter frustration at being made to feel powerless by someone I had trusted and to know that someone else cared. But instead, I had inadvertently ignited people’s fear with my anger.
Some of my friendships were strengthened that day, but others were weakened and once again I felt powerless, but this time it was by my own doing. My anger at the person who wronged me in the first place was now equaled by my anger at myself.
I tried to forget the whole incident but it wouldn’t let me. You know when the Universe is trying to tell you something; the same sentences, quotes and phrases keep popping up everywhere? That’s what happened to me. One quote that was especially persistent was “love conquers all” by the poet Virgil. So I meditated on it and asked “conquers all what?” The answer I received was “fear” and to confirm it I felt a huge shift and a release of fear and anger within me. A strange new feeling came over me. It was peace.
I wrote a very calm email to the person I had been so angry with and simply apologised for venting my anger and frustrations with them on social media. I wasn’t expecting a reply, but to my surprise I got one. There were no hard feelings. Even though I didn’t get an apology from them, I felt so much inner peace that it no longer mattered.
What I learned from this and my experiences doing energy therapy sessions for others is that anger is a very dense emotion and lugging it around drains our life force. Long-term anger can leave you chronically fatigued and depressed. According to Inna Segal, intuitive healer and the author of ‘The Secret Language Of Your Body’, unresolved anger can contribute to hypertension, inflammation, psoriasis, sinusitis, tumors, cancers, premenstrual syndrome, pneumonia, tinea, ulcers and more.
Anger is conflict’s fertiliser, but it can also be a catalyst for change and transformation. Like all emotions, anger is a message from your higher consciousness telling you a deeper truth about who you are. It offers you an opportunity to ask why it is you feel the way you do and discover what fears you need to address. For me, the fear I needed to overcome was powerlessness.
Powerlessness causes people to use Force to get what they want which, more often than not, only creates more resistance. But when you are motivated by love and compassion, you find real Power to create change that you never knew you had.
Anger cannot exist without fear, so the sooner we quit our diet of fear, which is generated by those who seek to control us, we starve out anger and it will die. A while ago I gave up watching the news because it was causing me to have anxiety and fear about things I had no control over. I also cut down on the amount of time I spent on social media for the same reasons. As a result of losing my fear, I feel lighter, happier, bolder, freer and more forgiving.
Today is The International Day of Peace, a day to make world harmony our primary focus. There are many things we can do create a change for good:
1) We can look within and ask ourselves what it is we fear and why. By ridding ourselves of fear, we take away the triggers others can use to control us.
2) We can participate in a global peace meditation wave, which takes place at 12 noon all around the world. You can join me in watching the world map light up as people all over Earth pray and meditate for peace here: https://www.heartmath.org/gci/global-coherence-app/
3) We can learn about the founders of Peace Day and how we can be more involved by watching their broadcast here: http://peaceoneday.org
What ever you decide to do on Peace Day, it is my hope that today you find peace that is lasting.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto