Photo credit: Greg Rakozy, Unsplash
We all yearn for peace, yet the world is embroiled in endless wars. At this moment, there are powerful forces at work in our world, guiding us toward a deeper understanding of ourselves, our true nature and our potential for inner transformation. These forces are akin to a cosmic tide, inviting us on a profound journey of self-discovery. It’s as though we’ve been sailing on autopilot through different aspects of our lives, and now we’ve reached a pivotal point. The direction we choose from here is critical, as it holds the key to our growth and/or survival.
As the cosmos moves, so do we. Energy is constantly in motion, and it demands direction. Our personal evolution, much like the cosmos itself, relies on our ability to consciously channel our raw, untamed energy in a way that serves our personal growth and the common good.
In a world that seethes with chaos, where does peace come from? Peace comes from a vision that is clear and pure, that comes from the other end of the violence, from a place where we are no longer holding onto the darkness that obscures our minds. Peace comes from the Source of life and love. It represents the totality of truth that we all yearn to return to.
Our deepest, most vulnerable emotions are a part of this challenge. How do we respond when we find ourselves grappling with intense, dark, and deeply buried emotions? When these emotions surface, we can feel violated, betrayed, or victimized. They bring us face to face with our own inner darkness, which can be as unsettling as it is transformative.
This darkness within each of us needs to be acknowledged. It’s an essential part of our journey toward self-realization. Let’s not judge or shy away from it; after all, feeling overwhelmed at times is natural when we navigate challenging life transitions.
So by all means acknowledge the overwhelm, and then muster your determination to do the work! Determination is a powerful driving force. When channeled in service to spirituality, it helps us delve deeper into the unconscious aspects of our beings and to heal our wounds by exposing them to the light of truth. The turbulence on the surface of our lives is asking us to tap into our soul’s desire for growth and healing instead of getting lost in the shadow emotions of fear, denial or shutdown. We face a clear choice: either heal and evolve or succumb to the darkness of fear, hatred and despair.
As our inner darkness is revealed, it dissolves because when a shadow illusion is brought to the light of awareness, it simply ceases to exist.
The challenges of this time call for unwavering determination to champion our own spiritual growth, whatever the cost. Always remember that it’s during the most triggering and challenging moments that our most significant growth potential emerges. When we embrace discomfort and face it head-on, we set ourselves free. When we fail to do so, we contribute to the conflict we witness in the world. We can – and must – do better than that!
As we move forward on this transformative journey, there will be many opportunities for deep healing and transformation, first on the personal level and then for the collective. Courageous hearts look beyond the current upheaval to the potential beckoning beyond.
Upheaval disrupts the status quo to make way for something new. It can feel scary when we take our eyes off the goal – letting go of what no longer serves to create space for something new. And yet, letting go only hurts when we try to assert our personal will and resist the unknown. Instead of clinging to that which has outlasted its purpose, we are advised to let go of the old, to trust in the master plan of life, and to focus on optimal outcomes beyond the current upheavals.
During these challenging times, old resentments and unhealed wounds tend to resurface: our insecurities, fears and memories of injustices suffered. These, too, serve a purpose.
Their sting reminds us to nurture compassion and tenderness in the very places where we’ve experienced great suffering. The ongoing tragedies in Israel, Gaza, the Ukraine and elsewhere are reminders of old wounds that have refused to heal. Whatever we do not resolve, we will recreate until we do – both as individuals and as a collective.
Times of upheaval not only reveals our unhealed wounds; it also reveals where we continue to inflict pain on ourselves and others. We recognize this recurring theme in our personal lives, families and communities. Whatever remains unhealed within us perpetuates suffering, both for ourselves and those around us. As a result, the suffering around us calls for healing at all levels, starting within each one of us.
Even when situations in our lives appear too broken or wounded to fix, healing is possible. It simply requires courage and honesty, along with trust in the innate intelligence and timing of our spiritual journey.
On the spiritual path, times of exploration and discovery alternate with times of integration and consolidation. As the process evolves, it emphasizes particular aspects of our spiritual development. Such emphasis leads to an exploration of deeper existential wounds that call for healing. We are brought face to face with the warring factions within ourselves, as well as between us and others. This is an opportunity for profound healing, which can pave the way for emergent spiritual gifts and service.
It is also important to note that during times of conflict, we tend to regress to more primal behavior: destruction seems justified, and words become weapons. Blame and shame may dominate our interactions as we reduce others to the worst aspects of their nature and so justify our own behavior. This can cause collateral damage to innocent individuals and the world around us.
Reflect, for example, how overwrought parents have allowed the battles of their adult lives to encroach upon their children’s innocence. And have we not all witnessed the pain that stems from our parents’ conflicts? It’s important to remember the delicate inner child within each of us and the ease with which we can disregard or wound that innocence.
War is far from a tidy affair; it’s a destructive force that can’t be controlled without unintended consequences. In our pursuit of what we regard as true, we may inadvertently cause harm to countless innocents. Hatred can masquerade as bravado or superiority over others to justify cruel actions. It is easy to forget that perpetuating violence is not a path to true or lasting peace.
Our world, both within and around us, is repeating the same message. It calls out for compassion, forgiveness and inclusion. What we choose to ignore or exclude doesn’t vanish; it will linger on until appropriate conditions bring it to the surface to be dealt with again and again.
For healing and transformation to happen, disclosure must take place. However, when we fixate on the wrongs, gloating in collective judgment and hatred of the darkness, we are no better than that which we despise; we energetically link to the very wrongs we fixate on. True transformation requires us to move beyond what’s wrong and to focus on the potential beyond the disclosures so we remain focused on doing the necessary work to heal and evolve.
True healing also requires us to transcend the need to be right or to exact revenge. It takes place in the field beyond right and wrong, as Rumi put it. It comes from the Source of love and life, and it holds the answers to our deepest questions. We don’t need to fully understand the process to embrace it; we simply need to trust in the Power that brings it about.
This human journey is far from easy, and difficulties are plentiful. When we see no clear solution, it indicates that we must seek solutions beyond our old, familiar patterns. The path to peace may not be straightforward, but it is worth pursuing. As each of us evolves on our spiritual path, our self-realization becomes our most significant contribution to a peaceful world.
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