Peace is the space where love abides
Peace is my aim, my Soul’s desire
In my willingness to be all that God is within me
I am free to be me, Perfect Peace
These are the inspired lyrics of a chant written by my friend Reverend Debi Lee. As I meditated on the concept of Peace¹, they came to mind. I say they are inspired because I believe in just a few short phrases Rev. Debi captured the essence of Peace. Peace is our natural state of being. It is the natural state of mind and heart.
We often think of Peace as the absence of conflict. But, Peace is not the absence of anything. Peace is the presence of God in every moment.
Peace is the space where love abides. Peace is the essence of the state in which Consciousness² exists. Love abides eternally within the Consciousness of Peace. It is the Consciousness from which Love is born and is expressed.
Peace is my aim, my Soul’s desire. In our humanness, Peace is our aim. The desire of our soul is for us to remember that Peace is our dwelling place. Peace is our homeland, so to speak. We are princes and princesses of Peace. When, at times we forget who and whose we are, our desire is always to return home as quickly as possible. It is the Consciousness from which we are born and in which our souls eternally abide.
In our willingness to be all that God is within [us], [we] are free. We are free to be the essence of who we are – Perfect Peace.
It is possible for us to abide in the state of Perfect Peace always. However, abiding in Peace does not mean that we do not experience conflict. It does not mean that we sit idly by and watch the world go by as if in a trance. Peace is not a passive state of being.
Peace is the consciousness² from which all loving action arises. If we are to truly demonstrate Peace and live in Peace, we must remember who we are and whose we are. When we find ourselves exiled in our own minds, we must return to the state of Peace prior to taking action or speaking our word. If we are acting from any other state, we are contributing to the conflict and the pain in the world.
What can separate us from Peace?
Nothing. Noting has the power to exile us from Peace. If that is true, then why are we at times not living in Peace? We are not in Peace because we have allowed our reactions to something or someone to pull us from our center, and we are unwilling to surrender our weapons and return to Peace. Our weapons are our judgmental thoughts either about ourselves or another. Our weapons are our words that criticize and condemn others or ourselves. Our weapons are born from our fears and our pain.
What are we using our weapons to protect?
We are attempting to defend our ego-identified self, our false self. We are attempting to protect what cannot abide in Peace, and therefore is not who we truly are. As A Course in Miracles states, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.” We are attempting to defend an illusory self that we have created.
Are we willing to lay down our weapons and return home? If so, how?
We must be willing to let it go. Let go of what we have given power to and is therefore holding us captive. Nothing can separate us from Peace, except that to which we have relinquished our power. Only we can abdicate our power. It is up to us to surrender our need to defend, lay down our weapons and free ourselves from exile in a land not your own.
How do I return to peace when I have lost my way?
Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). Stop. Be still. Quiet the mind and listen to the call of your soul. It knows the way home.
Ask for help from others, from someone you know and trust who is there to help you remember who you are, and will guide you home. There is no need to live in exile from your homeland. You are the gatekeeper at the land of Peace. You decide whether you are in or out. No one else has that power. You think they do. You blame them for it. But, the truth is, only you can separate yourself from Peace.
I recently received a message from someone who was, in my opinion, harsh and critical of me. The tone of the message was demanding and demeaning. When I read the message, I was immediately transported from my state of Peace into a land of pain, blame and judgement. My weapons of choice were thoughts of judgement about myself and about the other. I was tempted to respond from that place. My first reaction was to defend myself from what I perceived as an attack. I was tempted to return fire. It took me a few minutes, maybe more than a few, to bring myself back to a state of Peace. I got up, walked around and did a great deal of deep breathing. I focused on my breath, and I centered my awareness in my heart. I allowed myself to feel the sting of the words I had just read. I felt my pain and my fear. Then, I connected with the pain and the fear of the one who sent the message. I felt our unity and I knew that I wanted to return to Peace. I wanted to, as the chant says, be all that God is in me. I returned to a space of Peace within my heart and mind. And, I responded, to the best of my ability from that place. I don't know how my message was received by the other, but I am in Peace knowing that I did my best not to attack from my sense of separation.
As we celebrate Advent and prepare ourselves more completely for the awakening of the Christ in our own consciousness it is valuable to remember that the Christ, the true nature of each of us, abides eternally in a state of Peace.
During the busyness of the holiday season it is important for us to remember that nothing or no one has the power to separate us from our state of Peace. Amid the traffic, the shopping, the parties, the family gatherings, and the activities at home and at our spiritual home, I encourage us to take time to breathe consciously, focus in the heart, listen for the voice of the soul speaking words of peace and comfort, and know that there are many, both in the physical and nonphysical realms, who are here to remind you of your truth and help you find your way back home to Peace. I hope you know that I am one of them. If you need a reminder, please call me.
The following affirmative prayer is from my book, In This Moment. I encourage you to use it and meditate on it this week.
Peace abides at the core of my being.
Peace is the Eternal Presence.
Peace expresses in my life as Love, and I experience that Love as Joy.
Peace, Love, and Joy – Holy Trinity, Three in One.
In this now moment, as I choose to surrender to Peace, Love is my only expression.
As I express Love, it is returned to me as Joy eternal.
¹ I have intentionally capitalized ‘Peace’ when referring to a state of Being.
² I have intentionally capitalized ‘Consciousness” when referring to Allness. When ‘consciousness’ is not capitalized it refers to a personal state of mind and heart.