I was very happy to find the iPeace site this week, especially because I was in time to participate in their first “iPeace Day”. There are some physical gatherings occuring around the world and a lot of virtual events happening too. I could say a lot about the idea of peace, though I believe that most people already get it, or refuse to try to get it. I have been contemplating what to write the past couple of days. I can say little about living in war, because I have lived the privileged life of the suburban American- privileged in that war is seldom in our backyard. I do have friends and family who have been closer to the physical tragedies and I was raised as an Army BRAT. The area I live in is a military region and I think often of everyone affected, on all sides. The truth is that war and violence does affect us all, no matter how much or little we see in our lives. The truth is that we are all living in a constant state of war. iPeace has many activists, artists and writers working and sharing the same goal and hope. There are many blogs and resources available there, and all over the net which I encourage you all to explore. I can say little to add to the conversation, but I am happy to add my voice to the crowd praying today, tomorrow and every day.
It is hard to watch images of the Gaza Strip, Iraq or any war-torn area, but it is harder to ignore them, at least for me. I have always considered myself a pacifist and most people who know me irl would agree. I also have a tendency to take the pain to heart and worry, stress, despair. It is not healthy and I am “resolving” to get back to my youthful activist ways. Though I have become a bit of a keyboard activist in the last couple of years, it does not feel like enough. I do want to dedicate my writing to positive change, including peaceful activism.
The thing I am dancing around is that I was struck by something else yesterday. I do want to work for peace in this world, but I must also work on my own Inner Peace. I learned yesterday of an old friend’s death and it is hurting my heart. He took his own life, after years of inner turmoil, loneliness and possibly alcoholism. He tended to keep to himself, living alone and, the saddest part of all, he was not found for a long time after his suicide. That part breaks my heart. We were friends in Florida, but now I am in VA and he ended up in HI. Obviously these things happen in life, as our paths meander and cross and diverge. I believe he is at peace now and I am remembering several others lost this year, as we tend to do on The Last Day of the Year.
My point is, as much as I want world peace, and want to work for peace, it really does begin with me. We all have to make peace with ourselves, with our friends and families, with our Inner Critics, demons, etc. Most of the people dying in the wars, massacres and daily violence do not choose to die as my friend did. Most of us would choose to live rather than the alternative. How we choose to live is solely up to us. If we could all truly find make peace with ourselves, perhaps we could achieve that goal of world peace too.
As somber as this post seems, I do refuse to give up hope and I do want to send out lots of blessings to everyone for 2009. New Year’s always seems like a chance to start again even though most of our struggles and strains keep going regardless of the calendar page. So have fun tonight, count your blessings and keep shining, for tomorrow is another day. Love and peace to all, all ways ❤ j