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Peace Begins Within

We have been inundated with news of impending war; we have joined in pro-peace prayers for world peace.   I commend us all for that as i myself have joined in and will continue to do so, and yet there is more.  

What i am choosing to write about today is:  Where does this Peace we pray for and about begin?  Does it begin with our government, the UN, every country? or does it first begin with ourselves?  

What about the wars that go on inside ones self?  What about the wars that go on within our families?  How often to we hear, "OH, i haven't spoken with my brother/sister, mother/father, my child, because we had a disagreement some time ago and we just never have resolved it."  How can we have world peace when we allow ourselves to become victims to the anger, frustrations and fears of one another and to blame someone else for the ills of the world, so that we can one day say, "What more could i have done, one vote doesn't matter.   

We have heard stories of the atrocities done to our children, they have been stolen from us, used and abused in ways that we are not aware of and the loss of them, the not knowing where they are fills our minds and hearts on a day-by-day, moment by moment basis.  This unfinished business creates havoc.  We are told you mourned long enough, or you did not mourn enough, that we must get on with our lives and the agony of not knowing the whys and wherefores remains unanswered. 

We read about a 3 yr. old child who found his father's handgun and shot his 2 year old sister, about a wrong transplant that killed a 19 yr old woman, the Oklahoma bombing, the killing of that beautiful young soul in Wyoming who was beaten because of his sexual preference, the young black man dragged from the bumper of the car because life drew a black crayon out of the life coloring book to make him beautiful in that color and not enough people saw that, and then 9-11, which brought the world together and yet how many of us took those opportunities in our prayers to mend our own inner anger toward ourselves, families, communities, the world.  We must be accountable to those who have suffered by creating a world where it is safe to be who they are, no matter their color, their creed, their preference, for these are our brothers, sisters, children, friends, and family of humanity.

Remember that every attack on another is an attack on us.  Every gun aimed at someone is aimed back at us.  Every innuendo made in jest, is a slur against us. Every painful act is followed in retribution, the way the world looks at it now.  When will we get that it is us that creates war, each and every time we cause harm to one another.

The media keeps us on guard, always fearful of where the next terrorist attack will be, about the next murder, where and who is our enemy.  Could it be us, are we our own enemy, could our own inner war spill out into the world, mix with everything going on and helps to contribute to violence?  What happens then, do we annihilate everyone before we get it?  Who or what will then be left to carry on? 

Peace on Earth will come when we begin to move ourselves from separateness to oneness, to heal our past experiences and allow that inner peace to spread like a healing security blanket across our lives and those of the entire universe.  We can begin to view one another as a sister or brother.  To let go of judging because of choices one makes.  Creator gave us a color pallet filled with all sorts of choices to make and the free will to accomplish it.  We must take responsibility and accountability for our lives and take our peaceful place among our earth family, for it is all we have.  Please do not wait for someone else to begin this movement into a consciousness of peace, let it begin with each and every one of us.  Let us stand up and be grateful, to count our blessings, to know that we made a difference. 

What is Peace to each of you?  Is it knowing that you child is safe at home, sleeping in its bed?  Is it the coming together of families and sharing special moments, is it remembering through cards, emails or phone calls to honor old friends, fellow workers, and people on the street?  Is it a sense of quiet within, a knowing that amidst the chaos we sometime create in our lives that hope dwells in peace?  Like a security blanket, peace spreads its warmth; and it fuels our yearning to co-exist with our fellow beings, our country, and our universe.  We each have our own unique song, and our own lens that we view our world through.  As we seek peace, we begin to view life in a different fashion and seek what benefits the whole.  As we express gratitude for the gifts we have, we learn to rejoice and sing the praises of one another and peace prevails

A quote from Margaret Meade, "Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  I challenge each and every one of us to become that small group of thoughtful, committed citizens and end the wars within.

Shirley Catanzaro

February 25, 2003

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Shirley Catanzaro - delphian.7gen@cox.net