Today is a month to the day of my first post for bloggers for peace…and it’s given me a lot of time to reflect on what to say. What to write. There are so many facets to peace it can be difficult to know, but for tonight, I’m not going to overstretch myself and discuss war, battles, soldiers and armies. I’m going to start from my small point of view, as a 21 year old woman living in a tiny flat in a big city.
You see, London is a very difficult place to find peace. Standard. With so many people around all the time it makes your home – your haven – practically the only place you can get any. Which I believe is, ironically, why so many people defend their home with such ferocity, as though it is their own little palace. If someone plays music too loudly, instead of knocking and politely asking that it be turned down, people hammer on the ceiling or the floor, pound on the door until it’s opened and shout and swear to try and get their way.
Which makes no sense to me.
There is a phrase: ‘You catch more flies with honey than vinegar’. And it’s true. People respond to kindness; anger and aggression just makes them turn in on themselves or worse, retaliate. If you’re looking for your little patch of peace…don’t go to the opposite end of the spectrum to defend it. Another phrase (sorry for all the cliche’s I’m throwing your way) is ‘Fighting for peace is like f**king for virginity’. Crude, but apt.
Tonight I feel like I won’t get any peace at all, my head is spinning with voices after working a double shift in the call centre, it’s difficult to be able to shut off. Perhaps, then, it’s about peace on the inside. If you feel peaceful inside…then to an extent, the outside doesn’t matter. Your neighbours loud music, the cat yowling outside, the foxes very vocally mating down the road. They may be noisy…but if you were truly at peace to begin with, would they really bother you?
Not to say that they wouldn’t bother me. I hate the sound of foxes mating. It’s literally given me nightmares before. My point is just that, doesn’t peace come from within? Now I’m probably preaching an old lesson. But it’s one I have yet to learn. One I think a lot of people perhaps never quite do. Inner peace.
Don’t laugh. I’m not talking the zen master, kung fu panda kind of inner peace (although I think that’s awesome. I love Kung Fu Panda. Big kid at heart.) But the kind where…well. You’re just at peace I guess.
It’s been a very long time since I truly felt peaceful, if ever. Since I wasn’t worrying about something, or sad about something else, or cross about something. Those are all my shortcomings however, as I could spend that time peaceful and content…if only I knew how to let go.
And so maybe peace is about letting go. About letting go of all these things that chain us down. And no, I don’t mean we should sell all our things and never pay bills again. I don’t mean…let go of life. But let go of things we can’t control. Let go of our worries until we can handle them. Let go of our sadness, our pain, our negativity. Let it all go.
Now that, that’s a challenge. We – well, at least I – am not good at letting go. Those of you who are like me, a worry wort, a control freak, an insecure, up and down, hormonal bundle of female – letting go will not come naturally. But it has to be done. And sometimes, just sometimes, I am learning it can be done. I can feel peaceful on the inside, and when I do, it’s the most overwhelming relief.
Honestly. Sometimes, when I let go of the burdens I carry, the relief is literally so intense it’s almost painful. I realise that sounds melodramatic…but it’s true. I think I cling more than most to things, perhaps due to problems with myself that I’ve been dealing with lately (very cryptic, all mysterious, I am. And apparently I now speak like Yoda.)
I am, however, getting better. And each day it gets easier to be at peace.
Perhaps this is a lesson we should teach the politicians. What matters is peace of mind and peace of heart. These things bring peace to nations, and people. We cannot have peace, until we ourselves are at peace.
If I go back to the evolutionary science that’s drilled into me at university, this might never be possible. But I have seen a lot of things that we all thought were impossible over the years. We all have. So maybe, just maybe, one day we’ll be able to let these things go…and be at peace. We’ve overcome genetics, illness, all our evolutionary shortcomings…why not this one too. I refuse to believe that we should lay down and accept we will always fight because we have to. Because it’s programmed into us. A lot of things are programmed into us that we don’t necessarily act on any more. If we did, monogamy wouldn’t exist. (Not meaning I don’t believe in monogamy, simply that scientifically, humans probably weren’t ‘designed’ to be monogamous originally).
One day I’d love to just have an hour where nothing in London moved…traffic would just…halt. People would sit down on the grass, or lie down in their bed, or relax at their desk. They could read, or hold the one they loved, or just think. And the whole city would stop. For once, for the first time since it’s beginning, London would truly be at peace.
If we could get somewhere as big, and unwieldy, and messy as London to be peaceful for just an hour…then I believe we could damn well do it for ourselves.
Another fabulous blog about peace: http://radicalamazement.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/peace-love-and-valentines/
In the words of many a hippy, teenage duuude, and wannabe cool ‘grown up’…peace out, holmes. Peace out.