by Robin L. Silverman
We live in uncertain times. We canít depend on
anything any more, whether it be profits from blue-chip
stocks, seasonal weather or security in our own home
towns. More than ever, we crave peace. We want to know
that everything will be okay and that happiness is just
around the corner.
But there is war everywhere. Not just in Iraq as I
write this, but in our own hearts and minds. With or
without a gun in our hands, we are fighting the most
vicious, life-defying enemy on earth: Fear. These days,
people are afraid to fly. Afraid to spend money. Afraid
they will lose their jobs. Afraid theyíll get sick or
poisoned. Afraid to go out. Afraid to stay home. Afraid
that life is passing them by before theyíve had a
chance to live it.
Itís time to stop fighting and come home. Iím not
talking about protesting war, which is only a war
against war. Every time another voice rises in ferocious
opposition to a conflict, it only adds energy to the
discord that already exists. The road to peace both on
earth and in our hearts lies not along a warriorís
path, but by laying down our mental and spiritual arms
right where we are and surrendering to peace.
Surrendering to peace sounds easy, but itís not,
for to do so, we must first abandon our fear. This is
incredibly challenging for most people, because we
marshal all of our human strengths when we are afraid.
Our values take a stand, our hearts pound with
determination, our intellect chooses sides and our
resolve hardens into steel. Our egos do everything in
their power to protect us from possible harm. This can
be a good thing if a bully is pointing a gun in our
faces. But if there is no immediate physical threat, all
this tense, angry energy prevents us from experiencing
If we can let go of fear, even for a moment,
something wonderful happens. The peace of God that is
our essence begins to flow out. We feel it instantly in
our bodies as a sigh of relief, warm hands and cool
thoughts. We know it intellectually because our
arguments go silent. Best of all, we become it
spiritually, radiating a soft, comforting joy to
everyone around us.
The trick, then, is how to release the fear. I asked
God how to do this the other night, when I awakened at 3
AM with my heart pounding and my fists clenched for no
apparent reason. My soul heard a whisper, which I spoke
out loud as a prayer: "I am nothing. I have
nothing. I do nothing. All is God." I repeated this
over and over and over. As I did, my tension completely
disappeared and my heart became light and free.
If it sounds odd to you, try it with your own first
name. "Mary is nothing. Mary has nothing. Mary does
nothing. All that she is, all that she has, all that she
does, is God." By taking ourselves out of the life
and death equation, we stop struggling. Without the
struggle, there is no winning or losing to fear. Without
a need to defend our identity, our possessions or our
actions, we can simply embrace life in the present
moment. The result: instant and lasting peace.
Ending the war in our souls delivers us to life in
exciting new ways. Suddenly, each person, object or
experience sparkles with radiant energy. Nothing and no
one is ordinary. Each person, every moment becomes
memorable, special. We lack nothing, because whatever is
right in front of us is totally fulfilling. Wonder is
born, again and again and again.
So letís stop looking for and trying to create
peace. Instead, letís surrender what is holding it
back. Letís stop denying that we have it--that we are
it--and allow it to come not to us, but through us. Letís
become heroes to ourselves, rescuing our battered souls
from the need to search in a hostile jungle of right and
wrong. Letís give up the territories of self that have
imprisoned us, opening our inner borders so that love
may flow freely within and without. For then peace will
not be an absence of war, but a genuine, lasting embrace
© Copyright 2003 Robin L. Silverman. All Rights Reserved.
Robin L. Silverman is the author
of Something Wonderful is About to Happen: True Stories of
People Who Found Happiness in Unexpected Places.
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