Fierce Grace

Peace doesn’t come easily. And it won’t arrive without inviting it in, then giving it your full attention. It requires patience, indiscriminate kindness and a calm heart. Living in relaxed presence allows serenity to flourish, sparking ideas and creating personal, regional and global solutions beyond anything you thought possible.

Agitation, in contrast, feeds on contempt. After years of exposure, we don’t even notice how often we are annoyed. Disrespect has become acceptable, as long as it is for a “worthy” cause. Those unwilling to engage in the grit of criticism must be weak, lazy, ill advised or apathetic. Mocking someone who we feel deserves it fills us with a sense of virtue, of accomplishment. And it’s never enough. The ego likes to repeat, over and over, what bothers us. Like an old LP, this etches a groove into our consciousness, making it much easier to settle back into that familiar place when something goes any way we believe is the wrong way.

There is a serious flaw in working to improve the world by pushing others down. Nothing good is ever created from a place of tension. Nature doesn’t allow it. We weren’t born with such prejudice. We’ve learned it. So we can unlearn it. Try spending time with a small child or an animal. They can look at something without conjuring an image of some faded memory. They don’t project what it will mean to their future. They just look. Open and curious, their intelligence arises from somewhere outside of thought. Without reasoning, they are the wisest of teachers.

I’d never stand in the way of those insisting to be frustrated, but serenity can be yours if you truly want it. You can become a peaceful warrior. Commit to spending quiet time alone. Start to question your beliefs and address your own prejudices. Gently dismantle your ego and ignore those inner voices that insist being right is more important than being kind. Be brave. It’s easy to love lovable people. Experience what it takes to love those who aren’t. Only then will it be time to act. Armed with the most creative ideas and plans to accomplish them, there will be no stopping you and no one will be injured along the way.

Join this new kind of revolution, if you wish. But take your time. Don’t step forward until you’re ready. Navigating a peaceful path takes a different kind of strength. A heart filled with torment is unfit to walk in fierce grace.