“By taking care of the present moment, we take good care of the future. Working for peace in the future is to work for peace in the present moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Like the sun. Sometimes, you can’t see it for the clouds. You know – those cold winter days when the sky is dark and the rains come down forever, or weeks become months of white snow and gray skies – the sun is obscured, and you wonder if you will ever be warm again.
But the sun is still there. One day, the rain stops, the clouds part, the snow melts, and the sun… sure enough, it’s still there. Beautiful to behold, this warm, life-giving ball of fire in the sky. Our moods lift: how wonderful to see it again! Really, we knew it was there all along.
Peace is like that.
Our thoughts are like the clouds: we get stuck in details, our stories pour down on us, we create long winters of the soul. But peace is still here. We stop for a moment in the middle of chaos and take a deep breath, notice the yellow rose someone placed on the table in that old cracked vase. We walk outside in the morning and the sky is on fire with the potential of a new day and we pause, startled into silence by its beauty. The dog curls up next to us, the cat snuggles on our lap, a child laughs out loud. For just a moment we let go of the human struggle and are grateful for what is right here in front of us. We revel in how good it feels here with our loved ones, how good it feels just to love, to live, to be alive. A moment of peace.
A simple truth: we are human. As humans we get angry, we suffer, we feel pain. Sometimes we are the ones who inflict pain. We know depression, we know sadness, we know loss and chaos and anxiety, and we get overwhelmed by the hatred and the wars and bigness of suffering “out there.”
But we also know peace. We know great joy, we laugh at life’s absurdities, we delight in the beauty around us. We love deeply and care enough to reach out – not only to our loved ones, but to the world and to ourselves. When we do, even if it is only in a small way, the clouds part and we realize…
Peace is already here.
All we need to do is notice it. When we notice peace it spreads, expands. Even if we can only touch it for half a millisecond a day – it is enough. We bring our attention here, and like the sun, peace has potential to warm us. Our mood lifts, our heart opens, and maybe we find that even this bit of peace permeates our words, our actions, our interactions. Maybe we find the strength to witness our anger, and recognize our pain for what it is. Maybe we can be present with our life, exactly as it is, and in this deep presence our perspective widens and we find …
Peace is already here.
This post is the first of what will be a monthly contribution to the collective attention being placed on peace in the blog-o-sphere. Bloggers for Peace is the brainchild of Kozo at Everyday Gurus. Read about it here, and if you like, write your own post for peace. We’re all in this together – imagine the energy of many people across the world sharing their thoughts on peace, and bringing attention to the peace that is already here. Yup, Peace is Possible!