Complete acceptance is the most powerful solution to conflict and chaos. There is as much conflict in the heart as there is chaos in the world we see outside of us today. At all the levels of human existence, we are in a constant quest for acceptance. Not feeling accepted is at the core of all chaos and conflict. Right from individual personality level to the community at large, every conflict is a search for acceptance that we are unable to give to ourselves.
As a child, we are always expected to be something other than who we are. Not feeling accepted for exactly how we are, there is always a constant need to change, fix or adapt. If we are a talkative child, we are expected to be less chatty. If we are an introspective or intuitive child, we are nudged to be more outgoing or analytical. As we grow up, this continues to be a feeling of not being accepted, always feeling some gap in how we are showing up, however it is. No wonder FaceBook or YouTube likes define our existence today.
As individuals in a society, there is constant pressure to fit into the box of being acceptable. This narrow box never really fits anyone’s unique expression. We try to fit in 7.2 billion unique expressions into well defined boxes so that they do not outrage our sense of propriety or threaten our sense of security. Not much scope for real freedom of expression. By the time we grow up with these societal limitations, we get used to the boxes and we are lulled by an illusion we have freedom. However, the conflict in heart doesn’t go away, it pops up every time there is a life issue involving heart based decisions.
As a part of community, being accepted for our own faith, belief systems, ideologies – for a sense of belonging, defines our existential conflicts in the larger world. Entire history is full of bloody conflicts just on the basis – our belief in God has to be accepted by others as their belief too. As if, I cannot sustain my faith in my God or ideology unless everyone believes and accepts the same version of it.
Self acceptance is a powerful solution that allows us to grow out of our need for external validation. It allows us not just to accept who we are but also extend same level of acceptance to others and their expression, their belief systems and perspectives. We turn up into mature, responsible and tolerant individuals who do not have any need for conflict or chaos to sustain that belief in ourselves or our unique expression.
Peace is the most potent power in the entire Universe. We mistakenly equate power with having power over someone else or some situation external to us. But true power lies in being at absolute inner peace in face of any kind of external influence.
Imagine someone who is in that state of unshakeable peace. No one can be more powerful than that one at complete peace, when no external persons or situations can shake that peace. Who can have ascendency over them? Now imagine someone who is at peace in some situations but gets agitated in other situations by some one else’s influence. Who is more powerful? The one who can maintain his peace or the one who loses peace with external stimulus?
We may think such peace is not possible. But it is not just possible, it is surprisingly easy to be in a peaceful mode. It is we who give away others the power to influence our inner peace. All we need to do is to realise and commit to make our own peace to be more of a priority than anything else, even being right or having our own way. It does not make us powerless but more powerful.
When peace is so alluring, how to get to inner peace?
Do we run away from conflict or fight with conflict to get to peace?
Only thing that needs to be done is to clear the lens of perception so that you can clearly see beyond the conflict and access the calm that is already there. Not ignore the conflict or what is painful but see with a clear perception the truth beyond what is perceived. Many use meditation, yoga, mindfulness or other practices to get to inner peace. These activities help you to clear your lens of perception, which is clouded by the colouring from all your past experiences.
All clearing is meant to be just clearing of your perception, not you. You do not need any cleansing, fixing or healing because you are not tainted or bad or need purification. Nor is there any need for letting go of negativity or pain or positive thinking. When your perception is clear, you can see your own light and the peace within. You can see that you were always perfect as you are, so was your life. The soot is on the mirror, not on the object.
There is nothing to add to you, no learning, no correction, no healing, no fixing. When the lens of perception is clear, you perceive the underlying peace that is already there. And by perceiving it, you can start reflecting all that magnificent peace into the world. Just like a crystal clear mirror reflects the true image in front of it in all of its glory.
What is peace?
Peace is not getting rid of anger, sadness or other undesirable emotions. Being at peace means being calm and intensely alive through all the ups and downs that life presents to us everyday.
Peace is not to be achieved by any external methods or means. You just need to uncover the peace that is already within you. People use ocean and waves metaphor for the pure consciousness and individual souls. The same metaphor can be used to understand inner peace. Imagine your life as a turbulent ocean, with waves and waves of experiences of joy, happiness, sadness, despair, disappointment and so on. However turbulent it may all appear to you, there is tranquil ocean underneath the waves. Just as we shift the awareness from waves to ocean to experience the tranquility, we shift our awareness within. Ocean is calm and tranquil but not placid apathy, it is intensely alive at the same time.
Your inner self is always tranquil and peaceful. When you take a step back, breathe and observe all that is appearing on the surface, you become the ocean instead of the waves. All you need to do is carefully observe the thoughts, feelings, emotions, events and all that is appearing in your life. You then become the calm witness, which is your true nature. From ‘doer’, you instantly shift to ‘witness’. You can do this only when you can accept all emotions, including joy and misery as equal parts of unending saga of life. More importantly, when you let go of resistance to feel painful emotions and allow all the experiences to just flow through you and out of you.