I had a dream I was in a house that felt like peace. Outside the house was chaos and danger. Outside the wind was blowing and trash was flying around. People were hustling and running around. Inside was safe and calm. I woke up and thought to myself:
You can have inner peace while the world is in chaos.
In El Salvador I had inner peace even though there was violence on the streets like shootings, assassinations, kidnappings and bombings. Seven terrorist groups fighting it out on the streets with the military government in the 1970s. It was a dangerous time.
If you have inner peace it doesn’t minimize the dangers outside. You are vulnerable to danger. When you return inside the house, you return to peace. Peace is on the inside, in your heart. Turn inward to your heart, not your head.
In El Salvador, if I turned inward to my head, I would try to solve the problems in that country: poverty, political violence, and social inequity. Even adults couldn’t solve those problems. I was a teenager in a fog of war. I couldn’t retreat into my head. If I did, I felt like a toddler on my tip toes trying to reach something on a table that was beyond my reach.
If I retreat into my heart, it’s different. My heart is my essence, my spirit. My spirit is always at peace. It’s not shaken by world events or violence. Not shaken by incredible odds. I access my spirit in silence. I wait and listen to what my spirit will say to me. It’s there that I find strength, not by seeking strength but by seeking peace. The human spirit is radiant and can be nurtured and developed or ignored and neglected.
Peace is like light shining in the darkness. You find it in the beauty of silence.
If you turn inward and find panic, you have accessed your gut, not your heart. Your gut is all about survival. It’s where you feel fear. Turn your attention away from your gut. Sometimes you need to give time for your gut to calm down. After it’s calm, turn inward to your heart and find strength there.
I am not easily shaken. I have inner peace while the world is in chaos and darkness. The best tip ever is to turn inward to your spirit; nurture it, develop it. Find your strength in an unlimited source.
Join me next for thoughts about spiritual growth. Is it fixed or flexible?