Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let it Begin with ME!
I can recreate the feelings as I sang this song with a group of about 80 singers this week…it was beautiful and I have always loved this song. During the service, I listened to all of the conversation taking place making references to pretty TOUGH events and happenings in our world that can take our emotions everywhere except into a place of PEACE. And yet I was hearing a challenge to be a model of the peace we would ALL love to see in our world. And of course I KNOW that any change has to begin in the hearts of individuals and radiate out into our own neighborhoods through everyday encounters.
Monday morning in meditation I began thinking about PEACE…my mind went into the newscast I saw called “Remembering Pearl Harbor”. And then my brain took me to TV images in Michigan about the school shootings in a town not far from where Marj and I grew up in sheltered peace. I could feel the sadness living in the parents of children lost, and threats of violence closing down our own nearby schools. And then images of the new COVID virus shown on TV filled my head. I quickly realized, Terry, you are watching too much news if these things come to mind during meditation! I had words with myself and began asking a very basic question. What IS peace? No, I mean REALLY.. what IS PEACE?
I began to visualize Lake Michigan down at the beach harbor here in my hometown of Holland, Michigan. I was able to draw on a very visual picture of a beautiful sunset along the lake and immediately I could FEEL the calm. I think all this time when I sang the beautiful song, Let There Be Peace, I “wished” for change in our world environments and thought I needed to DO something to model peace to others around me.
Can you take a different walk with me down the path of understanding that literally allowed me to simply BE in peace instead? Picture me sitting on my sunporch near a pile of Christmas decorations that needed to be placed, timers that needed fixing so I could enjoy the lights in my house next to a long LIST I had just made of things I needed to accomplish. Hmm…hardly a picture of peace.
“I believe that REAL PEACE is the ability to embrace the chaos as part of life while allowing myself to smile in compassion, stay calm and CHOOSE peace.” ~ Terry Larkin
Peace isn’t about anyone else. It isn’t about changing the world. It’s about BEING in THIS life, THIS body, and allowing myself to be IN peace so that I CAN make a difference one step at a time. I have so many people that I could thank and be in total gratitude for inspiring my spiritual growth, happiness and inner peace. That knowing helps me inspire spiritual growth, happiness and inner peace in others! Learning to live in LOVE every moment is a lofty goal and yet I believe we came into this world with that as our primary goal. I just need to accept that I get better at this each day.
I knew that Dr. Wayne Dyer would have a quote about peace, so I did a search and of course I found it. I remember so very well watching him speak for about 20 years. Over time I watched more carefully because he had changed his whole style of speaking. Near the end of his life he was totally at peace and it showed in all of his talks. And yet in one of his last talks he spoke about his back and how he literally could hardly walk or stand up and be on stage…until he began to speak. He talked about his pain disappearing and being in awe of his ability to totally shift into a peaceful place. I believe we ALL have that ability. But, As Dr. Wayne Dyer says in this quote…
Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.”
You and I live with different chaos, but we all have it. I decided that instead of taking on the world and waiting for peace to come…I’d be the source of peace instead. I am the source of love too. There are too many people waiting for peace and love to “arrive.” YOU are the source of peace and love!
” World peace begins with inner peace.” ~ Dalai Lama
“There is no path to peace. Peace IS the path.” Mahatma Gandhi