Do you want peace? It’s a simple question.
To want peace is the sane answer. An opposite of peace is turmoil. Turmoil produces stress which is mentally and physically unhealthy for the body. In addition, reveling in turmoil — drama — increases this stress not only in yourself, but also in others. We have the common courtesy to cover our mouths when we cough to not spread germs. Likewise we should strive do decrease the spread of stress by minimizing out speech and actions that increase stress in our environments.
So how do we come to peace?
It’s simple. You must forgive.
This isn’t necessarily the way we’re used to dealing with out problems (not all of them, anyway.) The common methods used to come to peace, though, are intrinsically flawed. The effects they have on the world actually increase turmoil, increase stress, and decrease peace.
For example, two common methods are retribution and holding in the stress. Retribution increases the distress of the other (who or whatever you were unhappy with), while holding onto the stress inwardly can prove toxic to the body. So while these actions may be the easy choices to make, they are not the right actions. So what should we do to increase peace?
It’s simple. Forgive.
Forgiveness is understanding deeply the following:
“I understand that this has happened and cannot be changed. For the sake of my health and the health of others — for the sake of creating right thought and creating right action in this present moment, I must leave the past and my reactions to the past in the past.”
This mindset is not exclusive to people who may “wrong” you. Also situations can have the effect of inducing a negative emotional state within you.
Imagine an unusually difficult work assignment has been handed to you. If you are unable to forgive the situation, you may spend your time grumbling about the assignment while doing a shoddy job at it. What has any of that negativity accomplished? You’ve wasted real time of your life being unhappy. You’ve polluted your body with stress. The work you did must now be redone by your co-workers, fostering an unhealthy workplace environment, and contributing to future stresses.
The Question and the Answer
I ask again: Do you want peace? Then say it with me:
“I understand that this has happened and cannot be changed. For the sake of my health and the health of others — for the sake of creating right thought and right action in this present moment, I must leave the past and my reactions to the past in the past.”
find peace was originally published as Do you want peace? in Right Action on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.