Courage over comfort
I originally wrote this post on March 8, 2013. At the time, I was reacting to North Korea threatening the USA with nuclear bombs. The players have changed, but my thoughts have not.
I get scared when I hear elected world leaders threaten to annihilate each other with nuclear weapons. And, then, they act out from their fear and insecurity. It’s appalling.
The way to world peace lies within us, yet we’re armoured up and mostly scared to be vulnerable.
“As children we found ways to protect ourselves from vulnerability, from being hurt, diminished and disappointed. We put on armor; we used our thoughts, emotions and behaviors as weapons; and we learned how to make ourselves scarce, even to disappear. Now as adults we realize that to live with courage, purpose and connection – to be the person whom we long to be – we must again be vulnerable. We must take off the armor, put down the weapons, show up and let ourselves be seen.” ~ Brene Brown
War is an old, worn, and bizarre concept, yet here we are. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to do things differently. What I’m interested in is a complete shift, one that will change the world.
The work begins within us, you and me, and worldwide. You and I will create peace when we are at peace with ourselves. Isn’t hatred just an outward expression of how we feel about ourselves?
Haven’t you judged and gossiped about a co-worker with your supervisor only to realize that you readily participated because you’re feeling small and insecure? Haven’t you bitched thoughtlessly about a friend’s thoughtlessness?
When you conveniently point fingers, you get to assign responsibility to others and temporarily find relief from the horrible realization that you are the source of your pain.
Waging war on you creates war as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Being righteous that your way IS the way; shaming others into siding with you and ostracizing those who don’t is war. You perpetuating “us vs them” is war.
When you practice condemnation instead of collaboration, you are in it. We see it and hear it daily in our politics, hate campaigns, and smear campaigns, all designed to take your focus away from what’s really at stake. Smoke screens, distractions, drama, language, and interpretations are the tools of war.
It takes something to stand for something different. It takes unconditional love, compassion, courage, and the willingness to stand out. Doing so will require you to give up what you think you know, to stand with love and strength. It will be uncomfortable, confusing and, at times confronting and lonely.
Begin this work with you, take down your armour, put down your weapons and don’t wait too long to question the status quo, lose sight of truth, and fail to take action. If you prefer to dip your toe in the water before jumping into the deep end, you can begin with these small actions. Here’s my list:
- Weaponize words
- Take sides
- Complain about others
- Turn a blind eye to unjust acts
- Withhold your voice
- Play small
- Choose comfort over courage
- What’s one of yours?
You have outgrown those actions; they will no longer serve you in this new emerging world.
Instead, peace begins with you, and we can create it together.
After all, we are one.
(Books that influenced this post include: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown; The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist; On The Breath of the Gods by Ariel Tomioka. Speakers that influenced this post include: Gabrielle Bernstein, Danielle LaPorte and Brene Brown.)
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