Believing in Peace, and by Extension, Myself

Peace is possibility. Endless possibility. This was the conclusion a friend and I drew at the end of a long conversation.

Possibility exists, but it’s not necessarily easy, any more than Peace is easy. But both are so worth the labor!

There are probably two challenges I struggle with most when working on Peace and Peacemaking. The first is keeping Peace grounded. It’s easy for people to talk about Peace as something ephemeral… which very quickly becomes not real; not possible. Peace is Possible. Peacemaking can be an act as small as extending a supportive hand. In fact hand offered to hand — offered to another hand — and on, and on — is probably the most concrete building block in Peace. Seeing people. Acknowledging their need. Extending a hand that may help or comfort is a foundational to Peacemaking. That extended hand helps people realize that not only can they survive, but they also now have the ability to thrive. There’s nothing ephemeral about surviving and thriving.

The second challenge to Peacemaking is managing expectations of behavior. I struggle with my expectations of myself as a Peacemaker as much as I do of others’ expectations of me. Oh, you must be “holy,” calm, loving. I hear my siblings guffawing in the background. Yes, I can be all those things. So can you. But I am also Ann. Here’s a secret I’ve discovered: the more I work on Peace, the kinder, more grounded, and more hopeful I become as I experience Peace possibilities realized. That doesn’t mean I don’t say stupid hurtful things from time to time, or that when others do, I don’t want to react in a mean-spirited way. It just means that I try and take a breath before reacting. And that when I fail and miss the mark, I won’t strive to as Robert Isaacs Ellerson said “forgive ourselves and each other, and begin again in love.” It is in that beginning again in love where Peacemaking starts and how Peace becomes concrete.

This beginning again is Peace I can envision. It is possibility I can understand. And this is the way in which I can believe in myself as a Peacemaker. Peacemaking is a holy undertaking. Undertaking Peacemaking doesn’t make me holy; it simply reminds me to treat Peace with all the respect and honor it deserves as something sacred. It reminds me to keep making Peace. Peacemaking allows me to remember that I am a holy being simply because I exist. I acknowledge that holiness when I truly look at your beauty, your holiness. And the world sweetens and the soft scent of Peace becomes perceptible.

Being a Peacemaker is comprehending the possibilities for Peace and taking steps towards those possibilities we can realize. I want to recognize those possibilities in the outside world, and I want to recognize them in myself. And then I want to begin again in Love. Because, as understand Peace, that is what we are meant to do.

Yes. I believe that Peace is possible. I believe that I am a Peacemaker. I believe that you are a Peacemaker too. Let’s begin again in Love together.

Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.