Finding Hope and Peace in Increasingly Threatening Times
Do you feel your life is plagued with increasing chaos and fear? Does your future seem increasingly less certain and scary? If this is true then you need not fear, because this is actually a sign of things wonderful heading your way. These are signs of tremendous growth that have been intentionally sent in your direction. This may initially sound preposterous, but it’s true. It is actually good that it’s true. In this article, I will explain why.
Some of the toughest times in my life happened over 20 years ago. My wife had been going through increasingly inexplicable health issues and I soon found myself in a caretaking role. Over time my life spiraled into places of increasing darkness, hopelessness, and depression. I saw a therapist for support, but in the end, it was an idea implanted in my mind that started to shift things in a better direction. The idea was that good or bad things don’t just happen to me in life. Instead, events happen to me in life and it’s up to me to decide if that event is good or bad for me. How I decide to react to that event determines whether the final outcome is good or bad for me. It is our perception of external events that create our life experiences and not the external events themselves.
In the book Spirituality for REAL: Deep Healing I use the following co-creation equation as a powerful tool to describe how this works:
With “Event” we are talking about external events. For example, someone yells at you and you feel bad. You might say that that person made you feel bad, but it really requires you to decide that the yelling is a bad thing for you and that you should feel bad about it. Suppose that person was speaking a language you don’t understand and I tell you that he said, “You’re an idiot.” Then you should feel bad, right? But then what if I told you that he really said, “You look fabulous.” Then maybe you would feel good. What if I told you that he really said, “My football team has lost,” or “I wish you had wavy hair.” Then how would you feel?
Maybe you would be upset with me for having played mind games with you. Suppose that before I was supposedly playing mind games, I was told that my mother had just died in a horrific accident. Because of that event, I felt dazed when I tried to interpret the words of this yelling man. Now how do you feel about me? Ultimately, it’s up to you to interpret and judge the event, which then sets up how you will feel emotionally. The perception you choose sets up how you feel emotionally, which then becomes the reality of your life.
When you examine your “Perception,” you take time to observe and question how you feel. Then examine the beliefs and events in your life that contribute to how you are feeling. Start by clarifying your beliefs. When you do that, you make fundamental changes in your being and existence on Earth, thus changing “Reality.” You will certainly change “Reality” in terms of how much happiness you experience from whatever life has brought to you. You will certainly affect “Reality” in terms of what others will experience from you so they can react to you. You will also affect the “Reality” of what is physically happening around you now and in the future.
Through this way of continually re-examining my beliefs and reframing my perceptions, I have come to see the entire constellation of external physical events of life and of the Universe have been, and continue to be and always will be but only the most benign and beneficial. The utmost perfection in love, compassion, kindness and purpose is woven into everything that comes your way in life. There are no accidents and mistakes and mess-ups. Everything that has come your way is the best possible gift ever.
The ability to reframe things into this perception of life allows you to remain open to finding hope and peace regardless of how severe the chaos, terror and turmoil may be. So far all of this seems like interesting mental exercises, but how can you make actual shifts in perception that create your own hope and peace in spite of any external chaos?
In the book Spirituality for REAL: Deep Healing, there is a 4 -part perception system, that if you can start to internalize, will create this shift. The 4-part perception system is as follows:
- There is only one real person in this world and that is you
- All others and all things are merely virtual things and situations designed to teach you
- Everyone else is God, your teacher. Treat others with such due reverence
- It’s just God and you. You are God’s sole REAL student
I recommend you watch this video where I describe and explain more about this 4-part perception system.
Please watch this video more than once. It is the mechanism from which great spiritual leaders such as Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi derived great human strength, compassion and love. It allowed them to find hope in peace in the midst of adversity and also made them beacons of actual change in the world to foster hope and peace.