Keeping the Peace
That phrase – Keep the Peace. It’s been something I’ve done all my life. I’m a mediator. A Libra. One who seeks balance and consensus. I meditate and pray. I hold spaces for love and hope and healing. Rocking the boat makes my heart race and not in a good way.
For a long time, peace meant balance for me – quiet, still, conflict free. Shhhh.
But these days it means something different.
Peace = Connection. When I feel really truly peaceful, I feel the connections to everyone and everything, seen and unseen, sublime and raucous, healing and hurtful. I see the massive web of connectedness of which we are all a part and I walk it around with me. We are all connected in the deepest, most intricate of ways – each of us to every one and every thing, seen and unseen. There is not one thing we do or action we take or belief we hold that doesn’t affect the whole. That’s my peace.
We are never not connected. It’s just that we lose touch with the connection. We forget. We operate from a space of individual rather than collective. We think we can pick and choose our connections and thus feel like we’ve mastered its art. Joining the right church, liking the right Facebook pages, having the right friends, donating to the right causes. We connect so easily based on shared gender, color, age, geography, education, religion, sexual orientation, economics, politics.
We love to belong. We actually really love being connected. We just forget that those connections extend well beyond what we think we know. They’re everywhere. EVERYwhere. With everything and everyone. We are connected to the people who go to churches other than our own. We are intricately entwined with folks who like Facebook pages that frustrate us. We are as connected to the friends we know and love as to the friends we don’t yet know. We are instantly connected to those who are obviously like us AND those who are different (with definitions of ‘like’ and ‘different’ yours to name.) Everyone. You can unfriend, you can ignore, you can minimize and dismiss all you want, but we’re still connected.
Seeing these connections is peace. Seeing forgotten connections is peace. Illuminating those forgotten connections is also peace.
And so now when someone suggests I Keep the Peace, even though I know they are suggesting I quiet down and refrain from rocking the boat, all I hear is an urgent call to action.
Yes! Keep the Peace!
Shed light on the forgotten connections.
Do not rest, do not quiet down, do not ignore.
We are servants here on this planet. Our goal is to remember how connected and superbly sacred each and every one of us is. Too existential for you perhaps? Then this:
We are here to ensure that every single person has the ability, the invitation, to feel connected to the whole. They may choose to say ‘No thank you’, but they must be welcomed.
To that end, our servitude is to dissolve any obstacles that get in the way of that connection – stereotypes, preconceptions, oppression, poverty, biases, false structures of rank, self assuredness, hopelessness and on and on.
If you are reading this and thinking you already got this, i.e. you’re already clear on connection and are waiting for everyone else to get it. Yeah, I am familiar with that feeling. But no. This is not someone else’s work to be done. This is yours, mine, ours. There’s always another layer to peel away in this density of humanness. Uncover and define where you are still afraid, what angers you, who you think is evil, who or what you consciously separate from – start there and dive in. Read about, watch, talk to, meet, understand, learn the history. Find something on which to connect. Tough for some, yes. Try connecting on your shared lack of connection – your shared fear of seeing shadowed connections. It’s a start.
To really heal as a collective – to keep the peace – I believe we have to intentionally allow our awareness of connections to transcend the obvious. There is so much more.