Being an Instrument of Peace
I propose you the following reflections and exercises to become instruments of peace.
The need to belong is the most compelling of all, and we would do anything to feel safe. Safety means, above all, Values, God, religion or ideology. Men kill out of loyalty to their God, to belong more to their God, to feel safer, to have a safe and calm conscience. And who is that God? It is the Truth shared by a group, the cement of the group I belong to.
Bert Hellinger made this discovery with regards to peace:
Men kill to defend their Truth, eliminating those who criticise or despise it, or those who risk its external safety (the validity of his group) and its internal one (his clear conscience). The Truth of some is the Evil of others.
War is nothing more than the materialisation of our internal fear to become autonomous, since autonomy means giving up that belonging and that physical and moral sense of security. It is the materialisation of our childlike and fundamentalist loyalty to a Truth that helped us to integrate, to belong, to see ourselves recognised by others and feel important.
It is hight time to say goodbye to our truth’s superiority. There are not two human beings who believe exactly the same. This is why we find it so hard to accept deeply any other person.
I refuse to my explanation of life being the only valid one: it is the result of my past, and if I had been born in another country or other times, my development would have been different, as well as my beliefs about life, the world, justice, good and evil.
All that exists creates it’s opposite. Everything exists because of a polarity, until the poles fuse, reconcile, creating a new oneness, superior to the two previous ones, which in turn will create a new polarity, and so on.
When I reject or deny something, and I only stick to my polarity, what I reject increases. The more I become radicalised, the more what is opposed becomes radicalised too. It is a fact of life. The only solution to make something disappear is to include it. The solution to war is to include, to include and to include.
I close my eyes and I open up to everyone. To everyone as we are. I am one more. One more in every aspect.
I see myself together with my Truth, I honour it, I thank it, I see the loyalties I have behind it and I make it smaller. It is no more than my truth, here and now.
And now I see all the others, each with his own Truth, and behind every truth, its realities and its loyalties. I honour all the rest and I thank them for being the way they are.
I honour all of us just as we are.
Our parents also have each their own truth. Truth for my mother is different to the truth for my father. Each of them is loyal to their past, their experience, and what guides them.
I exist because both became one. I am both of them, I am their fusion.
Therefore, I decide to give up my preference for my father or my mother. Both, father and mother, are equally valid for me. Both my father’s and my mother’s truths are equally valid for me.
I look at my parents, I encompass them within a single gaze, both together, however they are, wherever they are. I honour both at the same time, with the same gratitude and the same surrender.
My convictions are often totally visceral. I cannot explain them. When I feel they are being criticised or threaten, even if slightly, I feel an emotion that overwhelms me completely, I feel in danger, anxious, desperate, I become irrational, intransigent, even violent. These are all the signs of an old trauma, of a blocked emotion by a dramatic childhood experience I have not yet digested. All education fixes its laws, and demands a submission to its dictates, if not by fire and sword, by means of guilt and threats of the worse. To approach he who has lifted the yoke of those dictates creates a feeling of panic.
I represent this overwhelming feeling, and I allow myself be taken backwards in my life by it. Until I arrive to a place in my past. I wait there, I allow the slow movement of healing to take me, until the overwhelming feeling lies on the floor, surrendered, absent, over.
I think again of the last situation that caused that emotional overflow, and I notice that it does not affect me anymore, I am calm, I can listen to the others and have a calm conversation.
Sometimes my conviction is a true obsession. It takes away my freedom. I feel trapped, possessed, I cannot reason about it.
Every obsession is a systemic call about an entanglement with an ancestor. An ancestor that cannot have peace because of guilt he could not accept in his life.
Healing will happen by means of this exercise:
Imagine a place for yourself, another one for your ‘obsession’, and another one for the ancestor. Stand in each of these roles alternatively, and let yourself be moved very slowly, without knowing what the movement wants from you. Let do. After a while, the obsession will have left with the ancestor, and the ancestor will be gone. Then, consciously, honour the ancestor and thank him for the life that comes to you from him.
It can be observed through a systemic approach that when those who are above in the structure are at odds with one another but do not acknowledge it, the ones at the bottom are in open war against each other. For example, when parents repress their hate for each other in a family, the children will be divided in two camps that hate each other, without knowing why. The same happens in an organization: If two bosses hide their confrontation, their subordinates will be in constant confrontation for no reason. As soon as the “big ones” in the system, parents or those in leadership positions, start communicating and express their confrontation, the “small” ones calm down.
Now we can do one more exercise, in the service of peace in the world:
I choose two people, two countries or two systems that represent, for me today, the two leaders of the two most confronted positions in the world. I put one in my left hand and the other in my right hand. I look at them and feel them.
I honour and thank each of them for being the way he is.
Now I make both palms look at each other. The two powerful people look at each other.
Very slowly, I bring both hands close to each other, until they touch, and the two opposed sides fuse.
With great respect, I feel the transformation in my hands.
I bring them to my chest,
and I take into my heart both powerful people fused into one.
Brigitte Champetier de Ribes
Published in the journal Espacio Humano in March 2014