As surprising as it may be to learn at first, the more "personal" is our peace, the more punishment we are likely to attract from it! Sometimes the simplest things show the deepest truths: Have you ever been in the midst of that personal peace called, "sitting in front of the TV with a nice pizza"? You know what happens next! The phone rings or a neighbor drops by and . . . Boom! One's slice of heaven is replaced with simmering resentment toward the person or event seen as disturbing it.
Which brings us to a key lesson: true peace is impersonal. Its reality cannot be possessed. Whoever tries to claim it or otherwise contain it, sows into his or her self the secret cause of conflict and sorrow. Herein we can begin to see why it is that when people try to organize peace, we inevitably see conflict and war continuing in the wake of their efforts.
Though Peace teaches us her ways perfectly, only few become wise. This is true because so many of us unknowingly discard her tutoring. Sadly, we have yet to become "teachable" by truth. A short review of where we refuse her instructions will help us to better see the light and how it waits on us!
For example, take any of those daily disturbances that course through us and have their way with us. We resist these little shocks with our whole being. Yet each and every one of them brings a needed life lesson to us. The problem is that we usually don't "hear" these silent teachings (of peace) because the noise of our own answers drowns out her voice. With a touch of hindsight we see that all of these lessons boil down to one instruction: "Stop! What you are doing does not work. Wake up! You're looking in the wrong place. This kind of pain does no one any good!"
If we could only become quiet enough to listen anew, we would learn that peace is a gift given freely to each of us, right where we stand. But it is a gift given only when we give up our position that it is in our power to possess peace, as we would all other desires.
Peace cannot be bound but must be let loose by our growing realization that only in willingly losing ourselves within its life can we hope to know its everlasting tranquility. And yet, even though this peace cannot be bound, neither can it be lost! If you ever feel that you have lost peace, you must look to see where it is that you unknowingly, in error, gave it away or set it down by identifying with disruptive dark thoughts and conflicted feelings.
If we look closely, the following will become self-evident: There is something at work within us that is stealing our peace; there is a thief of peace among us. Our glad task is to unmask its cunning nature.
To help set the record straight, and to ensure that we reach the right conclusion, haven't we assumed most of our lives that this "thief of peace" was that insensitive person who hurt us, that memory from our past that still causes us pain, or that hope that was shattered by an uncooperative event? Of course, this is the way we see it! As human beings we form relationships and then, when the form or dynamic of these relationships change, as they must, we blame these unwanted changes for our loss of peace. Such behavior is like getting mad at the wind that catches our hat and whisks it away.
Our sense of lost peace, along with feeling the loss of one's freedom that was tied to it, has never had anything to do with peace withdrawing or withholding its goodness from us. What we must see is that such a sense of loss is inescapable as long as we accept the limitations of our present nature as being the extent of our possibilities. Its only peace is a derivative one -- a borrowed sensation taken by identifying itself with passing forms, be they things or thoughts about them. It is this level of self, and nothing and no one else, that is the thief of our peace.
The next time something dark or disturbing tries to steal into you to wreck your contentment, do not consent to be drawn into its seemingly important considerations. Instead of sinking into this yawning abyss, rather than running after something to resolve that rift, better to remember this truth: the peace you long for also longs for you. Then, whatever you must do, find your way to it!
Here's a good place to start. It is the first step into stillness: watch for, and then catch the thief in the act. Come awake to the backdrop of stillness within you, and while being aware within it, watch your own thoughts and feelings trying to drag you into the noisy world of their worry and fear. If you will go silent before them, they have no choice but to enter into the silence with you. This is how we turn the table on these thieves of peace. They cannot live with you in the light of Higher Self-awareness.