peaceYou cannot force a person’s heart to open, nor can you compel anyone to see things your way. Peace can never exist under duress, and love cannot bloom in a vice grip. Living in fear is not living. Life does not have to be this way. It’s a crazy state of affairs when we cannot hear one another. When the only reality we see is our own, when the only truth we’ll open to is the one we’ve worked out for ourselves. We are not built to take this ride alone. We come in to the world needing love and affection and nurturing. Without those things we die. That really doesn’t change. You may be old enough to feed yourself and clothe yourself, but if there’s no real connection in your life, you are dying on the inside.

If ever it was obvious that we’ve been getting this thing wrong, it is now. The world does not need further polarization; people feel alienated enough. One of the most useful questions I’ve ever heard is, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”. When I see people getting entrenched, taking sides, I know we are in trouble. It may sound too simple, but the truth is, there are no sides. This is a round earth, and we are one people. We really need to get that.

We’ve created a violent world, based on a violent premise (be strong and compete with your neighbor, or die). If you live in a culture that pounds it into your brain that you must compete to survive, and that the measure of your success as a human being is how much stuff you have, what has any of that got to do with your heart? With your softness? Your compassion? Your ability to open to love and to spread it madly? These are the things that are natural to us, but we are not taught to value these things, we are more frequently taught to reject them. Girls less so than boys, who are still widely raised to be tough and strong, but we make our girls sick, too. We are built to care and cooperate. But we’ve shut ourselves off to that, and we are helped along by incessant messages that we haven’t gotten anything right. We need pills and creams and enhancements and toxins and dyes to fix the way we look, and pills to fix the way we feel (NOT talking about people who have genuine brain chemistry issues here, or the mentally ill people we are letting fall through the cracks! I’m talking about people who feel anxious in a social situation, or people who may end up at the hospital due to erections lasting over eight hours). We are barraged with images of the “good life”, and ways we can buy into it if we make enough money and lose enough weight. We have most of our people in a state of such misery, that all they want to do is check out. And there are a plethora of ways to do that: drugs, alcohol, sex, the internet, television (where you get hits of those messages about how awful you are or how much you don’t have in 15, 30, and 60-second commercials), shopping, or working every hour of every day. We distract ourselves with gadgets and miss the actual chances to connect, not virtually, but in the flesh, in the moment, eye-to-eye. The news is full of violence, pain, poverty, war and injustice to such a degree we become numb to it. And this is the environment in which our children grow. This is the food we’re feeding them. They do not need more of that, they need less. A lot less. And so do we.

If you want the world to be a more loving and peaceful place, the greatest power you have is in working on your inner world. Everything around us is a reflection of everything within us. There is so much beauty within you, and when you open to that, you will find there is so much beauty around you. There is an insane, limitless well of love within you, and there is a limitless amount of love around you. Seek out the gorgeousness of your heart, and see if that might allow you to loosen your grip on all your opinions. Just for a little while. Love can’t exist in a vice grip, right? Peace cannot be enforced, that’s a conceptual oxymoron. I’m sending you a huge blast of love, right through my fingertips, smack into your heart. Hope you feel that. Ally

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