The Pathway To Inner Peace It Is By SURRENDERING all concepts, ideas, and "knowledge" of what you mistakenly perceive as your real Identity, that you make room Inside yourself to search for, discover, and accept the truth of who you really are, which is much easier said than done. The impetus of finding one's true pathway to inner peace, usually doesn't begin by getting out of bed one morning in May and adding "find pathway to inner peace and accept true identity" to the list of tasks that you want to complete, assigning it to the time slot of between 11:00 AM and Noon. It would certainly be fantastic if you could get that "finding yourself" task done before noon, so you could have quite a celebration at lunch, and you may even be able to talk one of your business colleagues into buying! We all have thousands upon thousands of thoughts that run through our heads all day long, like live streaming television on steroids, and we grab onto but a fraction of those thoughts to take out and play with, the general type of which depends upon your state of mind, and we then put those very thoughts into play as actual behavior as though they are most representative of who we really are. This process is an unconscious one and is carried out, for the most part, without our tacit permission. In fact, we probably don't even know it is happening. But the process has major implications for your overall quality of life, the decisions you make, your intimate relationships, general happiness, attitude about everything, ability to work with others, the impressions you make and the impact you have, the goals and objectives you would like to achieve, and the legacy you would like to leave. If you look closely, you will find that you tend to select the negative, judgmental, angry, hostile, shameful, fearful, and arrogant thoughts, allowing yourself to dwell on them and let them percolate, until steam blows through your ears like air through the blow hole of whale, because you believe they are who you are. Thinking about yourself in such a way does not evoke much happiness. In fact, you become afraid of your own thoughts because you believe that those thoughts ARE your true identity, you believe that those thoughts represent the real you and you are scared to death that someone you know may find out. You might get busted by a spouse, business partner, or best friend, and you will be humiliated, ostracized, and unable You do not want to think about yourself in those negative ways, to explain yourself because you don't understand where you could have gone so wrong. But you are not going to allow that to happen! So the next action you take is a thing of pure beauty. You do not want to internalize all that negativity about yourself, and you do not want other people to be thinking bad things about you, so you put it back on them, as though they were the ones that broke the lamp. You are completely innocent and it is everyone else that is guilty. But you still feel the weight of terrible guilt because you know that it was you that broke the lamp. The most important part in all of our heretofore discussion, and one that is lost on us because of the way we were raised, is that breaking a lamp, or (fill in here any act that you currently feel guilty for doing ) is a mistake! You did not want to break the lamp and doing so does not make you a bad person. So you either run like hell so you don't get caught, or you do the right thing and offer to buy a new lamp, preferably one that is made of titanium! But, as fun would have it, those things I just discussed are not even close to being what you would call your overriding problem. The fundamental issue, the only problem you really have is that the person you see looking back at you in the morning mirror is a kind, loving, and peaceful extension of the Love and the Peace of God. And at some level you know that to be true. You have a light somewhere, way deep down inside yourself that is the real you. It is buried under all that rubble of negativity, guilt, hatred, judgment and fear. The bad news about that light is that somewhere in the furthest spot at the back of your mind, lives the knowledge of its existence. You KNOW it is there, just waiting for you to come home. There are days (especially before you found out what this impression/light really is), that while you may not have called it a light, you might describe it as more of an impression you get from time to time and that you are aware of its existence. Yup, you know that light is there and, try as you might, you just can't square it with all the negativity you tend to think and spout about yourself and other people. It would be much easier in the long run if you could just ignore the light, accept the truth of the worst, and try it again in the next iteration. Therein lies your daily internal conflict. Therein lies also your pathway to inner peace. I think it is also important to point out that everything I spoke about above is true for people who are recovering from the disease of addiction or would like to recover from the disease of addiction, and people who have never and will never be addicted to anything. It applies to everyone because we are all human, as prone to human error as we are to human wonder. There is a section in this website called "Progressive Addiction Recovery" which I wanted to include primarily to help the Recovery Community. In that I have, at this writing (October of 2017), had nearly 34 1/2 years of continuous sobriety, am a trained Recovery Coach and Recovery Coach Trainer, I believe I have the credentials to speak to this community, but not only this community. every page in this section has lessons that apply to anyone who is not, or has never been, addicted to anything. That light inside every person on the planet, no matter who they are, is the Light, Love and Peace of God in all of us. It is the Light and Love of God that connects us all to each other, and to God Himself. This connection we all have to God is the great equalizer. It ensures that nobody is any better or any worse in the mind of God. That light is our Real Selves. We began as thoughts in the Mind or God and He created us, all of us, as equal extensions of the Love of God. We are then, as muchGod as God is of God. Like a drop of water in an ocean, you cannot find where one begins and the other ends. The only difference between us and God is that God created us and we did not create Him! I have been a student of "A Course In Miracles" (ACIM) for over 23 years, as of this writing, (October of 2017) and I have found it to be the most amazing, fantastic, awesome, complete, and absolutely truthful course of study that anyone seeking to change their life for the better, could ever undertake. The Course, which is what it is called by many of its students, is a self study program of Psychological Mind Training. Most people in the modern world have been acculturated to lack the discipline of thought necessary to remain centered in who they really are, let alone teach it to other people, which is what we are asked to do. The Course tells us that if you want to learn something, teach it. Therefore, it says to teach only love because that is what you are. And, to teach only peace, for that is who you really are. I want to be absolutely clear about something: A Course In Miracles is not a religion, nor is it a cult. I never once saw Kool-Aid served at a Course meeting. (I really am a wise guy) There is no doctrine, nor is there any dogma. It is a self-study in mind training and Spiritual Psychotherapy. It is based on the same ancient spiritual principles that all the major religions of the world agreed upon in a time long past. These are the same ancient spiritual principles that The twelve Steps of Recovery are based on. This is why they go together so well. The Twelve Steps of Recovery is based on getting INDIVIDUALS into a condition where they can be highly functioning members of society. A Course In Miracles is based on RELATIONSHIPS, and it teaches us how genuine forgiveness will set us free, that as soon as we are able to see God in another person, then we will see Him in ourselves. The God of which the Course speaks is not a religious God. He is not a Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, or Riccan God. He is the God of everyone. He does not recognize religious, ethnic, or racial distinctions. He is very simply the God of everybody. He is not a punishing God, and He does not recognize sin, guilt, or death. He is eternal love and eternal peace, out of which He created all of us. And it is this that we truly are. All of the negative, disturbing, self-destructive and shame-based thought patterns mentioned above and all that were not mentioned, fall into the category we will call fear. A Course In Miracles tells us that there only two emotions, one is love and the other is fear, which is the opposite of love. But that which is all-encompassing (love) can have no opposite. Therefore, all that is real is love and anything that is of a fearful nature is not real, thereby being just an illusion, or a dream. Another name for fear is the ego. I hope I have piqued your interest, because everything I just talked about in the first few paragraphs here is what I believe to be absolutely true. I can attest to that because I have lived it. I travelled as far down the mental, emotional and spiritual ladder as any one person could possibly go. In fact, I went so far down that there wasn't any more down left to go. And I was able to crawl out of that miserable hole by using The Twelve Steps of Recovery in conjunction with A Course In Miracles. And if I can come back from where nobody should ever have to go, to the point where I am writing and publishing this blog to use my experience as a guide to help other people, then you can be wherever you are, and rise to whatever heights you would like to go. If I can do it, you can do it, too. Because, as you will no doubt find out, there is nothing at all special about me. They could only emanate from the vast field of your prior experiences.They come from the past, which is so over, it is gone and only exists in your head. But you take those negative thoughts from the past, and you give them power over you, believing they are you, and you are them, because you don't know any other way to think. And nothing could be further from the truth. Think about it: All you really know about yourself is found in the accumulation of data you have unconsciously absorbed from every direction and every point of the compass. It has come to you solely from sources outside of yourself. So, 90% (I was going to say 100% but I always like to leave a little wiggle room) of WHAT you think, feel and do, as well as HOW you think, feel and do it, every day, has NOTHING to do with you. IT CANNOT! YOU DID NOT CREATE IT! You have absorbed all of this without questioning any of it because you never really saw the need. How many times have you, or someone you know, said something like this: “When I was growing up I promised myself that I was going to be nothing like my mother (or father, as the gender may be), and here I am, forty-seven years old, and I have become my mother. I PROMISED MYSELF!!! I EFFING PROMISED MYSELF!!! I saw all the flaws, all the crazy thinking and behavior, how she judged everybody and everything that she knew nothing about, how I never wanted to bring my friends home, all the drinking, the anger, and all the yelling she did at her kids and my father!!! Not, by the way, was he was the epitome of self-restraint, compassion or understanding. He gave as good as he got. I was there, I saw it all, and I promised myself I was never going to do or say anything she did. And what I just said to my kids could have been her, completely, and verbatim!” And I didn’t even know it was there. It came out before I even knew it was coming. I will apologize and try to fix it as much as I can. But, this sucks!" The facts are incontrovertible, and here are just a few of the more obvious ones. The facts are that:
- Your parents and family of origin has had tremendous impact on your level of self-esteem, how you see and think about yourself and the world around you, your opinions, thoughts, judgments, prejudices, fears, hatreds (especially about yourself), goals, objectives, choice of college (or not), type of house you live in and the shoes you buy.
- The schools you attended, your teachers, classmates, and friends, all collaborated to influence you as you learned your way in the world at large. Like attracts like, and the probability is that you attracted to yourself people who thought and behaved in ways that you found comfortable. REMEMBER THIS ONE, because as you grow internally, as you begin to feel more at home inside your own skin, and as you begin to see the value of living a life of Inner Peace, you will begin to attract to yourself people who are doing the same thing. There is comfort in knowing that.
- The intimate relationships you’ve had; from that very first crush that introduced you to the world of gushy feelings, that made your face get flushed and your heart beat faster, while your feet stuck to the ground and your tongue refused to move; and every relationship you had, no matter how short or long, right up to the partner you chose to spend the rest of your life with. All of them added bits and pieces to your level of comfort or discomfort, intimacy or coldness, you experienced and learned how to react to and behave in intimate relationships.
- Whatever tragedies that were visited upon you and your family, as well as the joyous times you spent together, have had their share of influences on how you automatically think and react with other people, without knowing that it is automatic. Without knowing (like our example above) that it is even there. And not knowing that you don’t know.
- All the books, magazines and newspapers you’ve read, television shows that held you transfixed, travels you’ve undertaken and conversations you’ve had, all added their own bit of stock to the soup of the illusion, not the real you, because the real you was created as love, by love.
- The common denominator is that every one of the influences, the forces that molded and shaped you into who you think you are today, all of them came from the beyond the boundary of your own skin, and none of them have anything to do with creating THE REALITY OF WHO YOU ARE. Only God can do that, and he did not make you according to the recipe of other people, places and things.
- The Goal of the Welcoming Peace Website and Blog is to provide you with the proper tools and support as you learn to search for, find and develop, a brand new thought system. Whether you are or are not addicted to anything, it is a sure bet that you have developed a thought system based on fear and our job is to teach you how to develop a thought process based on love. When you learn how to change your thought process, a world of possibility and opportunity opens up for you, and you will be able to eventually embrace Your Magnificent Self.