If you want peace, peace in your personal life, then make peace within yourself. When you are feeling intensely tense, it is your tension. This and that may be assaulting your mind and impacting you, yet your mind is confronting you with something within you. Your mind, at such times, is not presenting you with love. In flashing red lights with a loud siren, your mind is saying to you: “Alert, alert, alert, problem in front of you. Big problem in front of you.”
When your mind says Alert! Alert! Alert!, your mind is saying: “Tense up! Tense up! Tense up!” Your mind is telling you, “Danger ahead! Danger ahead! Danger ahead!” And so, your mind tells you to watch out for what is outside you. Your mind doesn’t want you to accept what you are bringing to the table.
I keep saying your mind, and, yet, who is it that invites your mind to parry the real issues that are, ultimately, yours? Yes, you are. Of course, there are degrees of this. If someone holds a gun on you, there is not too much inner work you can fit in at the moment. The threat is right there outside you. And yet, and yet, no matter how innocent you may be, this is your responsibility now. For the sake of argument, let us skip that sort of emergency and talk about patterns of response that you are quick to choose and are of your making, these little triggers from outside that set you off.
We can call one general response that of victim, innocent victim. So and so doesn’t understand you, and you fume or you pout.
Beloveds, when have you understood yourself? Whatever the intentions of another may be, he or she is pointing you towards greater awareness even on a very basic human level, perhaps one you thought you were beyond. He is helping you learn what you may need to do in order to be better understood. Perhaps you have been sweeping yourself under the carpet. You really can’t fault another person for your own sweeping. Perhaps you have been erasing yourself for one habitual reason or another. Your issue isn’t what someone else said or did or didn’t say or didn’t do. Your issue may well be what you didn’t say or didn’t do. You may be the perpetrator.
If you are a victim, you may well have neglected and rejected yourself. You may have put a big V for victim on your back.
You do understand what I am saying, don’t you?
You have spotted this in other people. Whatever the manifestations of their difficulties, you can see that the difficulty is theirs and not the innumerable people who present it to them. Habits of a lifetime have to be made right, and you, whoever you may be, are the one who has to make the habits of thought right. At the same time, don’t be too hard on yourself. You aren’t a bad guy. There is no bad guy. There is you learning and growing in life. And there are steps that are hard for you to take. They are hard for you to even look at and are hard for other people to understand.
When you are all tensed up, you are not breathing. You are freezing yourself up, and you become brittle. So take a step back and breathe.
You can know that whatever is going on does not have to continue this way and that you are the solver or resolver of it. There is something within you that is bothering you. You are taking responsibility now, and you can begin to see something you have lived with for a long time. Now you begin to see what is really going on. Could it be your habit of swallowing what you feel and, therefore, swallowing that which is really bothering you? When you can see where the smoke is coming from, then you can put out the fire.