Greetings Beautiful Souls,
Imagine that in the picture above I am instead coming to you waiving the white flag of surrender with one hand. With my other hand I am reaching out for your grasp. We are both witness to and combatants in a dehumanizing war that has far too many casualties. This war was has exacted an ever-mounting toll of collateral damage. The war I speak of has a frontline that is so close to home that it has terrorized our daily existence and even plagued us in our sleep. This is the Epic Mental War on Ourselves (EMWO). For too long, we have been our own worst enemy. Now is the time to lay down the weapons of self-judgment, loathing, doubt, and denial. This is a proposal for peace. I hope that you will adopt it along with me.
In the name the goodness of humanity and in furtherance of the divine, we, the signatories to this Personal Peace Accord, gather in mind and spirit to bring an end to the pernicious and destructive EMWO we have been waging against our own selves. We seek inner peace and personal enlightenment. Far too often, we have attacked ourselves with negative thoughts and beliefs about our worthiness, capabilities, limitations, attractiveness, and will to overcome adversity. These EMWO thought bombs have destroyed our confidence, causing us to live in a perpetual state of fear, anxiety, suffering, and despair. We have tried to flee from the battle field, at times going AWOL to chase escapist fantasies, but addictions to drugs, alcohol, mindless living, sex, shopping, the Internet, popular culture, and delusions only offer temporary reprieve. The fever pitch rises higher each day as the collective of humanity is subjected to all manner of torture and savagery as our own respective EMWO prisoners of war. This EMWO threatens to destroy each of us, but conscious minds are intervening. The time for peace is now.
We recognize the divinity within ourselves. Each of us is a beautifully perfect manifestation of divine love and creative expression. In those rare moments when we truly reflect on the miracle of our existence, we connect with our divine nature. We do not have to do anything to prove or harness our divinity; we access this awesome status by just existing. As divine beings, we have an obligation to cherish, enhance, appreciate, and love ourselves.
We take time out to reflect on our divinity as often as possible so that we remember to carry ourselves accordingly. We live our lives so as to salute our divinity each day.
We refrain from personal attacks and self-doubt. Negative thoughts about ourselves limit our ability to experience personal growth and accomplish meaningful feats. They are the self-erected hurdles we must remove, sidestep, or overcome on our paths to happiness and success. When left unaddressed, these thoughts morph into emotional IEDs, penetrating far beyond the folds of our minds into our manifested lives. When we allow ourselves to think we are not good enough, lack a desired resource, or things never go our way, we have invested in their truth. We will no longer be wounded by the friendly fire of self-criticism in this war of words.
We earnestly commit to using counterintelligence to scope out negative thoughts as they arise. As we thoughtfully combat them with self-affirming statements, belief in our goodness and ongoing transformation, and remembrance of great things we have done in the past, they will cower in the face of our emotional war paint, growing confidence.
We love ourselves unconditionally. Too often, we have conditioned our self-love on our ability to behave and be perceived in ways which are pleasing. True love is not a currency exchanged for good behavior and beauty. Love is a continual state of attraction to something cherished. We deserve our love all the time and without reservation.
This ceasefire releases our loving nature from the POW status it has been detained in. We are now free to drop love bombs on ourselves no matter if we are entirely pleased with how we are at any moment in time. We give ourselves the love we desire- speaking kindly to, touching tenderly, gifting, adoring, encouraging, and protecting ourselves. As a result, we enhance all that is lovely and lovable about ourselves. Love heals our war wounds.
We care for and enrich ourselves. At times we have withheld enjoyable or enriching activities and gestures from ourselves, effectively creating an embargo on wellness and good times. Now we recognize and repeal the pernicious effect of these sanctions. Self-care and personal enhancement through fun, beneficial, and/or educational experiences is key to a happy life.
Each day, we accept the things we cannot change and improve the elements of our lives we struggle to accept. We nourish ourselves with healthy food and drink, and lovingly treat our bodies to exercise and beautifying treatments. We enrich our minds with stimulating reads, music, and other media. We embrace only beneficial relationships. We lovingly challenge ourselves to equally pursue excellence and experimentation in our endeavors. We do the things we know will bring us joy.
We seek enlightenment. If we look to only our everyday reality for understanding, the battlefield is omnipresent. Through our eyes and basic thoughts, we know that we are full of unfulfilled desires and physical and emotional war wounds. But in the darkness of our immediate experiences lies hidden from our vision the true purpose of our lives. Enlightenment is like the most advanced night vision goggles. It allows you to see and understand any terrain life places before you with clarity.
We are seeking enlightenment in each moment. We know that at first we are most able to receive it when we are quiet and still, so we meditate, pray, and zone out frequently. We humble ourselves to hear the wisdom of our elders, the youth, nature, history, art, religion, and inspiration of all manner. We merge our understanding with that of the creative force that birthed us such that we know the fundamental principles which govern life. We make every element of our life a spiritual practice.
We embrace uncertainty. Life is uncertain, but your contentment need not be. So many people mistakenly believe that you must worry whenever the future is unclear. All that worry does is guarantee that you will not enjoy the present moment.
We acknowledge the impermanence of all things and embrace the creative opportunities that uncertainty presents to us. We know that everything is working towards a greater good.
All is forgiven. Harboring anger, hurt, and resentment only harms one person: you. We all are on our own journeys to come into a better understanding of our purpose on this Earth, and the people who are close enough to harm us are important co-creators of our own special destiny. We must appreciate the transformation that pain unlocks within us. This is even more the case when we have been at war with ourselves. If you do not forgive yourself for the mistakes you made in your past, then you will forever be on the warpath.
We forgive ourselves. We release the pain that darkens our open and kind hearts. We live life with the airy glory of a peace dove.
***Thank you for reading this post. I hope that you will embrace the terms of this Personal Peace Accord and share it with your loved ones (easy share buttons are below!). It is said that to prepare for peace you must get ready for war. I'd love to hear your positive "war stories." Please tweet me the ways that you have embraced personal peace in your daily life with the hashtag #TheAshleyWay. If you aren't on Twitter, please leave your war stories in the comments below.
Happy New Year!
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