After a long, brutal winter for many of us, spring seems especially exciting this year. As color returns to the environment and the sun’s warming rays buoy our spirits, thoughts of summer fun and freedom dominate our thinking. Optimism and self-confidence increase as days get longer and survival becomes more manageable. It is truly an opportunity for new beginnings.
However, one new beginning most of us fail to consider might be our most pressing need. We know practically nothing about ourselves and our place in the world. We think we know everything, but even those whose lifetimes are devoted to a study of the human condition are only scratching the surface of our true natures. We are MUCH more than we imagine.
Learning about ourselves is essential. I have often asked people why they behave certain ways, and almost always they have no answers for me. In fact, many don’t observe themselves enough to know what they are doing and why they are doing it. And yet we are quick to judge ourselves and others, as if we know what is proper in each instance.
I can’t count the number of times I have reacted negatively to things I’ve done, only to find out those “mistakes” were actually necessary for the positive result I sought. When we learn more about ourselves, we find ways of forgiving ourselves and accepting results of our actions. And knowing ourselves allows us to forgive and accept others since they are subject to the same confusions.
With all the wars and turf battles occurring around the world, it can seem impossible to create a more peaceful environment. Certainly, if we set a new goal to create world peace, we find it nearly impossible. No one has achieved that up to now, so chances of it happening in the future appear slim.
World peace starts within each one of us. We cannot create world peace if we are battling ourselves and/or those around us for supremacy. But if we create peace within ourselves by finding common ground for our two opposite perspectives, we create a foundation upon which a more expansive peace plan can be accomplished over time. And we set an example others might emulate.
There are major benefits for us besides peace of mind. If our minds are in balance between extremes, we can become more consciously aware on a regular basis. And our health improves since most illnesses are secondary to the stress of imbalances. We can benefit, and our improved balance and peace of mind makes it easier for us to share our uplifting energy with those around us.
Now that’s a new beginning with staying power.
Jack Tuttle is the author of “It’s a Secret, So Pass It On: A Toolbox for Life”