Kabir says, “When deep inside you there is a loaded gun, how can you have God?” Kabir appears to be reminding us that our relationship with the divine is dependent upon living with diminished inner violence. As one who desires to make peace, you are asked to become acquainted with your gun, the one pointed at you.

Feel your finger on the trigger. It’s been there in so many ways. You might ask, “Where does this gun come from?” Well, maybe your father handed it to you when you did not throw a ball the way he expected. Or your mother dispensed a weapon as she shamed the way you wore your hair. There may even have been some comfort in knowing that you and your parent carried the same gun.

From that time on, your trigger finger may tightened any time you made a mistake. Of course, there’s taking aim any time someone is angry or disappointed with you. And then there’s some defeat not to be tolerated and the trigger of shame tightens. There’s all the necessary fumblings of relationships: too close, too far, giving too much, not giving enough, forgetting what the other deems important to remember, not being honest, being too honest, etc. Avoidance becomes so attractive after we advance numerous warnings and shake the gun in our direction.

Sometimes, the violence is a way to get you ready, a bogus form of motivation. It’s like getting pistol-whipped in the form of pressure and threat. You’ll feel it as your jaw grips, shoulders rise, neck tightens and breath becomes more shallow. Yes, pressure to get life right, and pressure to look good and be impressive. Such pressure is violent.

The way of the Peacemaker is to come to know your gun and the myriad of threats issued. That is the requirement for a genuine armistice. And then, the interventions, one at a time. You see the shame gun drawn and you say, “Put it away.” First, of course, you must be willing to see the potential violence.

Peace doesn’t come easy as you’ve likely acquired a series of euphemisms as a way to describe how combative you’ve lived. Yes, you’ve become comfortable with descriptions more genteel, such as motivation, ambition, determination and enthusiasm. It may take a while before you can fully admit how much inner hostility you’ve live with. It’s not easy to become a pacifist in your own body.

It will help if you’re willing to interrupt an adversarial relationship with the present. Peace comes more easily when you stop pushing yourself to what is next. Slow down. You will become increasingly aware of how much is out of your control and how demanding you’ve been with yourself to control what is not controllable.

The Peace-maker moves slowly. Peace comes in the release of what you have no power over. Your breath deepens, jaw loosens and you see more beauty and experience more gratitude. You live now, in a trustworthy armistice. As hostilities are suspended you no longer need to depend upon some outside resource to have God. The light of the divine lives in you, you the Peacemaker.

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