Four distinct peace levels:
Personal Peace: The first and fundamental level of peace.
Communal Peace: The human-to-human level of peace.
Environmental Peace: The human-earth level of peace.
Inter-Peace Zones: The space in between all levels of peace.
The level of Communal Peace is our subject. Preceding deeper discussion on this level, we first address a vital component in the realization of communal peace.
Anxiety conversion. It simply takes practice.
While both fear and anxiety are a danger to our peace, both communal and anima, the predominant state that endangers our peace is anxiety. The problem occurs when we cannot “see” the threatening object. When we face “different” situations, people, cultures, ideas, lands, animals, etc. we may become “anxious”. By remaining in a constant state of “anxiety”, our health is at risk. This condition takes over the endocrine, gastric and central nervous systems when the body remains in a prolonged state of tension. We become lethargic and dysfunctional. This often leads to paranoia and an aggressive or defensive attitude. We avoid escalated darkness when we understand the nature of people reacting negatively towards others, because of the anxiety they feel. We must encounter these “fears”, verbalize the situation, and take the necessary action.
In the state of anxiety, unlike fear, no real object exists for us to fight or flee from. We begin to displace our attack. This displacement is not necessarily rational or justifiable. Nevertheless, it is a major consideration that each of us must address. Anxieties are normal conditions of our daily lives. There are many causes, especially in today’s socioeconomic environment. Many of these anxieties are the neurotic manifestations of childhood, dysfunctional relationships, or poor life management skills. Given that anxieties threaten both the anima and communal peace, we must find ways to eliminate these conditions. To eliminate them, we must first recognize that there is the potential for these conditions to exist without our being aware of them. Self-examination of our behavior and our inner peace are starting points. In addition, the irrational attitude towards others is a warning signal for us to evaluate our situation.
Unfortunately, anxiety is not something that we solve and assume it remains solved for the rest of our life. Anxiety is a constant in our life. It is something that we cannot avoid. Ultimately, our reaction to a condition determines our ability to gain control and to minimize the impact. Anxiety is also not always a single event that you can deal with. There are times when it seems like the entire world is working against you. A hailstorm of anxiety comes in rapid succession. Just when you begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is simply another train. I recently experienced this sensation where I felt that it would never end. The succession of trains could transport the entire population of New York City. Therefore, it will always become an issue. What I can promise is that as we learn how to deal with anxieties, the more skills we possess. Practice, practice, practice. In my most recent trip of stress, I was able to deal with the situations, remain functional, and ultimately overcome the numerous threats. While we cannot avoid anxieties, we are able to control their impact. It simply takes practice.
The key point is to objectify the threat. This allows us to work with the situation and decide on a plan of action. As long as the plan has a basis in reality, it does not matter whether it will work, should the event transpire. By objectifying the threat and then working out a plan to deal with the threat, we gain a sense of hope. It is this “hope” that allows us to continue what we are doing. Hope gives us the assurance that tomorrow will be okay; that we can expect to live in a better world. In an example of the “worst case scenario”, the repeat step is to consider the positive aspects of the situation. What would we do if the job did not hinder us? How would you live your life? What details could you address that you are not able to spend time on today. This is the classic “retirement” projection.
These steps allow us to take a threatening situation and transform the danger into an opportunity. “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”.
Therefore, when faced with anxiety we must:
- Determine the real threat presented by the situation.
- Objectify the threat into something you can deal with.
- Buy time, by establishing a sense of hope.
- Look for the opportunities that could emanate from the change.