Peace on Earth? – lighting a candle in the darkness
Christmas is supposed to be a season of Peace on Earth. Are you feeling it right now?
A divided nation
In case you hadn’t noticed, we have an election in the UK this week! I’m not here to share my personal political views, but one thing is certain. Whoever wins and loses, many people will be left feeling upset and angry. Whatever the outcome, I don’t think the country will feel very peaceful on Friday.
I can’t remember a time when families and friends in our country have been so divided by politics. I keep finding myself avoiding certain topics of conversation, even with the people I love the most, for fear of argument and bitterness.
A divided family
In August I was on holiday in Devon with my family. One sunny day we went for a walk together through beautiful countryside beside a river. After lunch, the conversation turned to Brexit. Opinions were sharply divided, and as we walked along the discussions rapidly became heated.
After ten minutes or so, my daughter suddenly said, “Where’s Martha?”. My youngest child who has Down Syndrome was nowhere to be seen.
We all went running back, retracing our route in panic. Martha was soon found safe and sound, standing in a corner and eating her ice cream, waiting for us to remember her.
Forgetting to care
But the moment stayed with me. In our political wranglings, we had all forgotten to look out for the most vulnerable member of our family! How could that be right?
I don’t have an answer to our nation’s current political angst. I don’t have an answer to the wider conflicts of our world.
A candle in the darkness
But I still have hope for peace.
At the weekend I heard someone speaking about how she copes in times of stress and conflict. She said, “I just light a candle, and sit quietly in the darkness, and pray for peace.”
That image spoke to my heart. We can all sit with a candle in the darkness. We can all seek peace, whatever our beliefs, whether through prayer, meditation, or simple quietness. And we can all share that peace with others.
Sharing peace doesn’t have to mean doing anything scary, or persuading others of my point of view. It could be as simple as sending a kind thought or a loving word to someone who needs it. It might be that tiny bit more patience I can muster up for my family. It could be smiling and saying hello to a stranger.
So this week, and hopefully from now until Christmas, I am going to spend at least five minutes each day sitting quietly with a candle. I will sit in quiet and hope and pray for peace.
This will be my tiny contribution to peace in our troubled world and nation. Maybe you would like to do the same?
Meditation for peace
In my Yoga classes this week I will be sharing a simple meditation for peace, sitting together with a lighted candle in the darkness.
I hope and pray that we will all find a little more peace.
May you and your loved ones know peace in your hearts and homes.
Karen Lawrence is a Yoga teacher and Reflexologist in Billericay, Essex, UK. She is mum to seven children, including a beautiful daughter with Downs Syndrome.
You can see more about Karen’s Yoga classes and therapies at www.thecalmspace.co.uk/