Empower Yourself to Choose Peace

Meet John DennisonEverywhere we turn life demands we make choices. The problem is, no one ever teaches us how to make them, much less expands the pool of possibilities we can choose from.

Though we ostensibly live in a world where we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, apparently few take it seriously.

Because going our own way isn't easy. Everyone around us is always trying to influence us, telling us what to do, how to do it, what to think, where to go, and just about anything else that pops into their minds.

Then again, we're probably doing the same to them.

No wonder individual choice, and the responsibility that goes with it, is a pipedream. Ours is a world based on conflict and control. And the name of the game is to assert our wills to get and do what we want.The challenge for us all is to navigate that minefield and still create lives that serve us.

It's not easy. I know. I come from a profession built on conflict, where everyone is fighting to get their way.

But the more I worked within that arena, the more I realized that while it might bring victory, it doesn't bring peace. Maybe an uneasy outer peace that serves the needs of society to keep the bloodshed off the streets, but not a fulfilling, lasting peace that seeps deep into the soul of all involved.

As I worked within it, I learned that any solution required we first dissipate the energies of conflict at work beneath the surface. Thoughts, emotions, and especially self-interest ran rampant and had to be carefully managed if even a semblance of peace was to be restored. And behind it all, an effort to impose one's will upon the battle reigned supreme.

That didn't work for me. That's why I don't fight those fights any more.

Because I could see the value in each side's perspectives, as well as the lawyers, judges, experts and others involved. All carefully twisted and turned away from blind justice to advancing their own views and biases upon the situation.

And their perception of their own self-interest was the one that ruled them all, guiding their actions and influencing their choices.

Who was I to say they were wrong skewing the facts or law to suit their needs? It was, after all, their own life they were living, and who better to make that interpretation as to what affected them but them?

Maybe somewhere along the line a switch was thrown in me. Then again, I've been this way my whole life. I try not to tell people what to do. I don't make decisions for those who are able to make them for themselves, either, even when they've given me the power to do so.

If you're truly intent on having peace in your own life, I don't recommend you do it, either. Because if you do, you'll simply be perpetuating a culture of conflict that pervades our society -- not to mention invite others to do it to you.

But it takes a degree of consciousness and will power NOT to use ones will to blaze a trail through life, one that most people can't muster -- and don't want to. That's because they want to get their way, and they're willing to do just about anything they can to get it.

Being at peace, though, trumps self-interest. Or should I say, is the ultimate act of selfishness. Because it says we value it above all else, even the avoidance of our fears or attainment of our desires.

The desire to advance our own self-interest and willingness to do so is, in a very real sense, an addiction -- to desire, to will, and to the self-satisfaction of getting our way. And just like any addiction, it steals our peace.

The ways of will and desire are not the only path through life, especially not the way to peace. They are just they only way we know.

If you really want peace, you need to choose another way. And live your life accordingly.

It all boils down to how you exercise your power of choice, and what you use it for.

For years people sought my advice and asked me to handle their affairs. I guess they just trusted me, and I did my best to live up to that trust by empowering them to exercise their free will and assume the responsibility that went along with it.

Now they are trusting me to help them find solutions to the problems turning their lives upside down, and pushing our world closer to the brink of destruction.

Maybe I can help you do it, too.

You see, my thing is helping people create peace -- in their lives, and in the affairs of our world. And there can be no peace where the sovereignty of the soul is subjugated to the will of another.

It all starts with a choice. How do you make yours? What do you use them for?

If peace is your goal and you haven't yet found it, you may want to choose another way.

God bless you indeed.