Recently I had a conversation with a friend about "feeling at peace". It made me contemplate when do we really "feel at peace". Many of us are exploring ways towards a more zen state in life and yet it appears that many are also living with a "false sense of peace". I am curious what it evokes with the reader, listener or viewer when they hear that phrase?
Let us look at the difference between truly feeling at peace and keeping ourselves in a state of false sense of peace. The brain does not know the difference whether we are imagining or truly feeling it. You might then ask, so why not approach it with "fake it till you make it" and if the brain does not know the difference then "wonderful", peace is peace! Sounds good, doesn't it? Indeed this can be a helpful way. Yet that only works as long as we artificially try and keep ourselves let's say "out of trouble". We can do that for quite some time but eventually it will catch up with us.
A few months ago I looked at the so called inner "saboteurs". Maybe the saboteur "avoider" supports the "false sense of peace" as we don't have to confront a situation and maybe deal with the consequences. We avoid communicating under the disguise of "I can't control" for example. By now we all know, it is not about control. It is about communicating our feelings, emotions, thoughts, desires, wants and needs!
The Tamalpa life arts process uses five steps to look at a topic: identify, confront, release, change and growth. It is pretty logical and we could say simple to follow. Well, for some people the first step might already be a challenge. Why? Identifying means that we have to look a bit more closely at a situation, a pattern, ourselves, somebody else. For many people it is easier to either blame somebody else or pretend that everything is alright and actually be in flight or freeze mode.
I agree with the statement: "I can't control what this or that person does". However, what I can control is how I show up or communicate with that person. There is a difference between attempting to control a situation or people and simply communicating our thoughts or feelings. At times we might also keep quiet to keep the peace. We might have learned in our lives that speaking our truth might result in punishment, rejection or other consequences. We don't need to confront everything in our lives but if boundaries are being overstepped it is important to ask ourselves: Am I keeping quiet and holding up a false sense of peace while telling myself I don't have any control for the right reasons? Well, we do have control over how we behave or communicate in certain situations and with people.
I have also encountered in particular with narcissistic personalities that they have mastered to portray other people as the mean or angry ones because they themselves play the victim or the charmer. They make jokes, the might be the constant entertainer (centre stage), they seem fun and open-minded. Yet if we start digging a bit deeper we see the deception that is happening. They have mastered the skill of fooling people around them. Often they might appear to be placid and maybe even well-mannered and they might not display emotions yet they can be highly manipulative because they are not displaying emotions. This might be just one type - a covert narcissist compared to an overt narcissist. In certain situations the covert might turn into an overt narcissist, in particular when his/her manipulative and controlling behaviours are no longer working. The underlying root cause of narcissistic behaviour might be an inferiority complex. They might have also had narcissistic parents and learned that type of behaviour. Often empathic people are like a magnet to narcissistic people. Co-dependencies can be created and it can take years to recognise abusive patterns. It might take years to heal from a relationship with a narcissist. Narcissists need very clear boundaries.
In general masks are worn and don't get me wrong. We all wear masks, not just the COVID ones. We use those as well to protect ourselves in certain ways or - keep a false sense of peace. Try drawing or painting a mask / unmask picture for yourself and see how different they will be.
We also see that on our political world stage. We have countless examples of people that have been portrayed as the "bad ones" used as an excuse to overthrow governments and thus destabilise regions or gain influence in those countries - for whatever motives. A lot of those let's call them politicians who are doing "humanitarian intervention" might have a completely different aim. To recognise that form of deception and manipulation we really need to ask a lot of questions. We as citizens of the world approve their excuse for abuse. It just needs to be sold to us as an intention to create "world peace".
Narcissistic parents can be particularly challenging when it involves children or divorce. In case of divorce they might treat the other parent with disrespect and emotionally abusive behaviour and never take responsibility for their actions.
Children want to be at peace with their parents and they want peace between their parents. Yet if it means that "keeping the peace" actually harms somebody in the process, whether it is one parent or the children, then we have to look at it again. The aim is to get to the point of "truly being at peace". This might be a longer journey, with conflicts, confrontations, releases but ultimately also healing. The longer we keep ourselves in the state of a false sense of peace the tougher the confrontations might become as the build up lasted longer. An explosion and eruption might be the consequence. Again, we tend to witness that on the world stage as well.
Communication can also happen in peaceful ways. It does not mean that when we communicate our thoughts and feelings about something that disturbs us that we have to do so in an angry manner. It is important however to be clear and honest in our communications.
Let us also look at various emotions. Anger is a healthy emotion. It can be used in constructive and destructive ways. If we use it in a constructive way it can bring movement and healthy change and within that process it might be a destructive force for unhealthy behavioural patterns or toxic relationships. Suppressed anger will at some point result in rage or depression. One of my Tamalpa teachers used to say that depression is aggression turned inwards.
Our children, and even adults, need to learn to clearly express when boundaries have been overstepped or abusive and manipulative behaviour is displayed. The majority of adults have often very little awareness themselves around that topic.
What if keeping that false sense of peace harms us, our children or others long-term? What if we are looking away when abuse is happening for fear to rock the boat? What if our children or we are actually suffering on a deeper level when we keep up that false sense of peace?
Peace is in the nature of every human being. Yet over time wars unfolded for various reasons. Sometimes they were started to invade and other times to protect from narcissistic personality disorders.
Every single one of us has a different reality, a different life and different experiences. I have had experiences in life when I was not taken seriously and people would majorly overstep their boundaries because I made attempts to keep the peace. I was avoiding conflict. I discovered over time that sometimes an earthquake was needed as a wake up call. One of my favourite quotes is still "stars collide and new worlds are created" by Charlie Chaplin. Simply for the reason that I have experienced that sometimes a collision can be a wake up call, change directions etc but also because it helps lose the fear to confront unhealthy situations, patterns or relationships / people.
Where in your life are you harnessing a false sense of peace? Are you expressing your emotions in a healthy and constructive manner or are you keeping them suppressed and harming your physical, emotional and mental well-being? Are you allowing your saboteur "avoider" to stay "out of trouble" for the sake of a false sense of peace?
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