“Let there be peace on earth. And let it begin with me. Let there be peace on earth. The peace that was meant to be. With god as our father. Brothers all are we. Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.” ~Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy MillerTweet
I was about 12 years old when I not only first heard the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” but also sang it in a grade-school choir. I vividly recall the auditorium in which about 60 of us stood together like packed sardines upon the bleachers. And most importantly, the feelings I experienced while singing this song. (I know we sang other songs, too, but I have no recollection whatsoever of any of them.) While singing the lyrics and listening to the melody, I felt an incredible sense of calmness and “magic.” “Wow, I am feeling pure peace. It is so magical,” I silently claimed to myself.
I looked around at the other children and wondered if they were feeling the same thing as me. The whole experience was surreal. As if, I was in a different place and time was standing still. I remember sorely wanting to sing the song louder and louder above the other children. Simply because I was so excited about what I was feeling and completely convinced that “peace began with me.”
Peace Begins with Me
Now realize, I was probably the shiest child in the whole school. As a result, the last thing I ever wanted was to bring attention to myself. So wanting to sing louder than the other children was completely out of character. “This song needs to be heard; really, really heard,” I thought. I knew deep from the bottom of my heart that I was singing truth – peace did begin with me. And I most certainly wanted this magical, peaceful feeling to never go away.
Once back in the classroom, I sat at my desk watching Mrs. Elliot (my least favorite teacher, by the way) put math problems on the chalkboard wishing I could stay in these magical, peaceful feelings forever. I thought, “If I could just sing this song all the time, these wonderful feelings would never go away.” Alas, over the years, I did quit singing the song. In fact, I forgot the song altogether and peace seemingly left me for many reasons.
As a ‘mature’ adult (whatever that means), I now frequently experience peaceful feelings and deep profound peace in many of my meditations or simply strolling through nature, just as I did in choir at age 12. So what does it mean to me today, “peace begins with me?” I think it means the exact same thing as it did for me at age 12, and… “it needs to be heard; really, really heard.”
To have “peace on earth” we must be at peace within ourselves. Only then, will we have peace with others. Only then, will we have peace on earth. Until we quit being at war within ourselves with negative beliefs and thoughts (ego) being the ammunition, we will never experience peace outside of ourselves. If not enough of us are feeling peace within and outside of ourselves, how will we ever have peace on earth? And may I ask this a little louder: IF NOT ENOUGH OF US ARE FEELING PEACE WITHIN AND OUTSIDE OF OURSELVES, HOW WILL WE EVER HAVE PEACE ON EARTH?
Love is the way to peace and they are both as close to you as your very breath. Figuratively and literally speaking.
Since ancient times the breath has been equated with spirit. The German word for breathing (Atmen) is derived from the ancient Indian (Sanskrit) word Atman, meaning the indwelling divine spirit of God. Also the Greek word pneuma (from which English gets “pneumatic”) means both breath and spirit. God is love. Your very breath (spirit) is God loving you – breathe deeply!
Take time to be still and silent, and – breathe deeply! Periodically during the day stop and – breathe deeply! Allow your breath, God’s love, to permeate every cell of your body. Allow your breath, God’s love, to wash away all negative beliefs or thoughts that generate war within yourself. No thought is worth robbing your peace. If you are thinking or feeling negatively about yourself, you are naturally doing so about others – it’s a given. If forgiveness is in order, then forgive; including yourself.
Love and peace are as close as your very breath. Breathe deeply…It is God loving you. Peace does begin with me. I know it now as passionately as I did at 12 years old…
“Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With god as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.”
Copyright, Denna J. Shelton, 2020
“Soul’s Journey to Self Love” eBook, chock full of meditations and affirmations, is now available for download. It will journey you to more peace, joy, harmony and most importantly – to love – love of yourself and others. Check it out!