Long bouts of unusually cold temperatures have been felt across Europe this winter.
Some countries are better prepared than others because it is a more usual occurrence
but even so this has been the coldest winter I've experienced since moving to
Finland 7 winters ago.
The thing about walking in temperatures of minus 20 and lower is that you do become accustomed to it within a few days. I've read that a layer of fat is laid down under the skin on your face to help insulate you.....better than a botox injection any day!
What struck me was how hot and stuffy I felt when the temperature rose back to a mere minus 4 degrees after a week. It made me realise just how relative our experiences are and how differently things appear depending on your perspective.
Fairly obviously I'll feel cold in minus 4 if I've just arrived from a tropical island and equally obviously I'll feel warm in minus 4 if I've just arrived from the North Pole. Problems only arise when we try to label certain temperatures as absolutes with no reference to context or perspective.
Life in the East looks completely different and therefore weird to some Westerners and equally life in the West appears to be different and therefore bizarre to some
Easterners. The fact that they are different is natural and wonderful and if we would place ourselves into the different culture and experience the totality of the experience suddenly the reasons for the differences become understandable and usually fairly obvious.
Those who decide differences are unacceptable and must be eliminated have given into fear. They fear losing their comfortable world by the appearance of something which doesn't fit into their beliefs. Instead of widening their beliefs to incorporate something different under the same umbrella, to those living under the mantle of fear it seems the only option is elimination.
We all do this on a daily basis with our individual thoughts and processes, noting something new which doesn't fit our image of how the world should be and trying to eliminate it by denial or deletion.
Angry thoughts didn't fit my old mind image of perfection therefore any such anger rising to mind would be stifled and hidden away, dismissed as unacceptable. Hiding away all those unacceptable thoughts and emotions never once brought me any closer to my perfect image of security and peace and ultimately created such a pool of toxic poison inside me that my health was depleted and cancer manifested.
Trying to create peace and love by eliminating anything different or unacceptable never works. All time and effort is spent on policing thoughts (or countries) to ensure
only acceptable ones are consciously acknowledged whilst stuffing the rest out of sight with dozens of defences over the top to ensure nobody knows they are there. That doesn't create peace it creates exhaustion! Painting an image of peace and security only creates an image of peace and security!
After my cancer I came to recognise peace and security come by embracing our differences, noticing what makes us uncomfortable and exploring the real reasons behind our discomfort. Instead of trying to eliminate anything which makes us uncomfortable why not explore it to understand why it is there.
Instead of two people fighting over whether minus 4 degrees is warm or cold why not both expand their limited perspectives to include a wider view wherein the possibility of viewing minus 4 degrees as something different is allowed to be present. The perceived need for fighting vanishes, nobody had lost anything or given anything away and we are left with two people with enhanced views of the bigger picture thereby allowing them both the possibility of recognising yet more truth about life.
Unification leads to peace just as peace leads to unification because we all have a single purpose........to recognise and accept all parts as pieces of the whole.
Each time something seemingly unacceptable arose in my life my aim became understanding it until I could find its place in my view of the bigger picture even if it meant expanding my bigger picture out into hazy places I wasn't completely sure of.
Eventually I recognised I didn't even need to understand their place intellectually because I recognised all things as part of the whole and therefore ultimately part of me.
With my human mind the task of understanding all things and recognising their part within the whole appears onerous yet I can easily accept and respect the notion that if something appears in my space time then it is just another piece of the whole whether I recognise it or not. As such it is exceptionally easy to be accepting of all things. Now that is peace.