Very few of us advocate for violence to resolve conflict or our own inner pain. Even when at our core we stand for peaceful coexistence, certain provocations cause us to discard peaceful methods and resort to violent, vengeful means. We each seem to have our own breaking point. Policymakers have their own line of no return.

Once violence begins, it sets forth a wave of consequences and decisions that create more and more violence and suffering. Violent thoughts and actions create more violence.

Jesus said, “My peace I give to you, not as the world gives….” This lasting peace is not the absence of war or what has been called “negative peace.” It is much more like what Gandhi called “satyagraha” which paraphrased means “soul force.” It is not passive resistance. It is an oath to stand for our shared humanity. Even when faced with violence in our midst or in our hearts, we remember and choose to look into the face of violence and stand for the light in every person and situation.

There are countless historical examples of the power of this practice. You likely have examples in your own life of making the shift from a desire to act in vengeance to feeling our common humanity. It may have been your ex-spouse or former employer or military commander or parent or a violent perpetrator.

This is the right use of power—the soul committing a courageous act of divine proportions. It is a pledge between you and the Divine Presence to willingly free your hell-bent, frightened ego from the grip of fear and anger.

Begin today to get this in your whole being, not just in your intellect. Return to your true source of power inside your deep heart which, in spite of fear, simply chooses to not allow fear and vengeance to dictate your response. Several deep slow breaths into your heart literally shifts your energy in a new direction. This is the beginning of the ebb into peace, but “not as the world gives.”