I recently read about an incident on the Big Island in which a man fired upon a van carrying some small children! I was horrified to read this even though my horror was a bit tempered by later finding out that the man was actually firing upon a dog that he was convinced was killing his chickens, when the van came into the line-of-fire. Despite this incident one aspect of Hawaiian culture that speaks to me is the understanding that we must live in harmony with the environment and with one another. This is no small task in today’s contentious and litigious Mainland culture which is no less endangering to Hawaiʻi than the moths, frogs and bugs that manage to sneak onto the islands by one means or another. This concept of “living in harmony with” is not just in regard to exterior realities. In fact unless we learn to live in harmony with our own inner life we will be unable to do so with the world and the people around ourselves.
There are so many ways in which we work against a sense of peacefulness within ourselves, ways in which we deliberately distract ourselves from our inner life and its demand for a mature compliance. In trying to guard ourselves against feeling loss we fill our inner void with things, routines and an unbalanced emphasis on “feeling good.” At the same time we somehow think there are no consequences to indulging in making ourselves feel better… until we make a wreck of our next relationship with little understanding of how we got there! We yearn for peace and at the same time we neglect the work of becoming peaceful. What we fail to understand is that peace cannot be bestowed upon us like a new suit or a beautiful dress. It must be deliberately generated from within us. But how to do that?
We could begin with consistently focusing on the phrase “It is enough.” This phrase implies an acceptance of what is happening as well as gratitude and respect to the Divine for being alive yet one more day. In my own life I have used this phrase somewhat like a mantra, a phrase to pull my awareness back to what is important especially when I am in the midst of stress. “It is enough” is rooted in a sense of gratitude. It is so easy for us to forget to be grateful and that lack of gratitude is at the root of our discontent! I am convinced that the lack of gratitude manifests disrespect toward the Divine. If we are to live in harmony with the Divine then we must live in harmony with others and the world in which we are. All of this begins inside ourselves with our remembering to grow a mindset of peacefulness… expressed by the phrase “It is enough.”