Heal yourself, heal the world

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love …” The world still needs love — nothing has changed except for the name of the most recent war.

by Kimberly Kingsley —

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love …” As a young girl, this used to be my favorite song. I could feel the truth of it as I sang along in music class. The world still needs love — nothing has changed except for the name of the most recent war. The current social climate mirrors the late 1960s when my classmates and I innocently sang about love. Just as in the ‘60s, more and more of us are starting to stand up for peace.

Several years ago at a Mother’s Day brunch, my father asked, “Kimberly, what do we need to do to achieve world peace?” My response to that question even surprised myself. I blurted out something like, “Stop bashing George Bush.” Like now, there was a lot of political disagreement in the air, and my parents were not shy about expressing their views.

I had never thought of my folks as capable of perpetuating conflict in the world, since they are among the most loving and selfless people I have ever known. But at some level I knew that having such strong contempt for anyone feeds division, no matter which side you are on.

I went on to describe how inner conflict and division manifests in the world as outer conflict and division. Each one of us experiencing true inner peace is an open portal for love and light to flow into the world. Strong emotional rejection of self or others is an indication of a split psyche, and love cannot flow through a mind at war with itself.

The fact that I had never thought of my parents or myself as part of the problem is the problem. We all see the source of conflict as out “there.” Recently at a workshop on this very subject, the group began talking about different political figures whom they see as the problem. They had to be gently reminded that, while their beliefs are valid and opinions important, thinking in terms of “us” and “them” projects division and not peace.

Life is pro-creation: in favor of extending itself. It is not personal, but the universal principle at the basis of our existence. Life extends itself through all living things. Pollination and procreation of humans and animals illustrate the most physical form of procreation. But in reality every genuine expression of spirit is a form of procreation.

Every word that you speak, every piece of art created, every dish washed with love is energy moving outward, extending on and on. This is the meaning of life — for it to extend itself. If procreation was not the most fundamental purpose of life, we would not be here.

Action is not required for life to extend itself — a clear vessel is, however. Have you ever noticed people so full of life that you want to ask them, “What is your secret? How did you become so radiant?”

Their secret is inner peace. They may not be doing anything except sitting in a chair or walking down the street — but you can sense the life flowing through them. You may even feel like sitting or standing next to them just to soak in some of the energy they radiate.

We are nourished at the deepest level by the life or spiritual energy that extends through us. Think of a river running through the desert; the river bank is lined with trees. Sometimes you cannot even see the river, but you know it is there because of the greenery surrounding it.

The same is true with spiritual self-expression; our physical bodies and surroundings are fed by the flow of our spiritual essence. If it is blocked, we do not get nourished — period. Many people feel cut off from their inner source of spiritual energy and are in need of a nourished soul to stand next to — an oasis in the desert — until they can connect to their own inner well.

The message is simple: Heal yourself, heal the world. We do not need to do the work of Mother Teresa in order to do our part. We need only be at peace within.

Inner peace is experienced when we are able to see the unity underneath the apparent differences. The price of socialization is partial self-rejection. Every one of us, at some point, feels the need to push a piece of ourselves underground into the basement of our psyche.

Perhaps it is an emotion that is too overwhelming to process or maybe a part of your personality that seems unacceptable to you, your mother or a teacher. Regardless of the specific landscape of our individual psyches, anything buried leads to a split that is ultimately projected and played out in the world as conflict.

A whole, integrated psyche is necessary to project peace instead of conflict. This is a grassroots solution addressing the cause and not the effect. Self-acceptance becomes the first step toward lasting world peace. Every buried feeling, eccentricity and desire must be viewed through the eyes of nonjudgment. As we do this for ourselves, we do this for each other.

One by one, we see the beauty and love at the core of each of our brothers and sisters. We begin to compassionately see others’ hate as an extension of personal self-rejection. Compassion for self and others is a natural extension of reclaiming long-forgotten pieces of oneself. As we mend our own internal split, we become clear, strong vessels capable of pouring tremendous amounts of nourishing life energy into a starving world.

This leads to our ultimate goal and challenge of being and teaching peace.


Kimberly Kingsley is an energy coach and the author of Portals of Peace: A Path to Inner Peace and a Healed World and The Energy Cure: How to Recharge Your Life 30 Seconds at a Time. www.kimberlykingsley.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 3, June/July 2010.

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