Step One: Taking Responsibility
The first step is to take responsibility for one’s own part in any conflict, imbalance, tension, grievance or problem with courage, honesty, and humility, even if one does not feel personally involved in conflict.
Step Two: Asking and Reflecting
The second step is to ask a number of questions, examples are given in ‘my responsibility for peace’.
Step Three: Releasing, surrendering and forgiving
The third step is to understand the power of forgiveness and compassion. By understanding and allowing for forgiveness of oneself and others, including our ancestors and our collective past, we can let go of guilt, shame and fear. We then no longer need to uphold the same grievances from one generation to another. As we forgive others, we forgive ourselves and vice-versa.
Step Four: To understand our authentic selves
The fourth step is to understand the changes we can make in order and speak with our ‘inner’ cohesive authority and thereby helping us to promote harmony and peace in the world.
Step Five: Sharing
The fifth step is to go out and share this healing process with others. Practice in this process can transform ourselves, others and our communities.
We publish this ‘Five Step Peace Process’ with a view to encourage peace, harmony and understanding between peoples of any and all ethnicity, origin, religion or worldview. Importantly, it helps to demonstrate how our collective memories of the past influence our present identities in how we tell and live our lives.
This Process has been presented at many international arenas, including the ‘Healing the Wounds of History’ conference in Nov 2011 in Lebanon, the UNAOC Forum held in Dec 2011 in Doha, Qatar and as part of the Parliament of World Religions’ Webinar series in March 2012.
It was the insight of Alexandra Asseily that has been central to the development of this process. She believes that through individual in-depth reflection and feeling in a safe way, we may then share together, draw on each other’s experience and explore our own responsibility for peace. We may discover which aspects of ourselves are not fully contributing to peace and where these parts originate. We may then understand how best to align them and release the grievances which these parts carry through forgiveness and surrender to the Divine or Great life force. What is normal is the ebb and flow of tensions that form part of a healthy interaction among the life forces, which influence us in this world. Conflict need not be the norm, but the exception. When tensions and fears are rising and conflict may erupt at any moment, we do not need to blame others for our grievances, we can take responsibility for the part we ourselves may have played in the situation.