Peace, love, light and backstabbing

Let me start by being clear that I take no issue with anyone who is drawn towards peace, love or light. These are all good things. Looking back, I see that many of the people I’ve really struggled with have been all about presenting with peace, love and light. The trouble with this approach is that it doesn’t give you any space to deal with difficult feelings or conflicts. What happens then seems to come out sidewise.

If you can be honestly cross, upset, frustrated, envious or anything else that isn’t lovely, then you can deal with life. It may be tempting to want to be some kind of higher, enlightened being that feels none of those ‘negative’ emotions, but that’s not realistic. Also, those emotions are there for a reason. There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of them. They are there to protect us and help us learn. Try and suppress those feelings, and you won’t be a better person, you’ll be a person with a problem shadow side whose repressed aspects keep trying to pop out.

It is, without a doubt, better to acknowledge what you’re feeling, however awkward it is, and then deal with it from there. Ignoring the difficult stuff just builds you a bigger problem.

If you buy into the idea that you are, and have to be, an utterly lovely person, you put enormous pressure on yourself. If that slips for even a moment, you have to justify the slip. You may be tempted to figure out how it’s all someone else’s fault – so that you don’t have to own it or feel responsible. This is how we get from peace, love and light, to backstabbing.

If you can’t own your own feelings and have to make someone else responsible for them, of course you give away power. You make it harder to change. You distort your own reality so that your anger is their anger, your resentment is their unfairness. Your jealousy is their manipulative and power hungry behaviour. If you’ve done a good job of your peace-love-light image, the people around you may support you in this rather than help you recognise what’s going on, and for the longer term, that just helps you dig yourself into a deeper hole.

With the benefit of distance, it’s a pretty horrible thing to have seen a person do to themselves.

Looking back, I’ve taken some emotional bruises from people who’ve acted this way. But, I learned and adapted and moved away from those interactions. I was able to acknowledge and deal with my own feelings about those situations. I can feel sad, or cross, or angry, or bitter or resentful without compromising my sense of self, and that’s a great help to me. I can recognise when I’ve been crap, inadequate, or just plain wrong. I’m able to have a realistic relationship with my own experiences. All of the good relationships I have allow me this.

I don’t know what happened to the people who got angry with me but couldn’t own what was going on for them. It’s been easy to let them go and step away. I know from periods in my life where I’ve not been free to express and deal with my own feelings (pain, fear, grief, shock) that it is really expensive. If you can’t live your truth, everything is distorted around that and it becomes exhausting. If they’re lucky, my absence freed them from that, at least with regards to me.

The thing about peace, love and light is that you can only really make them work if you’re also prepared to deal with conflict, loathing and darkness, because nothing exists in perfect isolation from everything else and everything casts a shadow sooner or later.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

15 responses to “Peace, love, light and backstabbing

  • Sam Allen Creative Coach

    All feelings are there for a reason and healthy to express them which is of course very different to dwelling on them! Thanks for this well written post!

  • Eliza Ayres

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal and commented:
    Repressed emotions never do anyone any good… they tend to come out in the oddest moments and sometimes manifest as a disease of the body. Recognizing that you are a multifaceted being with feelings helps.

  • kcaddick2013

    I have had this experience with people several times and am always surprised… which may indicate that I do not learn very quickly and believe in people’s presentation of themselves a little too easily at times. Am getting more wary and I have learned to appreciate and accept my own darkness and that of those I love and know it is a very important thing indeed.

  • Tan Harvey

    I do have a problem with them – people who pretend to only allow one side or aspect of themselves to exist are highly unbalanced and eventually become toxic. They become a menace to everyone around them. As you rightly point out Nimue ALL aspects are important to us, we need them all; for instance without anger we would never do anything about things that are wrong. Fortunately as you have done, these people are easy to walk away from. I do however feel sorry for them, invariably they end up sad and lonely.

  • Anima Monday

    This idea of aiming to be serene all the time is particularly damaging for women and other groups who have traditionally enjoyed little social privilege. Damaging to the individual taught to stuff away their feelings. Damaging to groups who without agitation can never even hope for change. Far better to aim for authenticity and as you say: take ownership when mistakes are made. We cannot actually achieve peace and love for all if everyone is in denial or pacified.

    • Nimue Brown

      I’d not thought about it in those terms, but now you’ve said it – yes – and to what degree is the pressure to be serene used to shut people up and shut them down? I shall watch out for that in future.

  • locksley2010

    Or as I like to phrase it:

    “Love and Light? Bitchiness and Spite….”

  • hammadan zaitunih

    You’re right,many people have became salves to ego, hatred.. And all forms of evil things which keeps them from enjoying life the way others do. The more one opens themselves to the world the easier life becomes, everything will loom beautiful if they Cherish peace, love, light just like you said.

    Ur writings are amazing, wonderful and lit 👌… Above everything u talk about is all always based on really life. Keep the spirit up.


  • heatherjo86

    This is such a deeply honest post! “It is, without a doubt, better to acknowledge what you’re feeling, however awkward it is, and then deal with it from there. Ignoring the difficult stuff just builds you a bigger problem.” This is so true. Of course feeling anger, jealousy or any other emotion is no excuse to treat someone badly. “Be wrathful, but do not sin; do not let the sun set while you are still angry.” (Ephesians 4:26) As you mentioned, we have to own up to our emotions, instead of hiding them, before we can address them.

  • Poetically Hope

    I like your take on this and your absolutely right. As a person who tries to spread light and be a light in other peoples lives sharing peace and love with others, I can say from experience that this expression, “peace, love and light” is not an approach that ignores any negative emotions or lover vibrations or elements of darkness. Emotions, thoughts and feelings can both be light and dark and as spiritual we encompass both of them. You cannot ignore one and acknowledge the other because they co-exist within us. The expression “peace, love and light” is more of a blessing, sending positive energy to others because you never know what someone is going through and whether or not they are in need of those elements in that moment in time. It’s more like a reminder or encouragement that even in the darkest of moments, in the most painful of times, whether you are just overwhelmed with emotions (good or bad) or consumed with thought (good or bad) we can always be encouraged that there is light at the end of the tunnel, peace after the storm and love ever-present and ever-lasting.

    • Nimue Brown

      This all sounds good to me. I think its the unwillingness to even acknowledge the darker things that causes some people to get into trouble with this.

      • Poetically Hope

        Yes, people have a habit of surpressing emotions feelings burdens and things alike for fear of being vulnerable and exposure. Often people want to appear to be strong but wont reveal the battle that proves their strength. Most dont realize that the transparency is the key to peace, light and love. There is power in sharing your story.

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