Asia West Pacific

Cumulative Changes Create a Culture of Peace in Me

By Rhaka Katresna

Left to right: Rhaka Katresna-West Java, Dewi-Central Java, Kins Aparece-Philippines, Chris Hunter-UK, Rustam Musaev-Russia, Park Jungjoo-Korea, Ida-Nusa Tenggara Tenggah, Judith Nandikove-Kenya, Peace Place in Pati, Central Java, January 2020 at the International Creating Cultures of Peace Training.

When my partner said that he was dizzy, I suddenly answered that it was just his mind. For some reason I felt the need to control his thoughts and feelings. So I manipulated his emotions, after which I realized that I had done violence on him.

I stopped, and asked myself, “Is this true what I have done and does this feel right for me?” The answer was, “No.” Could it be some feeling of privilege that made me use my power to try to control my partner. The next question was, “Where does this behavior come from?” The answer was the rigid pattern that had become embedded in me. Then I continued the questioning, “Where did the rigid pattern come from?” The answer was the trauma that came from my mother’s treatment of me.

Creating a Culture of Peace Begins in Me

The previous story was one of the processes that I went through when I tried to apply a culture of peace in my daily life. I participated in the Creating Cultures of Peace training in January and then resumed with an online self-transformation training that finished last weekend. Creating a culture of peace consists of two parts, namely self-transformation and social transformation. I realized that in order to create a culture of peace it was necessary to transform myself in order to be open to life’s transforming power.

The important things for me in the process of self-transformation are emanating emotions, being a good listener and companion, healing trauma, and building empathy. At one of the online Creating Cultures of Peace sessions, we concluded that implementing a culture of peace in everyday life creates a more sane and harmonious life. This helps people to be mentally healthier by holding to their conscience, channeling emotions, processing trauma, empathizing, and empowering themselves and those around them.

Continuous Transformation Process

I continued the self-transformation after the training in order to develop myself. I realized that I was violent in my daily life. For me, this is an ongoing training process. The skill of creating a culture of peace can be learned effectively when the self wants to be open to change and to be involved in it. Initially it was difficult indeed, because I felt I had to admit the emotions and mistakes made every day. However, I reminded myself to be happy when making a mistake because that is the opportunity to make changes for the better. What stifles change is to not open yourself, because you don’t want to admit your mistakes.

The most difficult for me was overcoming trauma. I could begin to identify trauma after finding a rigid pattern. To find rigid patterns, I need to stop and reflect. Asked myself, “What was done and how did it happen?” Then I answered honestly to myself. Honesty within is trained, then I began to feel more security and self-confidence. Trauma begins to heal when emotions and thoughts of the past are finally processed. The trauma healing tools we learn aid in self-evaluation and ultimately create new patterns of behavior.

I do this practice in my daily life. I discovered a lot of details about myself that I can finally process. There is a feeling of discomfort in the process because the self needs to be free from rigid patterns that make me safe, that are there to try to protect me. That is, I have to get out of my comfort zone to see myself for real.