Volume 4 Number 9
Creators of Peace Participant
01 October 1991

Louise Diamond, Director of Peace Works, Washington DC, gives her impressions of the conference:
The process of healing interests me deeply - as a professional in the field of international peacemaking, as a cancer survivor of 17 years and as a simple human being.

`Creators of Peace- a women's initiative' brought me the next step in my understanding of this process. I felt a quiet shift, a deeper wind of peace move through my heart. I felt the strength of women's will to make a difference mix with the MRA magic, and since then I have been trying to identify some secret ingredient, a Factor X, that can explain the incredible power for peace I saw generated there.

I was touched by the stories, told and implied, by my sisters from around the world. A Palestinian woman agonized about her recurring anger towards Israeli soldiers who had recently killed her brother. How could she work with others, she asked, if she could not herself release that bitterness?

A Native American leader told of an army attack against her people and their sacred land, sharing her story as a way to release some of the hatred and to find inner peace. An Israeli woman spoke of her cycle of transformation, in which praying for Hitler didn't change him but affected her profoundly. My Croatian roommate recognized her constant talking as a way to avoid the terror that her son would be taken into the army and caught up in the killing in Yugoslavia.

Each story was different, and each shed light on a different aspect of the healing process. The painful events; the release of the toxicity related to the trauma; the arrival at the fulcrum point of emptiness; the filling with compassion, equanimity, inner peace, remorse, forgiveness or love; the new action taken, the new joy found - these seem to be facets of the peace process, not necessarily in any linear order or predictable timeline.

I felt my heart break again and again with the suffering of others that is also my own, since we are one in the family of life. I have never lived through war, famine, earthquake, dictatorship, torture or brutal political or sexual oppression. Yet I found not only a resonance with the pain but a recognition of my own privilege and responsibility.

I found I was examining my own life more deeply. In spite of all my peace work with Palestinians and Israelis, I realized that the subtle assumptions I had carried for years as a Jew growing up in America, that Arabs were `the bad guys' and Israelis `the good guys', had added poison to the stream of relations between the two peoples. Feeling remorse and asking my Palestinian colleagues to forgive me was a redemptive experience for me.

Hearing these stories of individuals transcending suffering, hatred, bitterness, anger, prejudice and fear, I think I found Factor X. I believe it is the cumulative power of each one's truth, shared simply and openly. As each tale of pain and healing was told, publicly or privately, I felt a vortex being created. Its energy melted my heart, shattered a rigid shell of pride, awoke memories and opened new doors to awareness and action.

At first I felt some resistance to the process, especially to its simplicity. But the unquestionable moral power and authenticity of the people I met led me beyond that resistance. I was reminded that love indeed heals, that recognizing our oneness melts our hardened hearts, and that the commitment to live as one in and with the divine plan opens the door to reconciliation and right relationships. I'm not yet sure how this will affect my work. But I feel profoundly renewed and grateful to be among such wondrous company as we journey together, each in our own way, as creators of peace.

Unless stated otherwise, all content on this site falls under the terms of the Creative Commons Licence 3.0