Why "War Meets Peace"?
Welcome to this store front, called War Meets Peace. You see, I'm a yogi, a hippie in so many ways, and super liberal, mostly. My husband of 26+ years is a retired US Army, Special Forces officer, who works in the oil and gas industry. He's always been more on the end of a hot head, and calm is my super power. He's a huge extrovert, and I'm not. He needs people around to recharge, and I need to go deeper inside. I've always supported his crazy ideas, and he's always supported mine, so it works.
Like this one time when he decided to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. With three other combat veterans. For upwards of 35 (estimated) days. To raise awareness for challenges unique to veterans. Geez.
Allow me to backtrack just a teeny bit.
For our entire relationship, one of us has been in active pursuit of something, while the other sort of maintains the status quo, then we take turns. Leap frogging, so to speak. When we got married, he joined the military (National Guard) and went to school. He stopped, I earned a Masters. He went back to complete a degree after. I wrote a book. He went on a deployment or training, and when it was my turn again, I earned a 200hr teacher training. He deployed, then I took bigger trainings about trauma, then earned my 500hr. He left the military. Retired, actually. And we've both been living the status quo since moving into the same house together (after living apart for almost ten years in all). After all the military assignments, missions, training and educational opportunities, we are suddenly together. I mean, together.
So about a year and a half ago, he almost got in a fight with a guy (I told you he was a hot head), and they ended up being friends--crew mates actually--as this guy invited him to be a part of the first US Veteran ocean rowing team. Their reason? No one else has done it, and to raise awareness for issues unique to veterans.
My thoughts: Seriously? Can you not do something much smaller than this? Can you start small and build up to this? Can I just go on record as saying y'all are crazy?
You see, that's part of all of this War Meets Peace business... He does nothing small, nothing conservatively, nothing safe. That's for me to do. He goes full force, head on, and at rapid acceleration. And that's how Fight Oar Die was born. He never marinated or ruminated or prayed about it, he just effing did it: created a non-profit, gathered some volunteers, and started.
As there is NO WAY I can ever understand the ins and outs of the whys, I get it. I really do.
I'm not military, and could never be. I understand though, that the brotherhood/sisterhood/camaraderie is like my own "all is one" yogic philosophy, and while I long for a time we all could live in peace with one another, I understand the need for those who will pick up arms and defend a nation. I am grateful for those men and women every. single. day.
As much as I want to always see the good in people, I know it's silly to believe that evil doesn't exist. As much as I'd like to see all of us just get along, I know healthy conflict and resolution is part of growth. I know that war is a terrible thing and a great money maker, yet I also believe in using a strong arm and defense to aid when atrocities have been allowed to go on for decades. On most days, I neither love nor support our government or leadership, but I always love and support those willing to defend the Constitution of this nation. And I love this nation. It's a war meets peace conundrum I often find myself in.
The thing that really blends it all together for me is that I know I am part of something so much bigger than me. I don't have to be either for or against war, I can be both. I don't have to be so blind as to believe that we all can live in complete harmony without conflict, yet we can cultivate the inner peace we each need and take it into those conflicts for the best imaginable outcome. We need our own conflicts in order to create change; what else could motivate us?
The husband resisted yoga forever, until this year. Maybe he was just far enough away from his status as an operator to embrace his edges that might need a little work. Maybe he knows he's got a huge challenge ahead of him where he will really have to know himself, and be at peace with himself. Whatever the reason, the Green Beret has found some peace in yoga. He doesn't practice every day; he doesn't intend to become a Swami; he'll always have guns, but the point is, war and peace are not exclusive. You don't have to believe in one, and disbelieve in the other (is that even a word?). You don't have to choose; you can embody both. When you are faced with your own "war" (whether it's how to handle an issue with a coworker/friend, or how to get restructure your own budget so that you can fund those things you desire, or how to get what you deserve in a divorce), you can enter into these with "peace"... When you are looking to decide how to best support (enter your favorite charity/church/cause), you can still give from the servant's heart without being taken advantage of. It's a dance. Although "war" might be a little stronger word than what our day-to-day challenges are, when we come from a place of peace, we are better grounded to be able to handle whatever life throws at us.
War Meets Peace was the best name for this store front to support Fight Oar Die. As I continue to pump money into this startup, the sales of t-shirts are helping. I am seeing the vast array of friends from around the globe who are peacekeepers and warfighters coming together to support FOD through donations and buying t-shirts, or just spreading the word. I am reminded again that we are all in this together and part of something much larger than us.
In time, I'll have fun and funny sayings unique to yoga. I'll have military designs. I'll have hippie/hippy themes. I'll have angry veteran slogans. I'll have patriotic swag. I'll have both ends of the continuum, because we are not an either/or, good/bad, black/white society, we are so much more. We are all that and more.
Thanks for your support of War Meets Peace, and ultimately of Fight Oar Die.