Thanksgiving is almost here, and Christmas begun before we even finished our Turkey. I was thinking if we are so eager to rush the season, maybe we could make the peace and joy we yearn for at Christmas, something that is part of everyday living.
We must all find a way to find peace for ourselves but I think there are six attributes to finding peace. Over time focusing on these things will bring you closer to finding your own peace.
Practice Forgiveness: It is easy to forgive others for small grievances, but much harder to forgive the bigger hurts and betrayals. If we are in the practice of forgiveness, we have the mindset that helps to seek understanding and opens the perspective to see an issue from another point of view. It is about being unwilling to hang on to the anger, and seeking peace.
Seek Understanding: All too often we are married to our ideas and opinions, and will voice them at every opportunity. At times we talk over others to be heard, and pay little attention to the impact our opinions make. If we can take a step back and listen with the intention to understand, we might find we are more alike than different.
Watch Your Words and Actions: You might remember this quote from Bernard Meltzer: “Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is it helpful? If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.” Our intention is not to be unkind, tell a lie, or give our unsolicited opinion, but sometimes, for many varied reasons, we just do. Perhaps if we could slow down to think before we act, it would greatly change how we respond to others.
Take Responsibility: What if we could take responsibility for what we do and say in our personal and professional relationships? I understand it takes a lot of courage to face our misgivings, but isn’t better than spending our life hiding from it? I think it would heal a lot of hurt, and diffuse much anger.
Release Anger: Refuse to hold on to anger and hate. Sometimes we don’t even realize how much anger and hate we are hanging on to until it comes out in our words and actions. When our words and actions show anger or hate, remember that is what we are teaching others.
Be Still: Stop to listen to the voice of God in your life. Be still and know God is here.
I believe to live peacefully with ourselves and others, we must have alignment between our head and heart. When we understand that our words and actions have power, we are moving toward peace.
Taking responsibility for our life is what each and every one of us can do to change the world around us. Blessings to all of you as you walk through Advent and into Christmas.