Peace on Earth Begins with Peace of Heart
The phrase is emblazoned on holiday cards, ornaments and light displays: Peace On Earth. It is a noble wish, to be sure, the value of which few, if any, would dispute. (You never quite know what’s rattling around in those terrorist’s brains, so I suppose it’s best to leave a margin of error.) Certainly the last several years have been a period of significant unrest in much of the world, with wars being raged, both political and religious. Peace on earth becomes a far more fervent desire for the families separated by oceans and daily uncertainty.
Looking at these myriad issues, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, feeling helpless in the face of such enormous challenges. Which is why we must choose to change our perspective. Realistically, it is not within any of our individual power to affect worldwide change. However, we don’t live in the world at large. We live in the world that we create around us every day. Of course, we are aware of that larger world, but really, truly, we respond to the seemingly mundane in our own town, our own home, our own mind. This is where we spend our time. And it is in this space that peace can actually exist.
I adore the author Anne Lamott and her ability to state human truth simply and clearly — also, humorously. This is no small task. I’ve tried and it’s much harder than it looks. She says:
“The best way to change the world is to change your mind, which often requires feeding yourself. It makes for biochemical peace. It’s almost like a prayer: to be needy, to eat, to taste, to be filled, building up instead of tearing down. You find energy to do something you hadn’t expected to do, maybe even one of the holiest things: to go outside and stand under the stars, or to go for a walk in the morning, or in such hard times, both.”— Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith
You want peace in the world? First, make peace in yourself. Only you know what this means for you, and if you’re not sure, take a moment and think about it. Then do it. Choose peace. On line at Macy’s, choose a quiet heart and mind. While making your fifth batch of Christmas cookies, take a deep breath and smile. When you nearly spill water on your computer (as I just did), choose to be grateful that you didn’t and laugh a little bit at your “drinking problem”.
The really great thing about this attitude of peace is that it is contagious. So it’s very possible that your small choices will create a ripple that reaches to Afghanistan. We can hope, right? That’s what Christmas is about, after all.Tags: development, holidays, mental health, personal growth, psychological advice, self development, self-awareness, self-esteem, self-understanding, well-being