Welcome to Day 24 of our 30 Days Thankful series. Today, we’ll focus on peaceful times and peaceful people.
Peace begins with the individual. If a person goes out in the world with a combative spirit, he’s likely to find himself being opposed by others.
It’s not peaceful to constantly be at odds with other people.
In a family, peace has to do with boundaries. We come into this world with a perception that we are merely an extension of our own mother. At some point it becomes necessary to form a separate identity.
Once that happens, life becomes a constant balancing act of asserting ourselves versus being receptive to the wishes of other people. This is where peace-keeping becomes a challenge.
In peaceful families, boundaries are mostly respected. There are unspoken rules that do not have to be spelled out because an example was set early on. For instance, when everyone in the group is enjoying quiet time, then the reasonable respect of boundaries would be to not disturb the silence.
As children grow, age-appropriate boundaries are put in place gradually as milestones are reached. For example, at a certain point a child will sleep in his or her own bedroom, manage his or her own hygiene, and function at school as an individual with his or her own responsibilities.
This may not sounds like it’s not about cultivating peace, but it is. What if a child’s boundaries were repeatedly violated, even if in ways that may go unnoticed?
When we disrespect another person’s right to their own physical, mental and emotional space, then we’re doing a poor job of cultivating peace in the family.
A person whose boundaries were repeatedly violated as a child may potentially go out into the world taking a defensive position. They will view other people as competition and they will buck authority, because to them, an authority figure is a violator who is not to be trusted.
So, if each of us is an individual, then cultivating peace means respecting boundaries as we work together in harmony. This has to do with communicating needs, accepting responsibility, remaining flexible, and being willing to shift roles.
Again, this is a delicate balancing act of offering others the freedom to be themselves while enjoying the freedom to be yourself.
At some point, you’ll be at odds with another person. How you handle the conflict (compromise, cooperation, understanding, empathy, switching roles) will determine if you’re able to reach a peaceful outcome.
How Can You Practice Peaceful Relations Today?
We’re discussing our appreciation for peaceful times and people. If you have had the joy of knowing a peaceful life growing up, can you define why this is so?
Think back to your family. How did people treat each other in your family, that embodied peaceful relations?
What were the unspoken “rules” for keeping peace in your family?
If your family life was full of peace growing up, then it may be your job to help others find peace in their relationships and functions in society. This is such an important role to have!
If you know what peace is because it was taught to you, and you were surrounded by positive examples growing up, then make it your mission to spread peace to others.
Sometimes life becomes overwhelming, and we search for peace within ourselves.
If you’re in need of peace today, where can you seek out a quiet space to ground your spirit and self-soothe?
Sometimes going out into the world can be decidedly not peaceful. We encounter conflict on our way to our jobs, while out at the store, and while dealing with our boss, our spouse, our parents or whomever we must cooperate with on a routine basis.
Think about what you can do to help cultivate an attitude of peace wherever you go.
Write down your ideas.
Give thanks today for the people in your life who project a peaceful feeling from their spirit.
Day 25: Thankful for Life’s Precious Gifts