fbpx
Woman at peace

THERE IS NO WAY TO PEACE; PEACE IS THE WAY. (A.J. Muste)

Elections, politics, family, holidays, work, environment, health, wealth……. You have a list of concerns and I bet it goes on and on, just like mine. We are bombarded in the media with not only the issues facing us but also with lots of ways to deal with them that will make everything better. Vote for this person, take this medication, dress this way, buy this, etc. and our problems will all be solved. Really? It is overwhelming and I feel worn down. How about you?

What to do or not do? Escape, confront, roll over and play dead? If you are like me there comes a point in time when you say, enough is enough! At these times, perhaps a step back is best. Take a breath and a time out.

When I get to this point, I try to get out in nature—a walk in a local riparian park, a hike through a forest, a picnic by a lake, time in a garden, or coffee by the ocean. When I need a serious attitude adjustment, I take a day trip to the Grand Canyon. I am lucky to be able to do that and it seems to put my concerns in perspective. It also reinforces that I am not alone in my struggles, I am part of something infinitely larger. I am a mere speck in time.

The biggest reminder that I always receive from nature is that we are all loved! Yes, every one of us! We are also interconnected so the pain of one person is shared with others. Yesterday I read a book to my grandson that talked about what would happen if all the sharks disappeared. It would be disastrous for the food chain and eventually for every one of us. We need sharks and we need each other.

I am reading a book entitled, The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben. Did you know that trees feel and communicate? They help support each other through a very connected root system. They even warn one another when there is danger. Fungus also plays a significant role in the life of trees. Who would have thought? How little we know about all the life that shares our space and planet. How little we know how our actions affect those around us.

I do not always act or react in a way that is supportive and caring to others and sometimes I roll over and play dead. I am human. At those times do you beat yourself up? Sometimes I do. I replay the scene or circumstance over and over in my mind and imagine how I could have reacted better if only………… Sometimes the replay invokes anger. Other times it invokes satisfaction when all parties talk constructively and reach a compromise that is supportive to all involved.

As you can tell, I love to read, especially books or articles that make me think or open my mind to a different perspective. An article about peace by Deepak Chopra, MD on LinkedIn recently hit my inbox and it inspired this blog. Although the subject of the article was global peace, it has lessons for all aspects of our life. I would like to quote some of it:

“Clearly the present way we approach global problems leads only to insecurity on all fronts. The root reason is that we come from conflict and division……. Conflict not only creates immediate damage, but it also drastically diminishes the prospects for the future in terms of education, prosperity, and the possibility of finding joy in someone’s life. We are planting the seeds of either joy or sorrow for our children and grandchildren. In making the choice for peace, we make a choice to expand future possibilities that every day of conflict undermines.

“There are proven principles that bring resolution to conflict ………

  • First, treat your adversary with respect. If there is lack of respect, you will lose the attention of the other side the minute you start talking.
  • Recognize the perception of injustice on both sides.
  • Be courageous enough to ask for forgiveness and strong enough to offer forgiveness. This requires a process—forgiveness isn’t achieved with one stroke.
  • Refrain from belligerence. (Aggressive attitude or behavior.)
  • Work to dissolve us-versus-them thinking, which insists that if you aren’t on my side, you are my enemy. Us-versus-them is the strongest tool of tyrants.
  • Practice emotional intelligence. Conflicts cannot be resolved by pure, cool reasoning. ……Emotions are at stake in every conflict. Value positive emotions over negative ones.
  • Communicate without violence. Non-violent communication begins by seeing in advance how your words are likely to be received.
  • Be self-aware. Solutions arise from deep in the self. Seeking the level in yourself where solutions can be found is the highest form of self-awareness.
  • Acknowledge that the highest human values exist in other cultures. No society is devoid of love, compassion, creativity, insight, spiritual awakening, and genius.
  • Take the viewpoint that diversity enriches the world and always has.
  • Refrain from proving the other side wrong. There is a hidden harm which is done when you insist on being right. By insisting on being right, you make the other side wrong, and they immediately become deaf to your arguments, no matter how objectively right you might be.
  • Keep ideology off the table. The roots go too deep for discussion, so leave everyone to cherish their own beliefs without intrusion from you.
  • Acknowledge that violence is always founded on fear.”[i]

I have reached a point in my life to have the freedom to do lots of introspection. I know that I have made some good choices and some bad choices. But they were my choices, and no one forced me to make the decisions that I did. I may have had input from others but when crunch time came, I made a choice and I take full responsibility.

Every day we make choices we do not give much thought to—how to brush our teeth or comb our hair, how to tie a shoe or button a shirt, how to cut a piece of meat, or how to walk or run. These are things that come automatically to us. We may think that our thoughts come automatically to us as well, but we choose them. So, it is up to us to monitor and change them if they no longer serve the purpose we intend. I am working on my awareness to become more peace conscious! Will you join me?

~Bev Bowers, CFP® 

 

Legal Notice: This document is intended to be informational only. Beverly Bowers does not render legal, accounting, or tax advice. Please consult the appropriate legal, accounting, or tax advisor if you require such advice. The opinions expressed in this report are subject to change without notice. The information in this report is from sources believed to be reliable but are not guaranteed to be accurate or complete. All publication rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to the Copyright restrictions described on BevBowers.com.
 Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the CFP® certification mark and the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
[i] Chopra, Deepak MD, LinkedIn (October 2022), A Peace Proposal to World Leaders.