You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘peace’ tag.

After doing a bit of introspection, I’ve decided that I’m an old soul, but I’m young at heart. I feel like I was born old. I’m 53 now, but I’ve always been a homebody. Don’t like to travel. Really don’t like change (in my pockets or in life). Love cats, knitting, classic movies. Love my son with all my heart, and am always coming at him with positive platitudes. “Always do the right thing, son,” I’ll tell him. I know what you’re thinking: That’s so Mayberry!

At 21, I got sciatica. At 36, I got a macular hole. Around that time, I was diagnosed with MS as well. I got the medical issues that normally occur later in life, earlier than expected.

There’s always something hurting, somewhere in my body. There’s always a bill on the counter I can’t yet afford to pay.

If that’s just how it is, I decided, I’ll work around it. I’ll be in a good mood. Not as good a mood as circumstances allow. You can’t make the situation your supervisor. It doesn’t get to decide how you feel right now, in this moment. You do.

When you set down roots in the place where peace resides, you’re safeguarding your own soul. Until you improve a situation, at least don’t make it worse by focusing on that problem alone. Take your mind off it when you can. Give yourself permission to be okay. And in that positive frame of mind, you might just change things for the better.

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People who are sun-shiney and optimist no matter what is going on make me suspicious.  What is it they’ve missed?

But I’m not a pessimist. I don’t think everyone is out to get me.  I don’t think everything turns out badly.   Most people don’t even know I’m here.  And the universe? Neutral.

I consider myself a realist.  But over the years I’ve come to handle stress fairly well.  As long as no one is right in my face crabbing at me, I can pretty well just roll with things.   Imagine my surprise when my yoga instructor read us an article that explained why.  Yoga requires holding poses for a period of time.  These poses require using our muscles and focusing.  It is physically stressful.  As we work on these poses, our brains are rewired.  More cells and connections develop in the areas activated to handle stress.  These cells and pathways are there when we have to deal with stress out in the larger world.

Things may not be peaceful but they are managable.  They may not be ideal but they can be endured.   And the quiet at your center? It’s a great place to pause and listen for God.

–SueBE

 

In yoga, we practice mindfulness.  It might be harder to learn what this means in a peaceful yoga studio.  But in a community center it quickly becomes obvious.

Mindfulness doesn’t mean closing out all distractions.  It doesn’t mean never losing focus.  What it does mean is that when you do, you pull yourself back.

This is something we get to practice all the time at the community center.  There were the weeks on end where they were working on the roof and replacing various elements of the heating and cooling systems. There are those moments when busloads of grade school students arrive to use the pool.  Indoor voices?  Pfft!

You can’t control everything in your environment.  But you can learn not to focus on what you can’t control.  Let it go.  Exhale.  And return your focus to your breath, your pose, your inner quiet.

At the end of worship, we are encouraged to take Christ’s love into the world.  Mindfulness makes this so much easier starting in worship.

Kids to pews back making noise?  Inhale.  Exhale.  Return your focus to God.

The customer in line ahead of you can’t get her pin right?   Inhale.  Exhale.  Share a smile.  Who hasn’t forgotten a pin?

Peace, mindfulness and Christ’s love.  Seems like a combination that just might change the world.

–SueBE

 

 

Thank you to Lori for her hurricane season prayer.  Holding up all of you who are in the path of the storm.  Here in the middle of the country, I’m just waiting for word from various cousins.

We may not be able to calm nature’s storms, but we can avoid contributing to the strife around us.  I don’t know about y’all but it has been bad here.  The worst part?  Trying to fix problems and calm rough waters without letting people know what I think.

Debugging group pages that other people have goofed, dealing with scheduling issues and more.  I can’t even tell you how many letters I’ve written and posts I’ve made only to delete them.  No, no.  No one needs to hear that.

Whether we are working to change a bad policy or striving for justice, we choose how we do it.  Yesterday, I watched an interview with Beto O’Rourke.  Only after the interview was over did I realize something.  Yes, he’s running against Cruz.  And, yes, he’s against Trump’s wall.  But not once did he bad mouth them.  Not once.  He talked about what the people of Texas could accomplish but not once did he cut anyone down.

Work for change.  Make peace.  We can do it.

–SueBE

Scrolling through one of my favorite sites, Katzenworld, I found an interesting article about feeding cats raw food. There was a picture of the recommended brand, along with the words, “Made with Human Meat.”

What the heck?

Nearly fell off the chair. Had to scroll back up quickly.

“Made with Human Grade Meat.”

Oh. That’s a relief!

For a minute I thought I’d taken a turn into the Twilight Zone, and stumbled into the Little Shop of Horrors!

One word can make all the difference sometimes.

In today’s political climate, you don’t have to agree with everybody you meet. Online, you don’t have to dignify mean-spirited comments about what you believe, or where you come from, or how you live. But sometimes, one word of kindness can change the conversation.

And if it doesn’t, you may come to the conclusion that this isn’t a conversation anyway, but a monologue. You can always – respectfully – unfollow people who bring drama into your feed. This is true in real life as well. There comes a time when you realize that people who were once your friends bring nothing but negatives into your world. It’s okay to let them go.

In many cases, this will happen by attrition as you refuse to get sucked into the vortex of either/or online. You’re one of us, or you’re one of them. Someday, the zeitgeist will change, and we’ll see each other as people again. Until that time, unplugging from the constant barrage of angst and anger will do your soul good. Here’s one word that will hold your heart together: peace.

You truly understand this quote if you live in a multi-cat household.  They aren’t at war but one of them is sitting on your lap, tensely eye-balling another cat across the room.  There’s one on the back of the sofa, tail twitching.  The third might be oblivious.  Or she might be sitting beside the water bowl. She looks peaceful, but really?  She’ll chase off anything feline that gets too near her water.

Peace is most definitely not the opposite of war.  But just what peace is can vary by person and by situation.

Sometimes peace is quiet, serene.  It is a moment to simply be.

Sometimes peace is a lull.  It is the time it takes to sip a cup of coffee while you gather yourself for the day.

Sometimes peace is more active.  It is working to provide a place of safety for those who have known violence and strife. It requires creating balance and seeking justice.

Peace. It seems like such a simple word and sometimes it is simple, but not always.  What does it mean to you?

–SueBE

By nature, I’m a “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” kind of person.  On a good day, I manage to believe peace is possible.  Here’s hoping and praying for a good day…

–SueBE

 

Peace and passion.  Can you have both?  It’s something I’ve found myself wondering lately.

Passion drives you forward.  Peace allows you to be calm.

At first the two sound contradictory but I think it is a matter of balance.  Your life’s work.  Using the gifts God has given you.  Those require passion, energy and drive.

But we also need to recharge.  That requires peace, the ability to breathe deeply, and simply be.

I’m not going to tell you that this balance comes easily to me, but I am trying. Some days peace actually comes to me for a few moments.  I’m hoping that today is one of those days.

–SueBE

 

Advent.  Often time we think of this as the season of peace.  But how good are we at seeking out peace?

If you spend any time on social media, you see plenty of evidence that we’d rather be right.  After all, we could scroll on past whatever offends us.  Instead, we stop and pick a fight.  As if anyone’s mind was ever changed by an argument on Facebook.

I’m not saying that we should let injustice go unchecked.  But there’s a huge difference between not picking an argument and enabling injustice.

Maybe just maybe this is a good season to relearn the difference.

–SueBE

I have to admit that this one really speaks to me.  I have a friend who suffers from clinical depression.

I know that some people don’t appreciate that wording — suffer from clinical depression — but I choose it very deliberately.  Someone who has clinical depression suffers with it.  But so do the people around them. We think of depression as something that makes a person quiet and withdrawn.  But that’s often not the case with women who are clinically depressed.  They are angry. They strike out.  They create a great deal of discord.

And if that isn’t bad enough, they seem to relish it.  “Look at the reaction I got from her!”

Whether you are in the orbit of someone who has depression or anger issues or something else altogether, it is easy to lose touch with your inner peace.  It gets submerged in the fury of emotions and hurts.

To regain this peace, spend some quiet time with God.  Take a deep breath and let it out.  Then take another.

As you breathe in, picture God’s light filling your heart.  As you breathe out, imagine turmoil flowing out and away.  In comes peace.  Out flows anger.

Peace doesn’t come easily.  You have to seek it out.

–SueBE

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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