Yesterday I heard someone say they wanted world peace. That sure would be great. But then I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have peace a little closer to home — like in all the other aspects of our lives? Don’t we want peace there, too? Is world peace enough if we can’t have it in our lives, too?
After all, there are a whole lot of things that disturb our peace a lot more than the fighting that’s carried on in international affairs.
Inner peace tops my list. Because if I can’t find that vibration wtthin me so I can be content with my life, I know it will jaundice my view of everything else.
Peace in my relations with other people is important, too. After a lifetime in the law, I’ve seen that arena of human conflict from many sides. That kind of fighting is bad enough. But it’s business, and sometimes it’s easier to keep our business and personal affairs separate.
But when I fight with the people I care about most, then it hits home even more. And there can be so many causes. Me being a jerk and wanting my own way no matter what has tended to start a lot of ruckuses.
Insisting I’m right in conversation hasn’t helped much either.
Even worse, I’ve noticed over the years that when someone tells me what to do, it really hits a nerve and causes my defenses to go up. And maybe even launch a counter-attack of my own. Perhaps that’s why I’m such an advocate for individual freedoms, especially the right of self-determination.
I have to admit, though, that I can be guilty of it too. When I do it to someone else, I see they respond much the same. Getting defensive. Fighting back.
And when that happens, rarely does our original conversation continue. Now it becomes a test of wills to see who will prevail, whatever the subject was that started it all.
It reminds me of what my youngest son used to say when we’d tell him what to do.
“You’re not the boss of me!”
Often he would then storm out of the room in anger, probably knowing that fighting back against his parents probably wasn’t a battle he would win anyway. So he’d take his own time out, and come back to fight another day in another way.
There are other things that steal my peace, too. Over the years the ups and downs of running a business often came at a price. And as many of you know who’ve had to keep an eye on your bottom line, there was many a night when it was really hard to sleep with bills coming due and no visible way to pay them. Funny thing, though. The money somehow always arrived when it was needed, even if we had no idea where it would come from.
It’s a good thing, too. Because I was never one who could work for anyone else. I was raised an entrepreneur, and always had my own way of doing things. I wasn’t much for holding my tongue, either, or following rules. I guess I was like my son who resisted authority, too. Like Bruce Springsteen said, “When they said ‘Sit down,’ I stood up!”
Even so, I sometimes envied those who could swallow their words and do it, taking home a nice fat paycheck in the process (I tried it for a short while, and it never seemed quite as fat as it looked). Still, knowing there’d always be that check to pay the bills brought a lot of security. And to have a paid vacation, insurance and other benefits — wow! What a blessing!
For a long time, though, I’ve realized they don’t have it any easier. With so many jobs being cut back or lost altogether these days, there’s no security working for anyone. Even longtime jobs can be here one day and gone the next. Living with that uncertainty must be hard, even for those with a nest egg squirreled away (which few have anyway). Then, when the pink slip comes, they’re in the same sleepless boat.
Worries about money are wonderful, aren’t they? Where’s it going to come from? And if it doesn’t, what do we do? Yet though most of us go through it one time or another, somehow we still have to find a way to be at peace. If we can.
Then there’s turning on the news. It doesn’t take five minutes before I hear someone say something that pushes a hot button, or they splash some tragedy across the screen that touches my heart or stirs up some fear I might not even know I have. When that happens, it is especially challenging to tune into the vibration of peace.
There are probably a whole lot more if I stop to think about it. Many of these we try to address here at PeaceOptions through our articles, programs and counseling — so you can overcome whatever’s derailing your peace train and get it back on track.
So what steals your peace? Any of the things I mentioned? Or are there some I missed?
This inquiring mind would like to know.