Choosing Peace

What does it mean to truly experience peace? Do you and the people around you feel peace at the same time? 

In Peace Building 101: Begin with You, I teach about the personal power to create peace.  By consciously choosing our thoughts about, and in, each moment, we can choose thoughts that generate feelings of peace or discomfort.  

There is no judgment for feeling peace or not feeling peace. It is neither good nor bad to feel any feeling. I choose my feelings and you choose yours, and as often discussed, feelings reveal important information about needs. It may certainly seem easier to feel peace when our needs are met. What if my needs are more likely to be met when I interact with the world from a place of peace?

What about this idea of choosing peace? In each situation, you and I choose what to make something mean. We may choose to believe that words either mean something positive or negative about speaker or listener, and then feel joy and contentment, or frustration or sadness as a result. We may also simply be at peace with the moment, and not view as it needing to be anything other than what it is.

Let’s say you are in the restroom and someone points out that you have toilet paper stuck to your shoe. What might you choose to think or feel about the fact that you have toilet paper stuck to your shoe and that a stranger pointed it out to you? Perhaps, you will be glad the person told you and feel grateful. You may also think the person believes you look foolish and feel embarrassed. What if you smile, say “thank you for telling me,” remove the toilet paper, and move on in peace?

The ability to choose peace exists in every moment. No person or situation can make you feel anything else. What will you decide?

I can choose to look out at ten inches of snow falling, think “how beautiful” and feel peace. Another person may look at the snow, believe “that really stinks” and feel angry. Each of us gets to choose what feeling resonates with us in any given moment. It is neither right nor wrong. The reality is that the snow may be impacting our lives in very different ways. How we feel about it, though, remains a choice.  

Who or what do you let dictate your feelings? Are you choosing peace? 

A civil and family mediator, peace builder, and educator, Sherry Ann Bruckner lives in Alexandria, Minnesota. Visit brucknermediation.com/services to learn more or call Sherry at (320) 808-3212 for help to transform conflict and create peace.

As always, be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.