By Thomas Greenfield
M.REd., M.Ed., LPC, LADC
“Wrap it up!” We say it mainly after shopping at a favorite Gift Shop and finding that perfect gift for a significant person in our life. At the check-out counter, they ask, “Would you like us to wrap it for you?” to which we confidently reply.
Over the past several weeks, we have been exploring some important choices that, when made consistently, lead to stability in the midst of chaos, conflict and difficulties. These five choices lead to peace. Today, we will wrap it up by using a common mnemonic device to assist in committing to memory these five choices. Let’s review.
Be a Peacemaker. Peacemakers are the ones who find the healthy solutions rather than the destructive. When two people have a conflict or disagreement, a peacemaker takes neither side, but instead takes the side of what’s healthy and constructive for both sides. A peacemaker will turn it into a “win-win” situation. The Person of Peace called such ones “sons of God” because they want to achieve what The Creator wants in every situation…peace. True peace comes when we are committed to making peace in our world, in our relationships and in our life.
Examine your own life. Too much of our time is spent examining the mistakes, faults and behavior of others resulting in unnecessary anxiety and stress. Instead, spend that time productively in self-examination that focuses only on self-improvement, not others-improvement. Self-examination turns the eyes inward to see our own motives, needs of improvement, behavioral shortcomings. True peace comes when we examine self rather than others.
Anchor your life in true meaningful priorities. A ship that is anchored is at its most safe, steadfast and immovable, regardless of the storm’s intensity. We must look at the values which guide our life and prioritize to ensure that our time is consumed with matters that are truly important, not just urgent. Are our priorities leading toward a healthy, constructive lifestyle and relationships? Such values include caring for others, focusing on the family, doing what is right in all situations. When our life is anchored with such values, they create a lifestyle of peace.
Control only that which YOU can control…self. “They make me so mad!” we often conclude. At such times we forget that we possess the ability to control our own emotions and behavior. Nobody makes us feel anything without our permission. When we take control of our own emotions and behavior, we make the important choice not to allow others to do so. People of peace seek to exercise self-control.
Enjoy life. In a country where a variety of recreational activities are a norm, far too many people continue struggle with stress, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. Making more money is not the answer. Buying more things is not the answer. Using substances to control our moods and hide our pain is not the answer. Enjoyment of life means stopping and “smelling the roses,” or realizing the blessings we already have and being content. We must create in our lives healthy, constructive and pleasurable fun. When we can enjoy life in such a way, we will enjoy peace.
Wrap it up. Did you see the acronym? Look at the beginning letter of each of the five choices. When we memorize and practice P-E-A-C-E, we can truly experience true PEACE.
Let The Light guide you.