For years I have helped clients create peace of mind through trustworthy productivity tools and habits. But in these times of deepened divisions and heightened tensions nationally, I’m called to take the conversation about inner peace beyond the productive into the personal. Because they are linked:
* What do you do when your client or coworkers express values and opinions antithetical to your own?
* How do you manage your emotions when your own internal beliefs collide?
* How do you remain present and engaged when awareness means your temperature rises and your mood plummets frequently?
* How do you function effectively at work and home when you want to run off on outraged tangents or just run off?
So I’m creating a series of posts called The Peace Process. This my first. I’m not sure where it will lead. I’m not sure what it will be about.
I just know this:
1. Peace matters. Resonating peace is my life’s mission.
2. I will have no internal peace if I simply avoid the socio-political fray that disturbs my peace and stick my head in the sand.
3. If I speak and act according to my convictions, I risk conflict with others and that brings no peace, internally or externally, at least short-term.
It’s a paradox. I must risk peacelessness in order to eventually enjoy the peace of integrity.
Am I the only one facing these choices? Are there other options? I feel my shoulders creeping towards my ears as I type.
Reinhold Neibuhr was an American theologian, professor and political commentator and he apparently wrote the Serenity Prayer in the 1930’s, a time of political upheaval around the world. Although he started as a pacifist, he came to believe that there were some wars, e.g., against facism, that were worth fighting. A key element of his prayer, at least in its most popular version, lays out his thoughts like this:
“God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.”
God, please grant me all three. With extra helpings of patience, tolerance and love, please.