"Peace begins with a smile," Mother Teresa.
I just wrapped up this month's Talking to Myself. The show featured my mother, who is celebrating her 90th Birthday.
Happy Birthday, Mom.
This episode was not really about the history of Mom but more about Mom's perspective of the world around her. Did you know that history is strongly punctuated with war? There were several wars in the 20th Century. We talked about two that my mother lived through - World War II and the Korean War. Doing a Google search for the U.S., we've been involved in quite a few conflicts beginning back in the 1700s. That's just the United States.
February 24, 2022 Russia invades Ukraine
Though we are not directly involved with this war, it is another major conflict in our world. Many people believe it will mark the beginning of World War III.
I make no predictions but I do think it's a great time to nurture peace within ourselves.
Earlier this month on Twitter, someone posted the question, "If you could do one thing to change the world for the better, what would it be?"
I answered, "Change myself for the better."
You might be thinking to yourself, "How is that going to do anything with the present situation in Ukraine? How does it have anything to do with anything outside the realm of your personal influence?"
It's as if we're crammed on a great cosmic subway train.
We're closer to each other than we realize. It's as if we're crammed on a great cosmic subway train. If you've ever been squeezed like a sardine on an actual subway, you quickly appreciate those around you who bathe, use deodorant, and brush their teeth regularly.
This isn't a criticism of people's bathing habits but a metaphor for those of us living lives of chaos within ourselves. Like lightning, it has a way of shocking the people - our family, friends, and neighbors - around us. If you really want peace, take these few steps.
Yes, I know some of my readers are nonbelievers. That's fine. If you are a believer, however, pray every day. If you are not praying every day for peace within yourself and for others, it makes it hard for others to believe in what you profess.
For my nonbelieving friends, I once had a reporter ask a question about my book, Praying for the Enemy. How can you pray if you're a non believer? I told him you still have to give away your frustrations. It might be through therapy, journaling, or meditation. Clinging to anger will only lead to stress and health issues! It will also make your personality as malodorous as month-old body odor.
Every day find something to be thankful for. It might seem trite, especially if you feel you're really suffering but please try it. No one wants to listen to you complain about how terrible you have it. Others have it much worse.
I'm a recovering complainer (I still complain but am working on it).
Awareness of my disease happened on aThanksgiving weekend. My family was headed up to my husband's holiday celebration. I complained as I packed, complained as I prepared the food, complained as I sat in the front seat. My attitude stunk. Not sure what it was (Holy Spirit?) but this question popped up in my mind - why do you only see the negative? That moment on I began the journey of gratitude.
Bad drivers. Rude co-workers. Unfaithful spouses. Corrupt politicians. All around us is disappointment, frustration, and sadness. In the Bible, the apostle Peter asked Jesus how many times we needed to forgive others. Jesus said seven times seventy - which basically means all the time. Ask God to help you or seek professional counselling. Do not hang onto the the daily or lifelong disappointments that plague your life. Christians also pray this line in the Our Father prayer, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Thus we must practice what we pray!
If we are praying, forgiving, and practicing gratefulness, these should help us to be more generous with our time and resources. There is great need out there. Please practice mindfulness and open up your hearts and pocketbooks to others. Generosity, with no strings attached, is powerful.
Thank you for reading if you found this helpful, please share. In a few moments, I'll be heading to a restaurant to begin the birthday celebration weekend for my mother.
Know that I pray for my readers and fans every day. Please pray for me, and of course, pray for peace.
Until next month,
Guardian News and Media. (2008, August 2). Microsoft proves there are just six degrees of separation between us. The Guardian. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2008/aug/03/internet.email#:~:text=In%20a%20world%20of%206.6,the%20theory%20was%20right%20%2D%20nearly.