Sunday, April 15, 2012

Choose Peace

I’ve written previously, life is a giant classroom and others are our teachers. Often we think life would be better if our families or co-workers did things the “right” way (our way). We may believe that we must teach other people a lesson. Ironically, it’s us who must learn a lesson from them.  

Whether it’s your parents, your spouse, your kids, your siblings, your co-workers or the cashier at the store, whoever you are interacting with at that moment is your teacher. In her article “Branching Out” author Sally Kempton writes, “Some of them teach you through their good qualities. Some of them teach you through their mistakes. Even more important, your family members offer a mirror of the issues that confront you in this lifetime.”

Relationships, especially those with our families, reveal our insecurities and the places where we are rigid and refuse to bend. They show us where we need to come up higher and be more loving and more forgiving. Often times, we unknowingly (or knowingly) withhold love or empathy as a form of control. Or, we do it to make ourselves feel superior. We blame others for our misery.

“Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy.” -  Wayne Dyer

If we wake up, we’ll see those we spend the most time with, show us what WE need to work on. Are we to learn how to let go of resentment? Are we to learn how to judge others less and give them the benefit of the doubt? Are we to learn what our emotional triggers know, those situations which make us want to control others or that lead us to question our self-worth?

So accept people as they are. When we accept others for who they are, it helps us accept ourselves. Let everyone you encounter be who they are in that moment. Accept them as a person who is imperfect (like you are) and in need of love and encouragement. Look for the beauty that lies behind their brashness.  

As the Course in Miracles states, that which is not love, is a call for love. Look for ways YOU can be love to them in that moment. In choosing this response, you are choosing peace.

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