Today is International Peace Day.
After 45 years of being a litigator in the courtroom, a law professor, a psychotherapist and a coach, I have come to prize the expression I’ve “re-appropriated” from a wonderful hero: “BE THE PEACE YOU WANT TO HAVE.” I value peaceful living so much that I always wear a peace symbols around my neck — it helps me remember to walk my talk.
Who among us doesn’t sometime lose our temper, raise our voice in frustration to our aging parents — especially if we have to repeat ourselves – or wish to do harm to our cellphone when it doesn’t perform to our expectations?
We are, indeed, human. And we humans have emotions. We are entitled to feel whatever we wish. But when it comes to expressing ourselves or to acting out, we always have a choice. We are different from the animals we love in that we have the ability to restrain ourselves from saying every single thought we have or from acting out just because we’re mad as hell.
Interestingly, the latest studies out of UC/Berkeley and Northwestern suggest these researchers can predict health problems likely to develop over 20 years from merely observing a couple in a spat for only 15 minutes.. Apparently the “enraged” partner, the one who spews out on a spouse, is more likely to get cardiovascular issues such as chest pain and high blood pressure; whereas the “stonewaller,” who shuts off feeling emotions without self-expressing, is more likely to develop muscle pain in the back or neck.
Many of the choices we make in this lifetime result in unexpected “battles,” just to survive, let alone thrive. It’s not easy to POParent those who raised you; nor to become more understanding of the siblings who are on the POP journey with you. It’s not simple to balance work and family, play and obligations. These days we hear so often that managing stress and anger helps us — and those around us – that we’ve almost stopped listening.
But, ask yourself this: what percent of your day do you really aim to live peaceably? Do you succeed with that goal? In what way do you — as a person, in your job and in your relationships – promote peacefulness? What else could you do to become the peace you want to have?
Do you need help coaching your family into more peacefulness? Find out more about our Certified POP Family Coaching Program.