“Are You Going to War for Peace?”

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Don’t worry, this is not a story of the often sad and scary news in our world today. This IS a story about how choosing not to go to war for peace will grace your life with the integrity and the peace you are seeking in life and the world.

10 years ago, my marriage of 25 years ended and I found myself alone with 3 children, the mortgage, and marital assets made unavailable through creative accounting by people considered friends-ouch! Person after person challenged me to go to war (court) for getting back what was mine, misconstruing my reluctance to do so as fear.

So what was my hesitation if not from fear?

I knew what my former husband was capable of (I’m a fast learner), but fear was not what was holding me back from going to court with my former husband. It was my clarity about the price my children would pay if I were to focus my time, energy, and resources on battling in court with someone who wanted a war. My children needed their mother to focus her time, energy, and resources on their needs as children, including peace in their home and in their family. My children needed me to choose war or peace.

I was faced with the choice to go to war for making peace with my finances- knowing my children would pay dearly for this choice- or making peace with life having a different plan for me. My wounded pride and sense of betrayal were romancing me onto war and yet silent on the true cost of doing so. Sound familiar? How many times have you found yourself at war for soothing pride injured or feelings hurt by someone you love? And only later, realized the cost to you or the relationship?

This was my hardest challenge so far in life and many were the days I did not know if I was capable of making a victory from what felt overwhelming and devastating. Yet embracing my faith and demanding grace be made tangible in my life had previously transformed my chronic illnesses into good health, my infertility into 3 children, and being without a home into a lovely abode.So was having 3 children to support, a mortgage, and no job the challenge given by life to break me or simply sacred faith in my integrity and faith?

There is a price for every choice you make; the choices which cost you are the choices out of alignment with your values. Your mind may convince you “it’s ok, it’s just this time, it’s not a big deal”, but your soul knows your integrity just got dinged and your self-respect pays a price. It’s how we find ourselves in a world which considers going to war an acceptable means for creating peace, with civilians and children-the regrettable, but acceptable-cost of peace.

Where in your life or relationships are you living at odds with what you truly want, compromising what is true in your heart and soul?

Where are you going to war and telling yourself it’s for peace? Do you offer yourself reasons practical or personal for doing so, selling yourself or life short? Take it from me, it’s the little choices you make each day which build the muscles and courage of your integrity…..the integrity which gives you the strength and faith for when life challenges you to choose war or peace.

“In a World Often Scary, Why Being Vulnerable is Essential”

 

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In my first article “The Trojan Horse Opportunity, Change, and Transition Offer Us”, I wrote about challenges offering surprising gifts and invitations for increasing happiness and satisfaction in yourself and your life. In the second article “Learning to Trust Yourself and Life Again; Balancing Inner and Outer Authority”, I wrote about how balancing the authority you give others with learning to call on your own (inner) authority, increases your satisfaction and integrity in life. And here is my new article “In a World Often Scary, Why Being Vulnerable is Essential”:

Whether you subscribe to “leaning in”, “leaning out”, or “love will heal all”, contemporary relationship is emerging as more than a role or a status. Contemporary relationship is a a powerful means for transforming conflict, a petri dish for self-discovery and healing, and an essential dynamic for pivoting the out-dated power over of position, privilege, and possessions into contemporary power with our challenges, courage, and creativity. Contemporary relationship embraces the power of our mind as well as the power of our heart and soul, scientific research showing our health and sense of well-being is in part a reflection of the health of our relationship with ourselves and with others.

Relationships take a lot of wear and tear in a world which can hold everything as up for sale. When we pick up our courage for honoring the sacredness, the nobility of ourselves and an other, our relationships begin to offer us what we all long for…..to be safely seen as imperfect as we all are. Our relationships offer us opportunity after opportunity for healing family patterns which create pain, for tending to our self-love and care, and for developing trust and faith in ourselves and with another. Honoring your relationships requires your courage for allowing the vulnerability (From Latin meaning “wound”) essential for transforming the scary into compassion (From Latin meaning “to suffer with”) with yourself and an other.

Choosing compassion when a relationship challenges your inner security is not overlooking the need for change in the relationship. Responding with compassion to emotions which scare you is courageously choosing to honor your relationships as powerful vehicles for tending to the fears and insecurities we all carry. Choosing compassion is not for wussies; compassion requires courage, honestly examining your feelings, and not blaming another for not being the way you want them to be. Choosing compassion is essential for living life less through fear and more through trust of the wisdom of heart to lead.

Extending to “the other” what you usually demand of them, begins healing wounds of the past, making room for the destiny of the future. Choosing to extend your compassion, your curiosity, your courage to when another triggers you, allows you to pivot fears into learning and allows the vulnerability necessary for true intimacy. When you choose to communicate more for understanding and less for making certain you are heard, you choose connection with vs power over another. Powerful powerful steps for the peace and joy we all long for and I believe, we were born able to create.

Coming next week is my fourth and final article in this series on the art and science of life contemporary. I am excited to share with you how learning to discern, decipher, and delight in the abundant guidance and support life offers us each day, provides support and guidance in a world demanding more than simply the facts of our physical senses. Sensory intelligence is essential for meeting a world awash in fact and figure information, yet challenging us to create solutions to what our minds believe is impossible. Great stuff!