I received a phone call recently from a young woman who was distressed about the upcoming Christmas holiday. She and one of her siblings have had many differences over the years, and when they are together, she becomes a different person. She seems to take on her sibling's anger and becomes defensive and argumentative in an attempt to stand her ground. Their interactions are filled with blame and drudging up past pain in order to prove each other's justifications for being angry and defensive. This young friend has been away from home for a couple of years and has been working on letting go of her emotional baggage. She has found inner peace, strength, and happiness. She wants to stay in that place, but is worried that when she goes back home, she will lose her inner strength.
As we talked about the situation, I thought of many of my own relationship struggles over the years - and mostly my own inner struggle. I shared with her the secret I have found to staying emotionally strong and in a loving, non-reactive place:
BE. AT. PEACE. Choose peace. Choose to let go of the struggle of the relationship and be at peace with what it is.
When we are fighting so hard to change something (or someone), the struggle gets bigger. If we choose to be at peace with ourselves, with others, and with our relationships no matter what, then the struggle relaxes and dissipates. We soften, and the people we struggle with have a chance to choose peace. Choosing peace puts us back in control of our own emotions. We are each responsible for our own emotions. When we choose to be peaceful, we quit giving others power over our emotions and power over how we feel about ourselves.
You may be asking yourself: how is it possible to be peaceful with someone that makes me so mad and causes so much drama?
The answer is simple...God's love. God's love overcomes every bit of anger, fear, resentment, and struggle. If we put as much effort into finding His love, accepting His love, and being embraced by His love, as we do on focusing, struggling and fighting for control in our relationships, what would happen? MIRACLES would happen. Miracles inside of us and miracles in our relationships.
Let's create some MIRACLES this holiday season by choosing peace and choosing love. Let it be our focus. Let it be what expands inside our hearts and minds. Let it be what we bring to every relationship, family party, and every moment of our lives.
1 - ASK and ye shall RECIEVE. Yep - start with good ol’ prayer. What better place to find love and peace than from the Ultimate Source of love and peace?
2 - PAY ATTENTION TO and DROP the stories running through your head! Like I always tell my kids when they are complaining - what you focus on expands! If you give your time and attention to blame, justifying anger, figuring out how to "get back” or “get even" with someone, then all those emotions are going to heighten and take over. Remember not to spread drama. Your friends don't want to hear you complaining again! You are stronger than your thoughts! CHOOSE to let those negative thoughts, emotions, and words go.
3 - CHOOSE positive uplifting thoughts and emotions. HOW? Put on your favorite music, go exercise, read a great book, watch your favorite movie, call the happiest friend you have and let THEM do the talking, do some random acts of kindness, do something kind for yourself. A pedicure or massage are great ways to be kind to yourself, relieve stress, and let go of negativity.
We have the power to change what is going on in our lives. It starts with changing what is going on inside us. If you want peaceful relationships, then be at peace with yourself and others. You've got this!!