How to Spread Peace In a World of Unrest

It is easy to look around and feel the lack of peace.

Especially at this time of year when we are wishing others love, joy, and peace.

Lack of peace is everywhere. Conflicts, financial concerns, health problems, divorce, personal worries, death, political fighting, severe weather, and crime.

So how can we have peace when we are living in an unpeaceful world?

 

We can spread peace, one act at a time, to those around us.We can spread peace, one act at a time, to those around us.

Look in the right places.

 

First, we need to be looking in the right places.

The true peace we are searching for in our lives and in this world does not come from man. We cannot pass another law, elect another president, start a new organization, or post a viral tweet that will result in peace.

True peace comes from above. From the Prince of Peace.

Sure, we get glimpses of it, sneak peaks, and feel it deep in our souls sometimes, but it is not the everlasting peace that will one day be here. Never to leave again. Permeating all the world.

Jesus said he was going to give us peace. Not world peace, but his peace inside us.

We can spread peace, one act at a time, to those around us.We can spread peace, one act at a time, to those around us. 
Lack of peace is nothing new.

 

History is full of unrest. On a big scale and on a little scale.

When sin entered the world, back in the Garden of Eden, peace came to an abrupt halt. Living in an unpeaceful world became the norm.

We may be wishing for the good old days, but the good old days also had unrest. Jesus knows all about this. He lived in a time of history where there were wars, slavery, uprisings, corrupt rulers, political and religious infighting, and battles between animals and people took place in the colosseum.

Religious leaders routinely tried to trap him with their questions. They would ultimately plot to kill him. Death and disease were a constant.

People were looking for Jesus to bring lasting peace. To bring about new leadership and be their ruler.

But this wasn’t the plan. Jesus brought peace one act at a time. One kind word at a time. One healing at a time. One person at a time.

And this is what we can do.

We can’t spread peace around the world. But we can spread peace to those around us. To our little neighborhood, one peaceful act at a time.

We can hold our tongue. Acknowledge and encourage others. Volunteer. Smile and be present. Say no to something to pause the busyness. Be courteous, respectful, and listen. Love unconditionally. Practice kindness to our self and others. Deepen the relationship with our Savior.  Be still and receive peace from him and others.

One act at a time, we can choose to spread the peace of Christ.

We can spread peace, one act at a time, to those around us.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What are some ways you spread peace?

We can spread peace, one act at a time, to those around us.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth).

We can spread peace, one act at a time, to those around us.We can't spread peace around the world. But we can spread peace to those around us. To our little neighborhood, one peaceful act at a time.

You Are Not Responsible For the Emotions of Everyone Around You

I’m a fixer.

I’m a doer.

Perhaps you are too.

I see the bed unmade and I make it.

The toilet is running. I reach in, push the flapper down, and stop the waste of running water (yes, I have even been known to do this in public bathrooms! I know!).

I see someone next to me and their shirt tag is waving their size and brand, and without thinking I reach over and tuck it back in.

A child looks lost and is frantically looking about for a familiar face, I stop and talk to them. Make sure they are alright.

And if someone looks unhappy, my first instinct is to go make them happy.

I know that sounds silly. Make someone happy. Because we can’t make someone happy. They have to decide they want to be happy, but still I try.

And often I can cheer them up. Make them giggle. Get them to smile.

Which I consider success.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

Do you have my problem?

 

See the problem is that somewhere in my life, and yes it probably stems back to my family of origin, I decided (or thought) I was responsible for the people around me being happy. Emotionally stable. In a good mood. What ever you want to call it.

Maybe it was because being in a “good” mood and being happy was the main emotion we were allowed, or were supposed to exhibit growing up.

I am sure having a teen friend who was highly insecure didn’t help. She would come over to our house for youth groups and at the last minute decide she could not attend. She would recite reason after reason why she could not attend, and my sister and I would deny and topple each reason. Then my sister would get tired of her nonsense and leave her to me. 20 or 30 minutes later I would finally talk her into attending. And then the next week, it would happen again.

So early on I became a fixer of others.

Eventually I had children. And while they were young I was responsible for doing practically everything for them. And that meant helping them learn to control their emotions. Divert their tantrums. Get them to smile on cue for photos.

It didn’t take much to change their moods when they were young.

My son is now a teenager, and he can be unhappy. My husband can have a hard day at work and come home grumpy. My friend loses her baby. My neighbor is moving. All these people are a little unhappy. Grieving or processing their emotions.

My natural instinct is to jump up and sing and dance and try to make them happy.

Only it is not my job.

And it is not always what they need. Or want.

I have been hopping around trying to make people happy for so many years, diverting tantrums, smiling and making faces until the kids smile, trying to cheer up the sad hearted, that I think I am responsible for making everyone around me happy.

But I am not.

And neither are you.

We are all responsible for our own feelings.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

Are emotions good or bad?

 

Here is one thing I am unlearning from my youth. Emotions are NOT divided into 2 categories. Good emotions and bad emotions.

No. All emotions are necessary. Yes, we are more comfortable with some emotions, like happiness, and less comfortable with other emotions, like sorrow.

The emotions themselves ae not good or bad, desirable or undesirable, it is how we process or deal with our emotions that can healthy or unhealthy and cause problems for others.

Pain is not a bad emotion. But if we drink, shop, or retreat from life to mask our emotional pain, then we can get in trouble and cause more problems.

Happiness is not a bad emotion. But if we pretend we are happy when we are not, then that can get us in trouble and cause more problems.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

We can’t always fix them, and that is alright.

 

My daughter and I got all dressed up and drove to attend a play that she really wanted to see. The problem was, we showed up a day late. I felt horrible. Yes, mommy guilt was cursing through my veins. My daughter was sad. Upset. Disappointed. And Angry. And it was all my fault.

We had missed the last show, so there was no buying new tickets. Our chance had come and gone.

Well, I tried to cheer my daughter up. I told her I was sorry. Made a joke about being all dressed up with no where to go. Tried to find the positive. Told her things could be worse. And who knows what else.

But my daughter was still sad. Disappointed. Upset. Angry.

It was one of those times I realized that I could not dance and sing her happy. And it hurt. And it was uncomfortable. Because it was my fault.

And that was alright. Only it didn’t feel alright.

I wanted her to get over her emotions right away, but she couldn’t.

We went out to donuts, I think, but donuts just don’t compare to a Broadway play.

It is hard as parents seeing our children trying to work through their emotions. It is hard as spouses when we see our mates working through difficult time. It is hard when we see our friends grappling with big changes and emotions. It is hard when we can’t solve things. Make things better. Wave a magic wand.

We can watch them wade through the emotions, but we can’t do it for them.

I know sometimes their emotions make me uncomfortable, and so I want to fix them. But only they can fix them.

Or maybe I feel responsible for their emotions, like I did with my daughter and missing the play, so I want to fix them.

But I can’t fix them. And that is hard. But it is alright.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

What you can do to help the other person deal with their emotions?

 

I am leaning that sometimes the best thing to do is just be there. Be available for the person.

Let them sit and process their emotions, and not try and hurry them to happy.

Instead of talking, listen to them. Then asking a few questions that lets them tell you where they are coming from. And why. Then listening some more.

This technique requires us to let them come to some of their own conclusions. To bite back some of our wonderful insights and conclusions. To not do most of the talking and telling.

But it works.

They process through their emotions and return to their usual self easier if they can talk about how they are feeling, and why they feel that way.

Isn’t this what we all want? To be understood and heard?

This may mean letting them be sad for a while. Not hurrying or short changing the grieving process. Or the healing process.

It’s hard, because we often want to fix them on our terms and time.

But that will not work for them.

 

Resisting the urge to fix. 

 

Let’s stop feeling responsible for fixing everyone’s attitude or emotions.

Because we are not responsible for fixing them.

Instead, let’s help them process their emotions. Listen. Ask questions. And listen some more.

We won’t do it perfectly.

And it will feel strange. All new things do. But as we try, we will be learning. And progress will be made.

Both for them. And for us.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: Do you feel this need to fix the emotions of those nearest you?

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

Why We Want to Be There for Others

I am about to slide into bed, when I hear my son wandering the house.

The clock says he should have been asleep awhile ago.

I find him in the living room.

“I can’t get to sleep,” he moans. “I have been trying to for an hour and a half.”

“Did you try and lie still? Quiet your mind? Relax with . . .?”

“I’ve tried everything,” he moans.

I inwardly groan. I am tired myself. I know I would be asleep the moment my head sinks into the pillow, but . . . life calls.

“Come on,” I say, “I’ll help you.”

I follow his lanky body, taller than me now, back into his bedroom. I tuck him back into bed and sit on the edge of his bed, my hand resting on his leg.

“Breathe slowly,” I say, trying to calm my voice to soothing. “Release the stress with each exhale. Feel your body sink into your mattress.”

I drone on. My voice becoming a little softer. A little quieter.

His breath become longer. Slower. His body begins to let go.

Slowly I raise my hand until it is hovering in the air barely above his body. I used to do this when he was an infant. Ever so slowly raise my hand off his body and then hover it there to make sure he didn’t stir awake.

He remains asleep. I tiptoe out of the room. Mission accomplished.

As my head sinks into my pillow, I instantly relax.

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.We like being needed and being there for others.

 

I know you are like me. You want to help those around you. Love them well. Solve their problems.

Often it is not convenient. But you do it. Because you are concerned about the small and large stuff that concerns those we love.

You see your daughter’s sad face and ask her what’s wrong.

Your son asks you to tie his shoes, and you do.

You dog seems lethargic, and you wonder what is wrong.

You are in the middle of making dinner and your sister needs to talk. You pause to be there for her.

Your husband needs a favor, and you come through for him.

A friend loses a parent, and you hug her and take her dinner.

Your child has a hard time falling asleep, and you talk him to sleep. Or hum him into dream land.

All these things communicate you love them. Are concerned about them and their life. Care about them and their life direction.

Big and small, you want to be there for them. And what you do for them is important.

You encourage them. Cheer them on. Listen. Hand out advice. Squeeze hugs on their bodies.

You want to be involved in their lives. Know their problems. Be asked to help.

Yes, we sometimes get tired of being there. Of helping. Of sacrificing to do the right thing. Of caring so much. Of trying to solve problems and find solutions.

The last thing I wanted to do the night I found my son wandering around sleepless in our house, was help him. I was tired myself. Craving the covers over my tired body. But then as I am helping him, soothing him to sleep, I felt honored to be asked. Trusted to help. And that was a good feeling.

Let’s think about the opposite?

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.What if we were not needed?

 

Imagine if those we loved did not include us? Involve us?

Your husband tells us that he lost his job three months ago, but no worries, he has since found a new one. Sure, it was a stressful time and a lot of worry, but that is now past. He did not want to worry you.

Your son tells you that he asked someone else to teach him to tie his shoes because he didn’t want to bother you.

Your daughter tells her that she lost the spelling competition at school. She was sad for a while, but a friend helped her with her sadness. She knew you had other more pressing problems to deal with.

Your pet visits the neighbor’s when sick, so you don’t expend extra energy on them.

Your neighbor doesn’t tell you that her mother died until a year later. This way she can say she is past the grieving stage and doesn’t need to hamper your schedule.

Your sister lets you know she had a problem, but only after she has thought of a solution. Better yet, even implemented the solution and found success. She knew you were busy and wanted to conserve your energy for more important things.

Would we want to find out that those around us didn’t need our help? Our encouragement. Our listening ear and love? Our problem-solving abilities?

Our soothing voice to put them to sleep?

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.We were made to be there for others, by someone who is there for us.

 

We want to be needed. To be called on. To be informed and kept in the loop.

We don’t want to know after the fact.

Yet sometimes we do this to God.

We think he is to busy to be concerned with our life. Our situation. Our problems.

We think he has more important things to do, than listen to us. Or help us.

And yet, he wants to concern himself with us. To keep those lines of communication open between us. To know what is going on in our life and heart.

As a friend, parent, sibling, and co-worker we want to be needed. To be involved.

We were made in God’s image. And just like him, we want to help. Be needed. Solve problems. Come along side.

God, as our heavenly father, doesn’t want us solving the problem, getting over our hurt, and getting support elsewhere and then coming to him whole and unneedy. No, just like we delight in helping those around us, he delights in helping us.

And unlike us, he never runs out of energy, solutions, patience, love, and all those other things. We can only help so much, but he can help forever.

Remember:

1. No concern, problem, issue, hurt, worry, triumph, blessing, or thought is to little or big to share with him.

2. He cares about us more than we can imagine. His heart breaks for us and explodes in pride for us.

3. He is besides us every step of the way, just waiting for us to put our hand in his. Waiting for us to include him in our life.

4. He is not intimidated by our messes, and ultimately uses them to our advantage and his glory.

5. He sees us and what we are becoming. He knows us better than we know our self and nothing we do or say surprises him.

6. He wants only the best for; works all things ultimately for our good.

So, share the good, bad, and ugly with him. Trust him. Make him your best friend. Keep him in the loop.

And next time you can’t sleep, ask him to talk you to sleep. Because he will.

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: Tell about a time you were there for someone or they were there for you.

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed. #relationships #kindness to others