Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.
I’ve gotten to know Pastor Doug McMunn, the Pastor of the Milford United Methodist Church here in Milford through our involvement in the Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce (HVCC). I’m not a member of his church, but he and I are both members of the HVCC and he attends quite a few of our HVCC events, especially the coffee clubs on Friday mornings. Doug is just one of those people that it’s a pleasure to know. He is a very good listener and you get the impression when you are with him that he really cares about what it is you are saying, too.
I feature the events of his church on my web site – www.movetomilford.com – in the Upcoming Events calendar. In order to do that I’ve asked him to have the church staff send me emails with event information and, if possible, to also send a PDF file of any flyer or poster that they’ve created for the event. I recall one coffee club in particular at which I was sort of railing away at Doug that his staff had not sent me anything to post about an event that I saw a poster for in a store window downtown. As I ranted on to Doug about needing that information to post, he quietly said, “Be at peace, Norm. I’ll get you that information.”
Be at peace. What a powerful little message. I’ve since thought about how does one get to be at peace? We all get into agitated states about things in our daily lives, some of them major things that are important; but, many of them minor little things of no great importance other than in our minds at the moment. We need to be at peace. But, how?
I suspect that the first step is just to STOP. Stop whatever rant or tizzy you are in at the time. Stop and pause to think. Is this really that important or am I just flustered and flopping around for an answer or a way out of whatever I’ve gotten myself into. Many times, if you can stop and step back (figuratively) and look in the mirror at that person with the flushed face and raised voice who seems to be so upset you may start to laugh. What was that all about? Be at peace.
Sometimes it is not anger but grief that has overcome us – the loss of a loved one or the grief that comes along with guilt when we have done something wrong. In those times it may be impossible to find peace without the help of someone else to tell you that it’s OK to let it out and then let it go. If you are in Milford, there’s no one that I know of who could help you more with that than Pastor McMunn. Be at peace.
Sometimes the things that has you agitated is something that you cannot control or stop yourself, perhaps a bad habit or trouble with alcohol, drugs or gambling. In those cases, I’ve suggested that you need to admit to yourself that you cannot do it alone and reach out and call for help. See my earlier post in this series – I need help. Get the help you need and be at peace.
Sometimes it’s just the frustrations of daily life that get to us and cause up to snap at a co-worker or a loved one. That is usually accompanied very quickly with feelings of remorse at having said something unkind or off-putting to someone that we did not mean to offend or alienate. The best solution for that is a quick apology. Be at peace.
Sometimes we are actually mad at ourselves or frustrated by failing at something that we are doing. We talk to ourselves; maybe even berating ourselves for our failures. We beat ourselves up over things that we think we did wrong, things said or left unsaid. If left unfettered this tendency towards self-deprivation may go too far and lead to depression – we end up not liking ourselves. Whoa! Be at peace.
If you are happy, you can give happiness. If you don’t love yourself and if you are unhappy with yourself, you can’t give anything else but that. – Gisele Bundchen
So, be at peace and love yourself; then, you can go out and find others to love, too.
You need to love yourself and be yourself one hundred percent before you can actually love someone else. – Christina Perri
In my church, we exchange the peace every week; members shake each other’s hands or hug and the exchange takes place – “Peace be with you” – sometimes the reply is “And also with you.” I think Pastor McMunn’s saying, “Be at peace” is really saying the same thing and would work equally well. So, as you start each day, start it off right by whispering to yourself – Be at peace. At least you’ll be starting from the right place.