Living with attitudes of being compassionate and empowering dignity allows us to transform our suffering, pain or pasts into productive, beneficial healing, growth and change.
Tomorrow is the second Sunday of the Advent which illuminates the theme of peace.
So moving forward, on this edition of “Becoming Today”, let’s give it a chance.
Peace can have many meanings. From the dictionary among the offering of definitions are:
-a state or period in which there is no war or a war has ended. Synonyms include law and order, lawfulness, harmony, and accord,.
-a ceremonial handshake or kiss exchanged during a service in some churches, symbolizing Christian love and unity.
Plus the one I find most beneficial for our common understanding:
– freedom from disturbance; tranquility. Similarly described as calm, calmness and restfulness.
Being free from distractions, harassment, annoyances and chains that bind us to past realities and circumstances certainly creates in us the space to manifest a place for and an overall attitude of being peaceful.
Accepting this point of light we can receive peace as C.A.L.M.
Now since we know words have meanings and that those meanings can empower or destroy let’s consider some shared definitions of C.A.L.M….. and yes I hear you; you in the back row, muttering “why is this woman typing it like that?!!!”
I’ll explain, however, to learn that, you’ll need to keep on reading. (As she laughs slightly mischievous with an upturned grin…)
Adjective-Not showing or feeling nervousness, anger, or other strong emotions.: “she had to keep calm at all costs” “his voice was calm”.
Noun -The absence of violent or confrontational activity within a place or group.: “an edgy calm reigned in the capital”. Synonyms: tranquility, stillness, calmness, quiet, quietness, quietude, peace, peacefulness, serenity, silence, hush, restfulness, and repose.
Verb– Make (someone) tranquil and quiet; soothe.: “I took him inside and tried to calm him down” or “a cup of tea will have a calming effect”. Synonyms: soothe, pacify, placate, mollify, appease, conciliate, hush, lull, gentle, quell, allay, alleviate, assuage, or dulcify.
The concept of remaining calm or at peace, and the teaching of it have been with us for centuries. In the Scriptures we find,:
Isaiah 7:4 “Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart…”
Exodus 14:14 “The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Proverbs 15:18 “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute”.
Plus there are many more. We also know that we are called to reflect (meditate, ponder), remain calm, be peaceful (filled with peace), and at rest. No dozing off here; in the Word we understand that “at rest” is at times defined as “to be quiet or tranquil, as the mind; not to be agitated by fear, anxiety or other passion.”
During a recent time of peaceful reflection and being at rest, I was led into a study of what it means to live C.A.L.M.
It certainly was a tranquil repose of solitude, when I meditated upon enjoying the moment. Seizing the present I achieved a mindfulness that took me within thinking, contemplating, meditating and praying and then repeating it all again ( and several more times again). It was in this introspective instance that the following acronyms kept filling my mind as well as my journal page.
See if you can find a common thread in this stream of consciousness:
Now coming from a place where you are more content, approaching all things, people, situations from a place of peace and remaining calm, it’s time to keep that momentum building… both forward and upward!
If you feel you may be lacking in this area of self-empowerment, fear not, you are not alone. No one is born this way, we all have fears, doubts and insecurities. Plus all of us have the ability to overcome any lack. None of us are perfect, so let’s empower ourselves by receiving peace and calm by first accepting who we really can be “Becoming”.
Perhaps one of your affirmations is something along the lines of, “I am deserving of being treated with compassion, dignity and respect”.
Remember to first practice giving those things to yourself and receiving them gratefully with grace. Do this by empowering your self esteem.
Obviously I hope you are making the choices to improve or strengthen your positive self esteem. We know that negative self-esteem can impact every aspect of your life, including relationships, jobs and your health.The good news is you can correct your false views of yourself, as the following steps borrowed from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will outline.
Identify Problem Areas
Think about the situations that deflate your self-esteem. Identify the triggers. Some examples include:
A crisis at work or home
A challenge with a spouse, child or other loved one,
A change in life circumstances, such as a job loss, a death of someone near and dear or a child making poor choices.
Pay Attention To Your Thoughts
We all are familiar with the quote, “cogito, ergo sum”.
Not ringing a bell, well that’s probably because most of us don’t speak Latin and have probably heard Rene Descartes (French Philosopher) words translated as “I think, therefore I am”.
Once you’ve identified a disturbing situation, you especially need to pay attention to your thoughts. This includes self-talk and your interpretation of what the situation means.
Ask yourself if this belief is true? Would you say it to a friend? If not, then don’t say it to yourself.
Challenge Your Negative Thinking
Be aware that long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, even though they are not. Often these false perceptions are just opinions devoid of any truth. Then make sure you are not getting involved in patterns of self delusion or accepting falsehoods as the truth.
Some of these patterns to avoid can be:
All-or-nothing thinking. Do not say to yourself, If I don’t succeed in this task, I’m a complete failure and always will be.”
Rejecting your achievements. Do not tell yourself they don’t count. Do not place false limits on yourself.
Reaching a negative conclusion when evidence does not support it. For example, “They didn’t reply to me, so obviously I must have done something wrong.”
Mistaking feelings for facts. Do not confuse feelings or beliefs as factual evidence. For example, “I feel like a loser, so I’ll always be a loser.”
Take Ownership of Your Thoughts
Rather than being overwhelmed by negativity, acknowledge its presence.
Accept it, then shoes to empower yourself. Look at the reality and declare it will be no more. Work, take action thoughts or feelings to be “Becoming”.
In addition to feeling better about yourself and current situations adopting an attitude of calm there are numerous other benefits of accepting a God inspired peacefulness.
Improved Physical and Mental Health
In english, the word disease is derived from two words, “dis” and “ease”. The translation of those is ‘distance from God’. When you decrease that distance and accept a relationship where you can reside in God’s peace and love it will keep away stress, anxiety and other debilitating conditions that often manifest in ailments like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancers, depression and so-called nervous breakdowns.
Developing A Positive Attitude
Peaceful people are positive people. . They live expectantly believing in the best of things, people and situations. They don’t get lost in anxiety, worry or convincing themselves that things will certainly go wrong. There is a song that remind us,’ listen to your heart, your brain is stupid’.
Being Peaceful Fosters Hope
When you are hopeless, you are Becoming helpless. Embracing the peace of God empowers hope. Assuring that everything will work out for your good. With God, all things end in “all is well”.
Peace Makes You A Better Lover
Being a person of peace, calm at rest, at ease and open allows for us to enjoy our relationships with others. It allows us the protected form of vulnerability to be open to new, better experiences with people and our environments. People will want to be around you, perhaps for reasons they do not immediately understand. But rest assured it will be because they desire the peace you are radiating.
Living with the peace of God is truly virtuous. Sharing it with others enables more favor in our lives and boosts the quality of life for all we encounter.
One of the best parts of gaining the peace of God is that it involves so little effort.
Seek, ask and receive.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7
It really can be that easy, as long as you are willing. I’m hopeful and praying that it will be for you as I know it is for me.
“When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”Proverbs 16:7
Find your light of peace, Focus it on your path. See it and be brave enough to be “Becoming Today”.
Take some time to reflect upon the light of Peace, as well as what answers you specifically are looking for. Whether they concern yourself, your immediate circle or a greater community, come to an understanding of what you’d like to see “Becoming”.
Then peacefully come together and join us Monday for our next edition of “Becoming Today”.