How to be at peace…all the time

What a concept. Being at peace no matter what is happening. Isn’t that what we all want? When a former client of mine asked me for prayers because she is pregnant and she in inclined to worry when she was pregnant, I felt inspired to write this article.  But really, this is an issue that now When I I see most everyone I know struggles with.

This morning I woke up with the strangest feeling. It was like there is an answer to my biggest problem that is just about to pop out of my brain.  But the answer is not quite there……..but maybe if I ask, “What are you trying to say to me?” I will hear what I need to hear. Because I think it relates to this peace issue.

I am not at peace when: I judge others and think I am better than them.  I judge others and think I am worse than them.  I have uncomfortable, restless feelings and I don’t get quiet and get in touch with what I am needing or thinking that contributes to those thoughts.  When I am inside too much and don’t get enough play and exercise. When I eat things that aren’t good for me.

Okay, I could go on and on with when I am not in peace.  Now I have the answer.  I want to start really getting serious about looking at my needs and seeing if I am doing those things which get those needs met. I have been getting more and more involved with Nonviolent Communication since I have arrived in San Diego, and I feel very grateful to reconnect with this practice which I learned 25 years ago when Christopher was in my womb. 

Thinking back about  my pregnant client who said she worries a lot during pregnancy, I realize that during pregnancy a woman’s body is most likely hyper aware of feelings because the needs of the baby are being added to the needs of the woman.  Maybe that tiny child, no matter what age–a minute old, or near the end of term,  is adding his or her own set of needs to the table.  Perhaps the feelings about the unmet needs are magnified because this child has not yet learned how to suppress the feelings that indicate needs.

Some people think that unborn babies do not feel pain and thus they can justify ending the baby’s life.  Scientific evidence shows clearly that at twenty weeks, a baby  in the womb can feel pain. In the book The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, Dr. Thomas Verney talks about how the mother’s attitude affects the baby from the moment of conception,

“If loving, nurturing mothers bear more self-confident, secure children, it is because the self-aware “I” of each infant is carved out of warmth and love. Similarly, if unhappy, depressed or ambivalent mothers bear a higher rate of neurotic children, it is because their offsprings’ egos were molded in moments of dread and anguish. Not surprisingly, without redirection, such children often grow into suspicious, anxious and emotionally fragile adults. — p.66″

I may have just had an ephiphany!  What if each one of us, male and female, imagined that we were carrying an unborn child with in us.  If we believed that we were taking care of another besides ourselves, and that each though, word and deed had a positive or negative effect on that child, could we come to a place where we have more incentive to nurture that child?

I believe that we all have an inner child that has needs for such things as play, acceptance, trust, and unconditional love.  Most of us have wounds that our parents, no matter how well-meaning or loving they were, inflicted on us. Those needs are real.  The needs we have in the presen, as adults, are real.  Learning how to sense those needs-through awareness of our feelings–and then figure out ways to meet those needs, is essential for inner peace. Jesus said, “And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Could it be that by healing our inner child, we will be become more like a healthy, unconditionally loving child who looks at people with wide-eyed innocence and positive expectations. 

Of course, as adults, we are also in need of discernment so that we can protect ourselves from people who do have intentions to hurt us.  But I am imagining now looking at even these hurting ones as people who are just trying to get their needs met, but in tragic ways.

My view of a loving God who loves me especially and loves everyone else especially, helps me see people through the eyes of his unconditional love.  I am far from perfect at practicing this, but just having the intention and awareness has helped me greatly.

Nonviolent Communication has helped me as well. You can find some free resources here.  I plan on writing more posts on NVC so that I can encourage my clients and readers to simplify their lives in a huge way–by being at peace and letting go of worries and other thoughts that do not serve us.

 I encourage you to go to this website where you can find the basic human needs and feelings. I am going to print these out and put them in my calendar notebook and start noticing if I am being proactive in meeting these needs. When I am feeling uncomfortable feelings, I am going to scan this list and see if something pops out at me as an unfulfilled need. Then I will work on seeing how I can get that need filled.  I am pretty good at identifying feelings but I am going to use that list as well.

Thanks to my dear client who requested prayers during her pregnancy–you know who you are! Not only are you my client, but also my friend who has inspired me and encouraged me greatly. I hope this is of help to you.

 

 

 

 

 

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