Three Thieves of Peace
We live in some troublesome times today, and with still many things in life and the future being uncertain, it can be challenging to remain at peace if not aware of the traps on the journey that are inclined to rob our peace. In this rare time of more restricted circumstances of going about our daily life activities like work, travel, shopping, or regular physical contact in our relationships, holding on to peace won’t be easy. We’ve all have had to adapt to a new way of living to an extent, although things will eventually get back to normal. However, in many ways, we all still have a lot to be thankful for surviving, but it’s only in a state of peace that we can see the cup half full instead of half empty.
Therefore, I’m sure we’re all doing our best with what resources, wisdom, and skills we have to remain at peace. But, let us not fool ourselves either. A glance at our news broadcast and social media feeds will reveal that many are experiencing emotions far from tranquility. Though I’m sure many are making progress and learning valuable lessons through this cloud of havoc hovering over the world.
Nevertheless, in my time, I’ve found a few emotions that have quickly robed me of the peace we all deserve. Yet, through every passing day, I’ve taken steps to be more aware and better prepared when these thieves of peace come creeping in, and so I thought I’d share.
Guilt: this emotion has its purpose in many ways, but it can be damaging if not controlled to fulfill only its purpose. It can be different for us all how guilt may affect you or not, but with the stress of not working as usual or moving to do the hobbies and things we love to do, guilt can quickly start creeping in. Thoughts of past mistakes or failures or even present ones can feel harder to stop reflecting on since we are so limited from our regular schedules. Our peace is missing before we know it, and our guilt has run its course for days, paralyzing you from the present moment. Therefore, be on guard and be encouraged to do daily inventory on the things you have accomplished and plan to achieve in the future. ¨This too shall pass¨ needs to be our daily attitude, and when guilt creeps in, notice it but try to respond to it as soon as possible. For instance, journaling and meditative reflection to dismantle guilts false assaults are ways one can quickly begin to regain their peace.
Anger: the world as we know it has turned anger into its primary defense mechanism. From politicians to entire communities, wrath has come to steal our peace, and it is doing a darn good job at it. Anger is a secondary emotion that occurs after feeling a primary emotion like hurt, humiliation, frustration, or rejection. I’m sure that we have become more prone to feeling these primary emotions than usual because of our current state. Still, the key to our success in overcoming anger lies in our awareness to respond to them correctly instead of letting offenses lead to rage — the best weapon against anger I have found to be taking an active response. Letting our frustrations or hurts sit and boil up will always lead to distorted thoughts and behavior. We must accept the things we cannot change and let the clouds of anger pass, but if it lies in our power and will to do something about what is creating anger in us, we must do so. I’m a big NBA fan, and these last few weeks that the NBA has taken the court once again, I’ve enjoyed watching it for two reasons. One, the love I have for the game. Secondly, the NBA’s example involves all the hurt, pain, frustration, and many other primary emotions leading to anger. The NBA is taking action by using their stage in life to express in various forms their truth about how they feel about the injustice going on in society. Social or personal change will never come by sitting passive, waiting for the storms of life to pass us by because there will always be another storm to face. Therefore, by taking action and learning from our efforts, we will regain our peace, and as the NBA, “you must be the change you wish to see in the world” — Mahatma Gandhi.
Doubt: lastly, doubt is, I’m sure one with all that has gone on in many of us has been an easy trap to fall into, leading to stealing your peace. In many ways, doubt can be tricky because, unlike guilt or anger, it may seem like a harmless emotion. However, this emotion does not get a pass in that it can rob us of our peace. The uncertainty in life now, I’m sure, has led many to doubt the future and many of society's ¨leaders¨ (police officers, politicians). However, in the end, the loss of our peace needs to be our responsibility. We should never allow any circumstances outside of ourselves to dictate our inner peace. Concern leading to doubt will be natural causes in our lives depending on what may be happening, but letting it rob us of looking at the bright side of things is not what it should do. Reflecting on our past, society’s past, and the world’s history, we will quickly realize that we have overcome and overcome again we will.
Therefore, stand in your peace to see and recognize these three thieves of peace when they try to creep in and defeat them!