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Playing War – A Metaphor for Life
A few weeks ago, I made a date with a former client to play cards. When we met this week he was excited to play the game of War. You know that card game when each person puts one card down and the person with the highest wins the pair, hoping to gather the whole deck? Who doesn’t know that game?
We played and joked and I caught up on his life. He won many hands the first round and commented on his skill.
I said, “I didn’t know there was a strategy for War. I thought it was just luck.”
He said, “There is a strategy for everything.”
Me, “What is the strategy for War?”
He thought for a moment and then said, “Hope.”
I couldn’t help but think this conversation was a metaphor for our lives which often hold so much turmoil. Hope is an excellent strategy for war.
This boy lost his mother two Christmases ago to cancer. I met him just before she died when he had no hope for his future. He pictured life without his mother to be himself in a dark room alone, forever. His siblings came together to support him and this togetherness transformed his fear into hope. The love and compassion that helped him get through that scarey time and have hope for his future was an honor to observe.
Having him visit me these two years later and see how great he is doing was a treat. His grades are good, he is playing football, he is happy. Hope brings peace.
Finding Peace Within
A woman once told me that “Hope” was my gift to the world. I thought this was the biggest compliment. I love to hold eternal hope. I do have a sense that my hope our world can change and heal, will make a difference, mostly because it has me acting in ways that will bring that change. And those around me, seeing me, are often inspired to do the same. Hope grows exponentially when shared. So does peace.
I know a good strategy to war: Peace. Unfortunately competition discourses like “My deck is bigger than your deck,” often rule, causing much of the conflict in ourselves, in our families, communities, and the world. We get so anxious about being ‘good enough’ that we alienate others, either by judging and isolating ourselves or judging them. Then, we use power to make ourselves feel better.
It is time to find that peace within ourselves so that we can affect peace in the world. Inner peace starts by getting rid of judgments.
My young friend and his caregiver gave me permission to share his story.
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