Friday, May 16, 2008

Let Peace Begin With Me

Lisa left me a book, The Peace Book (by Louise Diamond), when she and her beloved Doug bid us farewell last month. I began to read it this morning. Strong. Beautiful. Challenging. Simple. Life-changing.

Many questions surface in my mind as I read each page, each paragraph, each statement.

How often to I pay attention to my breath? Are my breaths deep and satisfying or shallow and fast, unable to strengthen me for the task at hand?

How often do I consciously and intentionally relax, taking inventory of my body and mind and spirit, with the goal of releasing tension, fear, anger, and selfishness?

Do I model inner peace and serenity in my home with my husband and children? When they are frustrated with themselves, with me, or with something else, how do I respond? Do I enter into their anger with them or step away from the fray and quietly, prayerfully let them take responsibility for their own emotions?

When fear and anger surge in me, how do I respond? Do I allow fear to take control of my thoughts? Do I allow angry thoughts to come and go? Do I introduce those thoughts to the power of Peace, Forgiveness, and Trust?

Do I seek peace and pursue it? Do I do all within my power to live at peace with all people?

When this computer run by the impossibly complex, glitchy, moody Microsoft Vista program begins its daily (yes, DAILY!) habit of burping and hiccupping and otherwise acting like we are presumptive and aggressive in our requests that it connect us to the internet - when it denies that there is a modem, an internet connection, or an operating system of any kind, how do I respond? Am I peaceful even then?

No screaming, kicking, or cursing.
But a lot of wishing that we'd bought a Mac instead.
Actually, we did buy a Mac afterwards.
I wish we'd bought the Mac first.
And I promise myself and my loved ones
that we will never buy another PC.

What I have come to recognize is that this computer has been a teacher for me in many ways. When my husband and children are frustrated with it, when nothing they do seems to make a difference in its fincky behavior, when they bellow to me for help, I get up slowly from wherever I find myself at the moment.

I take a deep breath and say a quick prayer.

I ask for wisdom about what to do to restore peace to our homeschooling room - where this computer resides.

I sit down in front of this rather expensive piece of hardware asking myself how I can be the necessary software at a time when rage flares, hearts harden, and frustration soars with regard to the computer which sits idle and frozen.

And then I plead for insight as to what I can do to restore this computer to activity and connectivity.

In that order.

And, regardless of the outcome of the situation at hand,
I always breathe a prayer of thanks
that I have been given yet another opportunity
to be a beacon of hope,
of grace,
of calm,
and of peace in my home.

Let there be peace on earth.
Let there be peace in our home.
Let it begin with me.
Let it begin in me.


Lori said...

Challenging Gail, The line you wrote, "Do I model inner peace and serenity in my home with my husband and children?" Man is that tough one for me. I get a bad grade in that department.

Karen said...

Laughing through your familiar rant, grateful that I'm a Mac fan, and knowing that the combination of laughter and gratitude always results in an outburst of peace!