When I say relating peacefully, I mean relating to ourselves and others in a way that makes us each feel more whole, that allows more of ourselves to come forth, connect, and flourish.
The word peaceful resonates with me because it implies a sense of rightness in the world.
It’s peaceful, not because it’s quiet (though that would be nice!), but because the members of our family are coexisting in harmony and balance. It’s peaceful, not because we’re suppressing the friction, but because we’re tapping into something beyond the friction, something bigger that can contain and ultimately heal us.
When I say relating peacefully to ourselves and others, I’m talking about (and falling short of many days)…
- feeling our feelings
- listening to ourselves, being honest, and finding inner clarity
- communicating our needs respectfully
- setting realistic expectations through understanding child development and each unique individual
- helping our kids meet our expectations on their own terms
- treating children as autonomous beings who have equal dignity with adults
- disciplining without punishment (certainly not corporeal but also not using shame, threats, arbitrary consequences, or withholding parental love)
- taking care of ourselves and disengaging when we feel we’re about to take angry actions and or speak harmful words
- tapping into our fundamental goodness and autonomy as living beings
- being kind to ourselves as we learn and grow
- truly enjoying our lives
When I began this journey I thought I needed to Get Peaceful Now. I was trying so hard, so hard that all my trying accomplished was the looming shadow of my failure. And then I would beat myself up for failing.
I’m letting that go.
It turns out that I need to let go of a lot things! And that letting go really means allowing. And that allowing means accepting everything, letting it all in, the failures, the yelling, the despair… the joy.
When I let it in and when I really feel it, it is like a swelling tide. I let the waves roll inside of me and they grow me.
I get bigger, things get sweeter, and when I look up, I see that the sky is wide open.
Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down
in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
– even the phrase “each other” –
do not make any sense.
~ Rumi ~