Peace During the Holidays

The antonym for “peaceful,” is “unpeaceful.” Okay, that’s fair, but I was thinking of something a little more descriptive than that. How about “chaotic,” “tense,” exhausting,” or “stressful?” What emotions do you feel when your home doesn’t seem to be peaceful?

There are so many situations that could create precisely the opposite of a peaceful home. Maybe someone you live with is struggling with physical or emotional illness; perhaps that person is you. You might be in a toxic (or even dangerous) relationship, and home is the last place you want to be. Perhaps you live alone and are lonely (or worse, not alone but feeling discarded). Maybe you’ve lost someone very dear to you this year, or you’re overwhelmed with juggling a job and the house and the kids and an aging parent. Perhaps your home is filled with so much physical stuff that you don’t have room to breathe; to experience calm and peace. Maybe you’re over your head in debt, can’t pay the rent, or put food on the table, let alone buy gifts.

Sometimes, when we live with others in a space that isn’t peaceful and calm, we decide that the other person should change. We think things like, “If only they could see themselves through my eyes or realize how much happier they’d be if they did things my way.” Then we sit back and wonder why we don’t feel peaceful. Chances are good that those very people are thinking about how much calmer life would be if we changed!

Sadly, during the holiday season, people often tend to experience even less peace in their homes. That irony of that shouldn’t be lost on us. We’ve traded the joy of the holiday for the “stuff” of it. We’re impatient with others. We become exhausted. We get caught up in the “wow, look at how wonderful everyone else’s life is” phenomena, and that robs of even more peace.

When we look back and review our lives, our financial wealth, success, or acquisitions aren’t going to be what matters the most. It will be the memories and laughter shared, the moments of peace, and blessed joy that will fill our hearts.

Teresa of Ávila wrote this prayer in the 1500s. Its timelessness inspires me:
“May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”

©PeaceFullHome®/intentional living 2013-2020


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