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Years of therapy have taught me one really valuable thing. Can I share it with you? It’s my mantra. I say it regularly when I am in a situation that has turned into some type of confrontation and/or conflict.
You don’t have to show up to every argument you’re invited to.
The mantra above has rescued me from a lot of inner turmoil over the years. I hate confrontation. I recoil at it. But it seems to be a growing part of daily life in our world today.What to do when the world feels unsafe? You don't have to show up to every argument you're invited to! Click To Tweet
Growing up in an abusive home, my life was filled with confrontation. I walked on eggshells daily trying to avoid the next landmine that would set someone off. Sometimes it was just a look, or a sigh, or the way I said something or chewed my food that would cause the screaming and the hitting to ensue. More often than not, I had absolutely no idea what all the pain and anguish being inflicted upon me was even for. It was messy and so defeating to live this way.
Days and weeks later when the bruises were finally healing, I often ran out of excuses with my teachers about why I was always injured. I would often forget the stories I made up to cover for my parents and then have to concoct more horrible lies to cover up my forgetfulness. It was survival for me, plain and simple. Heaven forbid my friends or teachers knew what was happening in the wall of my home.
It was such an inauthentic and exhausting way to live!
What to do when the world feels unsafe.
I feel like we can all agree in many ways our world today is unsafe. In some ways, it’s literally a war zone. There doesn’t even seem to be a level of safety in voicing your opinion about something. There doesn’t seem to be room for listening or compromise. People are so angry and hurting.
And we all know that hurting people are good at hurting others. And it’s hard to love people that hurt you.
Sometimes when we speak words meant to bring healing and hope, others personalize our message and take it as a challenge to fight. It leaves you shaking your head in wondering “how in the world did we get here?”
I’ve been asking myself that question A LOT lately when I turn on the news or read another headline or update.
It was no shock to me that I wound up scoring as The Peacemaker (#9) when I took the Enneagram test. (Don’t know what the Enneagram is? This is a great book I enjoyed reading recently that helps you understand and embrace your strengths, weaknesses, and personality quirks, as well as how to relate to people around you.)
We can’t fix the chaos in the world, but we can learn to embrace peace.
My friend lovingly refers to me as her “Switzerland.” She says I’m the peacemaker in our friendship group. I have a knack for helping people bridge their differences and learn to seek new ways to be in harmony with one another when we come up against differences. I guess there are worse nicknames to have, right?
You can’t fix crazy, but you can find peace.
I wish I could fix all the craziness in our world today. I wish I could offer words of wisdom that would help you fix your marriage or a relationship with your kids, friends, or family. I wish I knew the magic phrase that would give us all peace. Or at least give us a break from all the crazy.
But, honestly, I got nothing!
I have learned over the years that in situations fueled with anger, it’s better to say nothing and disengage. By the time you are at a place of serious conflict, neither party is really listening anyway. And more often than not, both parties are just trying to prove that they are right at that point.
It’s important to have healthy boundaries in your life to protect yourself from unhealthy conflict. My therapist recommended two books that really helped me thrive in healthy conflict and create and implement life-giving boundaries. If you want to learn how to develop life-changing, healthy boundaries, read “Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin.” To understand healthy anger and how to manage it in relationships you can read “The Dance of Anger.” Another amazing book is “Boundaries in Marriage” by Townsend and Cloud. I didn’t really love the original boundaries book, but I gobbled this one up!
Cling to the ultimate Peacemaker.
I don’t have any words of wisdom on how to fix our world today. Because let’s face it, it’s pretty screwed up.
But even in the turmoil swirling around us, you can find inner peace when you place your trust in Jesus today!
Jesus will never fail you!
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:7 NLT
Cling to Jesus today friends! He is the ultimate Peacemaker.
Jesus is the ultimate Peacemaker.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”John 14:27 NIV
Take some time to spend a little time with the Savior of the world today. Ask Him to help you find ways to be a peacemaker in the relationships around you.
Recommended books from Amazon:
- Boundaries in Marriage by Townsend and Cloud
- The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner
- Boundaries: Where You End & I Begin by Anne Katherine
- The Road Back To You by Ian Morgan Cron