Updated: Sep 17
"Peace is not something you wish for; it's something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away."
Today I am covering the second step on the Meaningful Path, peace. This post is part of the Five Strivings series in which I am exploring each of these steps that we refer to as the Meaningful Path in a relatable and practicable way.
If you missed the start of the series, I recommend you go back and start with the first post, "5 Ways We Strive and Thrive” and then continue in order until you catch up. There is a benefit to allowing time for each one to be considered thoughtfully and in the context of your own life experiences before moving on to the next, so you may want to come back for some review if you choose to go through them together.
Primal Root = Agreement
When we talk about safety, we think of protection from that which can harm us. Which usually brings images of some outside thing we need to put up walls to protect ourselves from. But the threat isn’t just to our physical selves, or to the possessions we have. Safety is prerequisite for peace, which in turn allows people to be authentic and to express themselves without fear of reprisal.
Have you ever wanted to contribute to a discussion but didn’t speak up for fear that your contribution wasn’t going to be good enough or smart enough? What about wanting to share something about yourself with someone but were concerned about the personal exposure that would involve? Or knowing that you could make a difference on a project or task someone was leading but refrained from offering help because you were worried about rejection?
There is a vulnerability that comes with opening ourselves up truly, and that requires peace.
Peace can also be thought of as being rooted in agreement, the absence of conflict. That doesn’t mean that conflict won’t happen at times, but when it does the resolution of it needs to be a return to agreement in a way that is safe and allowing for cooperation. The role of this security is to create and hold conditions outside of us that make it safe for us to drop some of our barriers to let expression out.
That means being open to being and expressing our whole selves, our meaningful selves!
If we feel and believe that our space, and those in it, promote peace and safety, then we’ll feel much freer to bring our meaningful selves to the task, project, conversation, relationship, etc.
And isn’t that the result we would want? To be true and open and real, knowing that we won’t face ridicule, battering, and lashing out by others?
Circumstances where peace is present promote better and stronger relationships, partnerships, communication, dispute resolution, productivity, and much more. Peace means being able to devote attention, energy, and focus that would otherwise be spent on defenses, to meaningful engagement.
So, what can you do to bring the peace?
Let’s take a cue from someone who set a great example to follow, Mahatma Gandhi, who said, "The only way to find peace is to become peace."
We become peace by promoting peacefulness, prioritizing cooperation over conflict, agreement over argument, and set, encourage, and support peaceful conditions in our interactions with others. As John Lennon suggests, “make it something you give away.”
Remember that these Five Strivings are in sequential order, so to truly nail Peace, you must have a prosocial environment. For more on that, check out the previous post in this series. In our next post in the series we’ll look at #3, Happiness.
Interested in some help with increasing peace in your work and life? Take a look at our coaching service or drop us a line to set up some time for us to talk using these links.