Welcome to 2017! No matter where you live in the world, this New Year poses many opportunities to recommit to living our value of nonviolence. Remember, that Marshall Rosenberg and Mahatma Gandhi both believed that violence is a continuum, anything from judgment to physical abuse. Our goal is spend as much of our life as possible outside of that continuum. We’re not looking for perfection – all of us have moments when we are critical of others or ourselves – we are looking for a commitment toward limiting the time we spend on the continuum of violence.
Many years ago, I felt utterly despairing that world peace was possible. And, then I realized that I was looking for it outside of myself – in my political leaders, supervisors, friends, ministers, and others. And, while I was looking for it outside of myself, I myself wasn’t acting peacefully in my everyday interactions with my family, friends, and others I encountered.
That was the moment when I realized that I can’t hope for world peace if I don’t hold it in my own heart, and that I didn’t need to be a powerful world leader to make a difference. My work is to bring peace to my own heart and extend it throughout whatever sphere of influence I have. Anything beyond that is someone else’s work. With this revelation, my despair was lifted and my focus clear.
What about you? What is your sphere of influence? Maybe in this moment bringing peace to your own heart is all the energy you can muster. I say yes to that! Maybe you want to dabble in bringing a new attitude to your workplace that will promote greater peace. Yes to that! Maybe you’d like to greet your partner or family with a kinder heart. Yes to that! Maybe living in compassion or forgiveness for yourself is where you are. Yes to that!
Whatever your starting point, if living nonviolently and peace are your focus, you will make a difference for all of us. What would you like your starting point to be?
With love in my heart and a passion for individual and world healing, I wish you a joyful New Year! Mary
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