Increase Your Peace, Part 2

Yesterday, I began a series of 10 proven ways to increase your peace.  As promised, here is a second clear way to nurture a life of greater serenity and calm.

2. Take time to calm down before trying to “correct” anyone. This includes your children, your spouse (use caution correcting your spouse anytime!), your employees, your friends.  This means anyone to whom you are thinking of offering a bit of gentle correction or a big dose of reality check.  Jesus used a great illustration of taking the board out of your own eye before trying to remove the speck of sawdust from your “neighbor’s” eye.  In my experience, his advice really helps in the pursuit of a more peaceful life.  Big surprise there, huh?!

There are times in life (although not nearly as often as we might like to think) where we would do well to offer some healthy correction to someone else.  But in order for our perspective to be truly helpful, it must be shared in the right spirit.  And a calm, thoughtful, purposeful spirit is always the best bet.  When I say calm, I mean calm as in not anxious, angry, fearful, jealous, or the like.  Basically, this means not being emotionally reactive.

But you may ask, “So, I’m not supposed to show any emotion when I correct my son, or my team member, or whoever?  I’m supposed to be a robot, or something?” Not at all!  You can be very openly passionate and intense in your delivery, and this is sometimes exactly what is called for.  Express that natural emotion and passion.  Just be sure you have taken the time to be intentional and purposeful in how you express yourself.  This way your passionate words will flow from a calm, controlled center within yourself.

“Okay, Dr. Butner – good life tip, but what does this have to do with increasing the peace in my life?” Well, I’m glad you asked!  Ask yourself who you have respected more throughout your life – those people you have seen as calm, thoughtful, and respectful or those who seem to fly off the handle and thrive on “putting people in their place?”  Don’t you think others have tended to view these folks in much the same way you have?  And who do you think is likely to have greater peace and contentment in life?  The person who consistently earns the respect of others and is regarded with high character, or the individual who is feared, avoided, and/or merely tolerated due to their emotionally reactive nature?

For much greater insight into this concept and way of life, I highly recommend “ScreamFree Parenting,” which you can access through the icon at the top of my page.

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