Protect Your Peace

Last week I shared some insights about how to really reach your goals. This week I’d like to take it a step further and delve into how to protect your peace and what that even means. I’m of the mindset that without peace in your life little else occurs, or if it does, is enjoyable.

Protect Your Peace

When you hear the word, peace, what pops into your head? Do you immediately think calm, serene, quiet? Do you think happy, joyful? Are peaceful people completely devoid of conflict or negativity? Peace obviously means different things to different people but at the very core, when you protect your peace you act in a way that puts your mental well being first.

Choosing Peace

I always like to state things in the positive, so rather than give you a list of things to avoid, let’s focus on what to add more of to protect your peace. First of all, actively begin choosing peace. That means paying attention to how you feel in certain situations and around certain people.

If you are constantly feeling unsettled or anxious after you are with someone that’s a sign. It’s your body’s way of struggling to get back to a balanced place. Sometimes you leave an encounter and a verbal onslaught of what you should have said fires off in your head. You wished you had stood up for yourself or defended yourself or someone else. You might even be tempted to fire off a text or an email. Sometimes it’s warranted but other times it only serves to bring more drama without any resolution. Choosing peace means you choose to spend your time in other ways and with other people. Choosing peace means you talk about topics other than the inflammatory ones that bring about emotional turmoil. By actively choosing peace you are protecting peace.

What It Looks Like

You know those people who never seem to have friend drama? They learned to protect their peace. They don’t engage in negativity, they grant grace, they forgive, they understand intentions vs. actions. You know what else? They choose wisely. Their core friend group is not made up of people who gossip, compare, and generally like to complain. This is what it looks like when it comes to friends.

Protect your peace means there’s no pressure to freely decide if you want to do something or not. Whether it’s a brand collaboration for an influencer, a party or event you are invited to, a position on a board or in an organization. If it causes some level of unease – that’s your body again saying, “I’m struggling to find peace, balance, and happiness.”

Don’t get me wrong – lots of times we find success in new endeavors that are just a little bit out of our comfort zone. So go for it when that new opportunity comes up that interests you! However if you aren’t feeling joy and contentment, don’t do it again!

It’s Hard to Do & Others Will Be Uncomfortable

This whole business of protecting your peace? Yes, it’s hard to do and others will be uncomfortable. Say this out loud: I am not responsible for how others feel. It’s true. How someone feels is up to them and it is their choice. Anytime someone makes a change, someone else is impacted.

As a WW leader for 15 years, I saw this time and time again. A spouse starts eating healthier and losing weight, they are embracing a new lifestyle. This impacts the other spouse because suddenly meals look different, maybe some of the social activities they previously enjoyed looked different. There may be some pushback. Some would go back to their old ways, put the weight back on feel miserable and defeated as they would report back, “it’s just too hard, my husband…” Fill in the blank with any number of things. Other times the spouse (okay usually the husband) would suddenly show at WW meetings and join along! The journey became one they could enjoy together. It’s a choice.

But it can also be hard when you have to make some tough decisions, like spending time with family. Families can be tricky and I’ll even be very bold here and say all have some form of dysfunction. No one family is perfect no matter what you think or what. That doesn’t mean the family cannot function and enjoy being together. It means they have decent boundaries and have learned to protect peace at almost all costs.

It is okay to set boundaries for yourself within a family. You can opt out of things. I am planning on doing it myself this year. There will be no more showing up because I have to or I am expected to. This year I will not leave a family event feeling beaten up or bruised. I will not have a sleepless night replaying the verbal back and forth in my head. Quite simply, I am saying no. I won’t be blaming anyone nor will I be lying and saying I have other plans and can’t be there. Those kinds of things only further the “dis-ease” and that’s not the place I am operating from. I’ll handle each situation head on and peacefully.

How I Protect My Peace

A few years ago I gave myself the gift of saying no to invitations. I used to think if I was invited and there were no scheduling conflicts I had to go. Now I’m a lot clearer about who I want to spend time with and how I want to spend my time. I won’t succumb to the pressure of thinking I have to do anything. My priorities are known to me.

I still have to do things I don’t love sometimes, that’s life. BUT, I always choose. Sometimes it’s my mindset when I have to do something I have to do – if I find myself complaining I reel it back in and remind myself that complaining isn’t protecting my peace. There have been many times I have started to type and email or text message and realize what I am about to say is not promoting peace – for me or the recipient. I am not perfect at this but what I am is aware.

The Bottom Line

This is about choices and making those that are good for you. It’s also about letting others know what you really like, need, and want. More than anything you become and advocate for your own mental health when you protect your peace.

Ask yourself why you need to do the things you do that cause you stress. What can you do to make it better? We all have to do unpleasant things at times, life is not made up of situations that are 100% about you 100% of the time. But in all things you CAN protect your peace. Make it a priority this year and see how things change! I am rooting for you!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, I appreciate you being here. Please consider signing up to receive my posts by email and following me on Instagram and Pinterest.

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