How to Protect Your Peace
I know you haven’t heard from me the past two weeks and that’s because I did something that I haven’t done in five years. I decided to take a break which is NOT easy to do in a society that insists that we are to get our value, worth and meaning from how hard we work. We pledge our allegiance to being busy or appearing to busy because we want to feel validated, however, you were not created to be busy but to be fruitful. There’s a big difference.
You can be busy but you’re going around in circles, not really being effective. You can be busy but you’re working from a dry well in your soul and when that’s happening, there is no way that you can effectively fulfill your purpose because you’re “soul thirsty.” So in order to quench that thirst you keep doing thing after thing to prove to yourself and others that your life has meaning even though you’re not really producing any real fruit. I know this because this is exactly what I’ve constantly battled with.
Being fruitful is to be effective, and efficient by using your time to cultivate the dreams, goals, gifts, talents and abilities that you have to serve yourself and the needs of others. When you are fruitful you see the seeds of your invested time and efforts grow into fruit that you and others can benefit from.
When I started to recognize this, I realized that one of the greatest deterrents to being fruitful is the lack of peace in your life. We are in such a rush to accomplish our goals that we don’t stop to consider the environment of our minds and souls while we build the legacy that we want to leave. Many of us lack peace in our lives and are either afraid to admit it or have no idea how to manifest it. If you don’t have your peace then you are not only soul thirsty but you’re opening your mind, body and spirit to be torn apart.
So I decided to take a few weeks off to protect my peace and refresh my soul. And plus, I just wanted to take a few days to myself LOL! I had to identify my triggers for lack of peace and if you’re struggling with finding peace in your life then I want to share with you a few ways that you can get it back
- Log off of social media for a bit: This one was perhaps the silent killer that I didn’t recognize was taking a toll on my peace. Studies are proving that constant scrolling through news feeds are causing increased levels of loneliness and even depression. It’s hard NOT to compare yourself to others while you’re scrolling away and when you compare yourself, those feelings of rejection, loneliness, anxiety and fear come crawling into your soul. I suggest at least 7 days straight of no social media and trust that you’re not missing out. If you feel like you can’t do a total social media detox, then try not to check your social media first thing in the morning or the last thing at night. Use that time to pray, meditate, read, declare positive affirmations, exercise or simply be quiet with your own thoughts. Give yourself a time limit of how much you’ll spend on social media. I can promise you that as you start to focus in on you and silence all the external voices of social media, you’ll feel more at peace and even get some creative ideas.
- Know your triggers: Start to learn what sets off lack of peace, fear, worry or anxiety in your life. If one of your triggers is getting into arguments with people at work who don’t think like you then make a decision to walk away from those conversations. If one of your triggers is again, scrolling through social media and comparing yourself to others then log off for a little bit. I had to recognize certain emotions that trigger feelings of rejection and once again, I made the decision to not allow those emotions to control how I’m feeling. Get to know what triggers you and develop your strategy to combat whatever those triggers are.
- Stop being so easily offended: As women, we tend to be a little more sensitive than our male counterparts. But both men and women can become easily offended by anything. Somebody cuts you off in traffic, your boss asks you to stay an hour later, your co-worker doesn’t invite you to the after work event or someone doesn’t like what you said. These are all opportunities to be offended and when you are – you are giving your peace away. Get mentally prepared for your day by deciding that no matter what happens to you throughout the day that you will not be easily offended.
- Start thinking that you already live in peace: Believe that you’re not in bondage to fear, worry or anxiety anymore. Start to believe it in your mind first and then you can start to see it in your life. Get an index card and write down “I am filled with peace and no longer in fear, worry or anxiety. God loves me and He’ll take care of me.” Keep saying that out loud as much as you can. As I started to focus on God’s love for me then I started to experience more peace by simply changing the focus of my thoughts. Whatever you focus on, you empower to grow. So if you focus on not having peace, then that will grow but if you change your thoughts to believe that you’re already been freed from the lack of peace then you’ll experience more peace.
- Never be afraid to take a break or change your environment: If you’re in an environment that steals your peace then don’t be afraid to take a break from it. Maybe you need to book a vacation for a few days to get away from work. If you don’t have the financial capability to do so then take a few days off anyway for a “staycation.” Take a break from your business for a few days if you need to and check in with family, have a spa day or take yourself out to dinner. If you still feel anxiety or lack of peace when you go back into that environment then think of ways to make a permanent change.
Maria I. Melendez