You Need to Make Peace with Yourself
By Bernadette A. Moyer
How often do we think and say, “If only that person would change? Or it isn’t me, it is them!” We think a new relationship, a new friendship or another child will afford us what we are looking for in life. No one can give us peace, nor can they really take it from us unless we allow them to do so. Peace is within each and every one of us. It is always there, whether we choose to exercise it or not is another story.
A few summers ago I was pelted with nasty personal attacks from someone I never knew and never met. For this guy it was a game, it was about winning and he didn’t care what he said and who he said it to. I have his written words where he called me numerous names. He is supposedly a professional. I will keep his letters and e-mails for the rest of my life and when I read his words I will forever be reminded of what I don’t want in my life and who I will never allow myself to become, him.
Years later I actually feel sorry for him, his work keeps him connected to drug dealers, people who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol and those accused of child pornography and abuse among other social ills. I suspect his world view may have something to do with the kind of people he frequently associates and works with.
My peace was almost shattered by this guy and his personal attacks, I never knew anyone that communicated with such slanderous statements and personal attacks like he did. My husband referred to him as a “clown” and wanted to do battle with him. I retreated; I learned a long time ago, no one wins in a fight. And then I sought out professionals that could help me to understand him and others who spend their time attacking other people rather than seeking peace and the truth. This guy was getting his information from someone that professionals had already determined in writing, “Has many mental issues.” He opened my eyes to a culture of people that seem to live by, “might makes right.”
I am not perfect but I can honestly say I never set out to hurt anyone; I have never looked for trouble and tried to live as peace filled a life as I can. When this guy was finished with his personal attacks on me, he then went on to question my faith in God and attack my Church. Scary that people that you don’t know and don’t know you, think they can pass judgment on you and question your personal relationship with God and your Church.
Today more than ever, I know who I am. Through the years, I did the work. I looked inward. It was through my managerial training, I learned that if there is a problem, first, look at yourself. What did you do? What could you have done differently? What would you do now? Like Lou Holtz often states, “WIN, What is important now.”
We can’t change other people, we can’t change their opinions of us, founded or not, they can think what they will. But when we know who we are and what we did, what we didn’t do. When we can accept that ultimately we did the best we could with what we knew and what we had for that time in our life, then peace is not such a big leap. If we go forward and always try to do our best and come from a place of love and a place of understanding, our own inner peace is a natural.
There is no question that we will be tested. We may see things in life that seem unjust and unfair but how we react to it has more to do with us then with the injustice or unfairness of any given situation. I am reminded of a favorite prayer that hung in my childhood home; The Serenity Prayer. This prayer has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom, to know the difference.
For each one of us, I believe that no one else can give you peace, and we can never truly achieve peace with others until we first make peace with ourselves.
In God’s Peace …
Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer