“If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart.” These words come from the ancient Chinese sage, Lao Tzu. The full quote is this:
“If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.”
I’ve heard from many friends over the last couple of weeks, particularly those with young children, that as each day goes by they are having a harder time holding on to their patience with their children and partners.
For many of us, it’s been more than a month now that stay-at-home orders have been in place and we are all feeling the stress of what that means. And as time marches on in this new world, that stress may be growing a bit more every day.
Today I want to speak about the stress many of us are experiencing right now, within the four walls of our home. The tension or frustration or anger we may be feeling towards those we love.
Perhaps you’re noticing more temper tantrums — by either your children or you. ;-p You may have a shorter fuse with things that typically don’t bother you. Maybe you’ve noticed there are more fights between your children or you and your partner. You may even be questioning your own sanity as to why you thought having a partner or children was ever a good idea (kidding… kind of).
If you are finding that little by little there are more tensions mounting in your home, I strongly encourage you to make time today to check in with yourself about how you can start to find a little more peace within. Truly, if you want to find peace within your home, you must first find peace within yourself.
No matter how busy or full your day is, you can find 10 minutes to check in with yourself on how you can bring back just a bit more peace within. You may need to hide in the bathroom to do it, or wait until the kids are asleep and forgo doing the dishes, or ask your partner or older children to keep an eye on the kids while you check in with yourself.
Giving yourself permission to find these 10 minutes may make the difference between somewhat stressful days ahead and the full-on 5-alarm-fire kind of days in your household.
If you are one of the keys to having peace within your four walls (you are) and within your family that is now spending more time than ever together within these four walls, what do you need to do to find a little more peace within?
If you are someone who already knows what you can do to bring a little more peace within, then, by all means, get that practice, habit, thing back in your life stat, and watch as you bring more peace within your four walls at the same time.
It is entirely possible that you are at the point where you JUST CAN’T. You may be so exhausted that the idea of figuring out what brings you peace is more than you can do right now. Sister/brother, I’ve been there and I feel you (and a gentle virtual hug to you).
For those of you who need a hand, here are a few ideas. (I encourage you to choose just one and build on it as you find the energy.)
- Find five minutes of solo quiet time where you do absolutely nothing — really, do nothing but sit and breathe
- Say a prayer or talk to whatever higher power you believe in
- Take a slow walk around your block by yourself
- Find a pen and paper and write down one thing that always puts a smile on your face
- Listen to spa music as you are preparing for bed
- Iron your pillowcases
- Snuggle with your cat or dog
If you are like many of us and are struggling with finding peace within your home right now, please make the time to look inward and focus your energy on finding peace within. Trust me, it’s what you need and so does your family.
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