Simple on Purpose | Intentional Living and Parenting

Simple on Purpose | Intentional Living and Parenting

81. Are you trading in peace, in your life and relationships, for relief?

November 16, 2020

I see a theme in the women I life coach. When I ask them what they want in their life, their homes, their motherhood, their relationships, peace (calm, serenity, harmony) is a common answer. 

Peace is something we crave, but we often trade it in for relief. 

The problem is that peace and relief can look similar. Because the pain lessens for a bit. 

But relief is not peace. Relief is a temporary reduction/removal of the pain. Peace is finding calm amongst the pain and stressors. 

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This week my 6-year-old son was having an 'off day' - a few of them. Eventually, I kept him home from school with me. I could see he was having a soul fever (a concept from Simplicity Parenting*) and that day allowed him to rest and recenter. 

As an adult, I can relate to how he was feeling. So often I have this strange stressor that is highjacking how I show up - I'm not present and I'm not having any fun or feeling like I am in control of my life. It feels overwhelming. 

What do we want relief from?
So often when we have some kind of discomfort, pain or urge we just want relief. We just want it to stop. We treat it like a hot coal in our hands.

We are acting from a stress response and looking for a quick way to make the pain stop. 

The more seek relief, the more fearful we get of the pain/discomfort
So we lash out, we withdraw, we try to control everyone and everything. This is how we learn to cope with the discomfort of feeling pain. 

The more we do this, the more afraid we become of experiencing this 'pain', this 'hot coal'. We develop coping mechanisms that help us find relief from this perceived pain. 

But when we don't immediately seek relief, then we can start to sit with this hot coal a little longer. Learn that it won't hurt us, that we can handle it. 

We need to get through the discomfort in order to move into peace
This is where peace lives. In going through the discomfort of not giving ourselves immediate relief. 

It can show up in motherhood, in marriage, in our life, in our relationships. 

What I am learning is that when I let myself be uncomfortable and get past the need for immediate relief, I move into a space where there is an OPPORTUNITY to experience peace and practice peace - the peace God gives me, the peace I find within, the peace I can offer those around me. 

Peace also requires trust - of ourselves, others and of God
I shared an example of a fight I was about to have with my husband over butter, honey butter to be specific.

In the past, I would dump a conflict onto him and shame him into fixing it. But I decided to sit with the discomfort I was feeling and let myself work to a calmer place -  so I could address this issue with kindness and understanding of myself - rather than blowing it up, in the moment, from a stress response.

I call this the Circle Back. And it isn't about never addressing the issue, it is about circling back to it from a place of calm. 

But I can do this BECAUSE I trust us. I trust that this is something we can work through. I've learned to trust him and myself with conflict resolution.

Peace also requires us to trust ourselves and to put trust in God that he's got us, his hand is in it, he has the long game. 

Mindful questions: