by Paul C Pritchard: Life brings wonderous challenges: sacred thorns that enable us to cultivate wisdom, resilience, and fortitude…


in the light of our commitment to living a more graceful and conscious path.

I am quite okay with non-personal challenges: traffic jams, the internet won’t connect or I get a flat tyre. These sorts of things I can handle with a few disgruntled out-breaths and my stock phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff!” Usually within minutes or perhaps a day or two I can’t even remember the incident let alone how I felt. I make peace with it and let it go.

I am not so fast at making peace when there is disharmony with a fellow human being. If there’s been a disagreement, big or small, I tend to ruminate. Naturally, I want to fully grasp my part in the whole dynamic. I know that I am 100% responsible for 50% of the dynamic. I try and stay with my 50%. Of course, I veer off into blame and judgement and what’s fair and what isn’t. This is often a very painful place to be in; to feel I’m creating more and more separation when all I long for is unity and connection.

If I am too caught up in the ‘drama’ of it all; rummaging around in the enlivened story, I use the pain as my cue to firstly commit to what I call, Community Peace. This is where I call upon my maturity to be civil, kind and easy with the situation, to the other and to myself. I stay open and communicate with transparency what’s happening for me. I’m careful not to add fuel to the fire so I practise speaking in the first person and avoid inflammatory remarks. I stay with the facts and avoid interpretation.

I know things aren’t easy between us right now. I truly want to come to an authentic place of reconciliation, to arrive wholeheartedly at a sweet place of harmony where we both feel an authentic resolution has arisen. This can happen quickly or it might take some time. I will reflect on what I could have done better. I’m sorry for my part in it all. I wish us both true peace.

Community Peace is a bridge, an olive branch, so should I see the person at a community gathering or a friend’s or family dinner, we can be loving and open. It makes it ‘real’ and less awkward. I can then have space and time, as can they, to really come to a True Peace, where making amends or forgiveness feels alive and effortless.

Community PeaceCommunity Peace allows us to be loving and open when we cross paths.

My go-to piece when I am in an altercation with someone is Rumi’s Heartfelt prayer:

Out Beyond Ideas by Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
doesn’t make any sense.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

This poem is a great anchor for me to ground in self-responsibility. When I recognise that I can only change my reactions and my responses, and not the other’s, then I have a real chance for True Peace. And in my experience, with all this good intention, True Peace will come.

Source: Uplift Connect