Another violent attack this past weekend in Charlottesville. When I read the headlines about another murder, a terrorist attack, or someone committing a crime that I would find unthinkable, I wonder where did their private war come from? These days, in addition to violence, we hear how public people are talking to each other and I wonder,
"Where does all this anger come from?"
There are so many ways that we are at war with ourselves and others, and sadly, we are often at war with the people we most love and who are most important to us.
As a Licensed Professional Counselor with a specialty in Marriage and Family Therapy I see clients with relationship problems who want to live a more peaceful family life. Even for families struggling through divorce the goal is often to come through the process with some sense of peace and fairness.
Clients tell me that they are more polite to strangers and casual friends then they are to their own family members. And I hear that more times than I would like. People report that they should be “truly themselves” at home, take down the façade and be totally “authentic”. True we ought to be able to be authentic at home and with loved ones, however, that is different from being impolite or uncaring. How do we begin to spread civility and peace in this divided country, the world, and even in our own lives? The answer may be very simple. Start at home….and start……
Here is a simple lesson I was taught by my parents that I have passed on to my children: always say “thank you”, “please”, and “you’re welcome”. How easy is that? When someone at home hands you a fork, serves you dinner, remembers to refill the toilet paper roll, or drives you to an activity, notice. Peace in the home starts with a small gesture, a kindness, a recognition, a paying attention to this important person in your life even for a brief moment.
Begin to bring peace into your family in the form of politeness. When this becomes a habit, you may begin to do the same with people outside your home. Who knows, a loved one may pick up your habit. Peace can start with one small word at a time.
Take your first step today.
Anger is an inherent human emotion. But sometimes we all need a little help getting past the anger to find joy in our relationships again. Call me,and together let's let's rediscover the joy that awaits you.