Making Peace When You’ve Done No Wrong

making peace

She is an elder in my spiritual community, and every now and then, she looks right through me and tells me things I need to hear, whether I want to hear them or not. A few months ago, she sent me a message saying,

“Lorna, you need to make peace. Even if you’re not the one in the wrong.”

This was a “message” she’d received to pass along to me. Of course, it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know. Her words were succinct though, and I took them to heart/  At first blush, I thought she was talking about a particular situation where I felt and knew that I needed peace.

I had a friend, a long time ago, who used to tell me that more than anything she wanted peace because everyone around her was at war. And all she wanted was peace. That friend was at a different stage in her life and I didn’t understand her need for peace. To me, it seemed that she had it or had plenty of it. I wanted something different at the time, and I couldn’t imagine myself needing peace. I got along with almost everyone in those days, mostly because I was more of a doormat and acquiesced, instead of fighting for what I believed was right.

I’ve been at peace with myself and my life for some time now so, if I needed peace with anything, it was regarding one particular situation that still haunts me from time to time. I shrugged off the elder’s wise words as being related to that situation and didn’t think about it for several more days.

Later in the week, I ran into a colleague who’d been so angry with me that he’d tried to get me fired. We both had perfectly valid viewpoints on a situation, but opposite, equally acceptable ways of handling the situation.

At one time, I had really liked this co-worker and had respected his skills—I still do respect his skills—but once we began to work for competing organizations, we began to war over the same resources. There was no middle ground. He took the offensive to take these resources away from me, and I took the defensive and dug in.

I hated being in disagreement with him, but our jobs demanded it. Only a few days after being told I needed to make peace, my eyes met his in a fluorescent lit hallway and he looked away. And I thought, “Yes. This is another place I need to make peace.”

But I don’t know how to make peace and do my job at the same time. Another week or so went by and a situation related to my dad and my upbringing came to the forefront.

“You need to make peace,” I heard my friend say, and I thought, “But I’ve done that just recently.”

Obviously not, though.

There are still a few loose shards and I can’t expect them to all go away overnight. For the most part, I have made peace with that and gained incredible strength from that peace.

A few more reminders that I need peace in different situations have come up since then. In all cases, I’m either working toward it, still picking up the broken glass, or waiting for a break in the tensions so that things can get better in cases where I have no way to make the other person’s worrying stop. In at least one case, the other person will go to her grave still making war on me because she believes all people with my spiritual beliefs should be wiped off the planet.

All these examples of discord add stress to my life and distract me from things I’m intended to do, places I’m intended to go, and people I’m intended to be with.

So, yes, I do need to make peace…with all of them.  Unfortunately, it’s not always entirely up to me.