The holiday season is upon us.  This time last year, we were bustling about, making plans to spend precious time with loved ones and share our experiences of the years passed.  However, this year is quite different (to say the least).  The atmosphere is smothering because the air is so thick. Fear and anger surround us causing great anxiety.  We find it extremely difficult to place ourselves in the holiday spirit that is normally easily felt.  We are struggling to find the “heavenly peace” we sing about in the beloved song, “Silent Night.”

When I was tasked with writing an article about peace, I thought this would be easy, but when I sat down to write, the page remained blank.  I wrestled with inner turmoil trying to muster up something to write that would help you and in turn help me, but the page remained blank.  Only a week prior to writing this article, my uncle unexpectedly died.  While trying to write, I struggled with finding my own peace.  The guilt I felt for not maintaining a closer relationship with my now deceased uncle began to haunt me, strangling any thoughts of happiness, joy, and peace. I began to seek peace in the masked faces of strangers I passed on the street and in the aisles of grocery stores, but I only found worry and weariness in their eyes.  The heavenly peace I sought after remained elusive until I began to research the meaning of peace.  The dictionary defines peace as, “freedom from destruction; quiet and tranquility.” At that moment, as I pondered on the definition, it dawned on me that peace must first be realized within.  Once I began to meditate on peace, something magical happened. I began to feel an immense sense of gratitude filling my heart with wonderous joy.  My inner peace could only be found when I allowed gratefulness to enter my heart. It was further revealed to me that peace is a choice.  When faced with adversity, we all have the choice to choose peace or to wallow in our own inner turmoil.  No matter what we may face, we must remember that residing in each of us is the “Prince of Peace.”  Though we may face anger, fear, anxiety, and hatred from outside, it may not penetrate us unless we allow it to.  The God inside of each of us is stronger than anything seeking to harm us and that inner source grants you the power to demand peace.  Any arising storm, no matter how big or small, must be met with the command, “Peace be still.”  We have the power; we have the choice.

These times may appear to be tumultuous. We are seeing things that we have never seen before, but our perception of these experiences makes all of the difference.  We must actively seek out something good in all things.  Gratitude must be at the forefront of our minds to endure any form of grief that may come our way.  Only then will we experience the “heavenly peace” we sing about.