The weather was perfect on Saturday night as we sat outside Chipotle together as a family. While ordering the food, I asked my kids if they wanted chips and they said no. So I ordered what we each wanted and then we all sat down to eat.
Halfway through the meal, one of my boys asked if he could have a couple chips...
Whether or not it's because I'm the youngest of 8 kids, I seem to be hard-wired to protect my own food at ALL costs. I don't like sharing it, especially when there's ANY question at all whether I'll have "enough" myself.
So he asked the forbidden question with his hand hovering across the table: "Can I please have a couple chips?"
And then it hit me: this is a perfect opportunity to practice coming from a Heart at Peace.
Especially in those potentially heated reactions, we always have a choice: come from a Heart at Peace or come from a Heart at War.
Actions alone don’t always tell us where we are coming FROM when we interact with others. And where we’re coming from can often make ALL the difference.
Mostly we focus on our actions, but our actions are only one part of how we show up.
I automatically decided that I would share the chips with him. The only choice that remained:
I can offer him this bag of chips from a Heart at Peace or I can offer it from a Heart at War.
He'd still get the chips either way! But when I come from a Heart at War, I’m setting our relationship up for disharmony. I can feel it at those times. He can feel it at those times. My wife can feel it at those times. And it doesn’t feel good for any of us.
When I come from a Heart at Peace, love is present. Understanding is present. Generosity is present. Intentionality is present.
So I handed him the bag from a Heart at Peace.
Here's the wild thing about the Heart at Peace vs. Heart at War distinction: we can even engage in war from a Heart at Peace.
More people than ever are aware of social and environmental injustice, inequity, and exploitation than ever before. We can resolve these crises from a Heart at Peace. In fact, we’re much more likely to be effective if we come from a Heart at Peace than if we’re coming from a Heart at War.
Sometimes we have to fight, but fighting from a Heart at Peace is a much more grounded and intentional place to engage from than fighting from a Heart at War.
(Saying "no" can feel like we're firing a shot in a war sometimes. And we can fire that shot from a Heart at Peace if we so choose, even if someone fires back from a Heart at War.)
It might sound petty or silly to use sharing chips as an example to demonstrate this, but man oh man, so many times and in so many little ways throughout life I have come from a Heart at War.
I’ve come from a Heart at War with my kids around bedtime routines, loudness in the house, or in cleaning up their messes. I’ve come from a Heart at War with my dad, colleagues, and various students over the years. Marriages break up over Hearts at War. Global Wars have happened solely due to Hearts at War. Relationships, livelihoods, and well-being have suffered due to Hearts at War.
When we come from a Heart at War, we’re usually defending some part of ourselves that doesn’t need defending, and we end up s#!tting on what really matters to us.
Heart at War or Heart at Peace: choose.
Thank you so much for engaging with my writing. 🙏❤️
P.S. As a transformational life coach, I help people and organizations move beyond their self-imposed limitations to be their best and feel their best. If you’re interested in finding out how I can support you or your organization, reach out and let’s talk. 💌