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The Peacemaker

Experienced terrible loss or shock or injury at some time in your lives? Then this article is just for you.

Most of us have experienced terrible loss or shock or injury at some time in our lives. Each incident carried an emotional challenge. For a while we relived it, experiencing the pain/fear/distress over and over. With time – maybe months or years – the feelings fade. We remember what happened but we don’t feel the same intensity of emotion.

The Peacemaker


Eventually, we separate the event from our feelings about it. How do we do this? What do we really want to let go of? We will always have our memory, but when we come from our Peacemaker subpersonality, we put the event in perspective. A Peacemaker doesn’t whine, criticize, or ridicule. A Peacemaker doesn’t indulge in self-pity. A Peacemaker asks, “What am I to learn?”

Life is the principle of eternal growth and evolution. Life brings us every experience we need to grow. The Peacemaker knows that no matter what is this moment, her challenge is to open to the experience that Life offers.

The Peacemaker doesn’t hold onto appearances. What we fear or hate will present itself to us. Our responsibility as Peacemakers is to stay focused on what is behind the appearance. We each have something which frightens us and it comes in different forms. Maybe our boss is unreasonably demanding, apparently abusive. Maybe our co-worker doesn’t come through, apparently abandoning us. Maybe an acquaintance insults us and doesn’t apologize, apparently humiliating us publicly.

The Peacemaker


Our job as Peacemaker is to see behind the appearance and to ask, “What creates my anxiety right now?” By doing that, we remember that we are larger than the circumstance. We don’t get caught up in details — “He shouldn’t have . . ..” “She wasn’t fair. ,” “That wasn’t supposed to happen . . .” The Peacemaker places each experience in the context of her life. And then learns from it.

The Peacemaker


Our affirmation of a truth we have not yet seen is our faith. We keep our faith in the Spirit of truth, not in the appearance. Accepting betrayal may offer us a doorway to a power we haven’t imagined. Letting go of a cherished love may liberate our hearts in an unexpected way. Accepting what we don’t choose and don’t like ushers us into a wider dimension of Life and allows Divine Order. The Peacemaker never refuses an experience. We grow from everything.

Ruth Cherry, Ph.D. is the author of Living in the Flow: Practicing Vibrational Alignment, Accepting Unconditional Love, Transformation Workbook, and Open Your Heart. Her web site is www.RuthCherryPhD.com.


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Ruth Cherry, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in San Luis Obispo, CA. Her speciality is the merging of psychological and spiritual dynamics.

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A lot of books have been written about gratitude. I think it is a well-received idea that gratitude is a nice thing to do. It is polite and people will like you better when you notice them and give thanks, and relationships will thrive with expression of gratitude. But I want to address the use of gratitude in our most vulnerable times, when it is not about being polite, nice or wanting to be liked.

When I was twenty years old, I almost died at the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. I was a nursing student there at the time and developed septicemia (a widespread bacterial infection in my blood) from a mismanaged dental emergency from a small dentist in upstate NY while visiting with Barry. Once back at the University, my fever quickly soared to a dangerous 107 and I had to be packed in ice and was placed in the isolation ICU unit. The chief physician called my parents in Buffalo to tell them they must rush to my side as he believed I would die quickly.

But what was happening inside of me while all of this drama was unfolding? I was struggling to maintain consciousness. People around me were wondering out loud how long I might live, as if I couldn’t hear them. Somewhere in my brain that was barely functioning I decided that I would say and feel my gratitude to each person who tried to help me. For even the smallest thing that was done to me, and there were many small and big things, I said, “thank you for helping me.” Sometimes my voice was so weak that they had to lean in closer to my mouth to hear my words. Each time I said the words, “thank you,” I felt the connection to my soul and heart grow stronger. Saying “thank you” became my lifeline of strength. And in a large city hospital where people in crisis are more apt to be treated as a disease than a human being, my gratitude drew their attention back to the fact that indeed here was a human being inside this terrible medical crisis. The nurses, orderlies, doctors and even the janitors treated me with more kindness once they heard my weak words thanking them. There is much about that vulnerable time that I remember, but one thing that stands out is the feeling of strength that returned to me each time I thanked someone.

Gratitude in Vulnerable Times

Another very vulnerable time for me was when our young family of five experienced the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake that totally destroyed our rental home with all five of us inside. Our son was only five months old at the time. Each one of us, especially our son, came very close to being killed. We were all in a state of shock as we looked at the house that had been our home for thirteen years and realized that we would never be able to live there again.

People began arriving at our home and helping in the most amazing ways. Someone sat me down and fed me some healthy food. Someone else washed the blood from our two little girl’s legs. Others found our dogs and cats, and still others rented a U-Haul truck and began packing up the few things that were not destroyed.

After a few hours of being totally taken care of, I realized I must contact my strength again. I began by thanking God for saving us from this disaster and allowing all five of us to survive. Remembering my experience in the hospital, I went to each precious person and held their hands and looked long into their eyes and expressed my gratitude. With each thank you my mother strength returned until I was ready to make the big changes that our family needed to survive.

Gratitude also brings strength and clarity in times of great stress. Twenty years ago, Barry and I were scheduled to do a couple’s retreat in Massachusetts. Since Barry’s mother lived in New York, we both decided he should go ahead a week early and visit with her. I would stay home, take care of our children, and join him in Massachusetts for the retreat. When I arrived at the airport, I was told that all flights with a stop in Chicago were cancelled for the weekend due to extreme weather. I was also told that there was no possible way I would make it to the east coast, and that I should go home.

Barry did not want to do the couple’s retreat without me since we had a very big group at the retreat. It felt so important that somehow I get myself to Massachusetts. I went to the gate and approached a very weary attendant. Many people had been yelling at her with frustration. I kindly looked her in the eyes and thanked her first for the difficult job she had that day, and then for trying to help me. She shook her head and said she couldn’t help me, but I thanked her again for trying.

There were three airports in the San Francisco Bay area and three in the New York City area. Surely I felt a way could be found. I was asking her to check out all of these possibilities. She started once again to tell me that it was impossible while all around me I could hear people yelling at the other attendants because they could not be helped. I kept my voice very calm and kept thanking her for each time she tried. Finally, on the last try, she found one seat from San Francisco to the Kennedy Airport. I thanked her in the biggest way I could and a bright smile crossed her face. Because of my expressions of gratitude, she had given me that little bit of extra attention.

Gratitude brings strength to the heart and allows us to contact the place within us that is wise and powerful, no matter how vulnerable or stressed we might feel. Everything might be falling apart around us, but in the expression of gratitude, first to God and then to whoever is helping, we will feel our strength return. Expressing gratitude is perhaps the most powerful way we can live.

Here are a few opportunities to bring more love and growth into your life, at the following longer events led by Barry and Joyce Vissell:

Feb 11-16, 2020 — The Couples Journey, Aptos (for couples)

Jun 7-14, 2020 — Shared Heart Alaska Cruise, leaving from Seattle (for singles and couples)

Jul 19-24, 2020 — Shared Heart Summer Retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs, OR (for singles, couples and families)

Joyce & Barry Vissell, a nurse/therapist and psychiatrist couple since 1964, are counselors near Santa Cruz, CA, who are passionate about conscious relationship and personal-spiritual growth. They are the authors of 9 books. Call 831-684-2299 for further information on counseling sessions by phone/Skype or in person, their books, recordings or their schedule of talks and workshops. Visit their web site at SharedHeart.org for their free monthly e-heartletter, their updated schedule, and inspiring past articles on many topics about relationship and living from the heart.

How do those ABBA lyrics go? “Money, money, money, always sunny, in a rich man’s world.” We all love to spend money; it’s one of the beautiful things in life. However, if we spend too much money, we end up having too much month at the end of our money.

“Money, money, money, always cloudy, in a poor man’s world” would be more accurate in this scenario. So, how do we ensure we still have enough money to pay our debts and make it to payday without going on a forced diet?

Well, leave it to this article to help!

1. Give Yourself a Reason to Save Money

If you have a reason to save money, it will be much easier for you to watch what you spend. Let’s say that you want to buy a car or pay off the advance for a house.

Next time you want to buy some expensive shoes you don’t really need, you will ask yourself this question: “What do I want to do more?” Obviously, you will choose your goals and dreams in favor of the momentary treats.

2. Have a Budget

You may not need a budget – but it sure doesn’t hurt to have one. Think about how much money you need for every activity or problem.

A good method would be to have an envelope for each – or, well, write it in a notebook. Take your salary and break it down into bills, food, necessities, entertainment – and emergency. Most people skip that category, but sometimes, it can be crucial. This way, your finances won’t have to suffer great hits.

Plus, let’s say that you don’t need the “emergency money” in one month. That money can go directly into your savings account.

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3. Practice Patience

“Buying fever” is actually a thing – and many of us buy things on impulse, without actually thinking it through. Even if you say you can afford it, leave it pending for a few days – or at least 24 hours. If you’re not terribly excited the next day about buying it, then it means you don’t really need it.

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4. Work Your Willpower

We have to admit that in this case, willpower is the key to saving money. We all have our temptations. Some people spend half their salaries on fast food, others “accidentally” buy concert and festival tickets. However, if you have enough willpower, you will not succumb to these temptations.

At the same time, this doesn’t mean you need to give up on them altogether. Instead, try to set some limits. Allow yourself to splurge every once in a while, to get your “refill” – and this way, you won’t be tempted.

For example, if you used to hit McDonald's once a week, tell yourself that you will still do it – but only once a month. Eventually, you will no longer have to fight your urges whenever you see the place – mainly because this once-a-month habit has already entered your system.

You can easily get into better money habits. All you have to do is pull some restraint, exercise your willpower and have a plan. 

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