I can see peace instead of this.

One of the glories of making a commitment to the practice of peaceful behavior is that it feels good. It feels honorable, respectful and kind. And I’m convinced it adds benefit to the universe we share with 7 billion other souls. I’ve heard this phenomenon explained as the “Butterfly Effect.” The idea that we add positive or negative ions to the atmosphere each time we make a gesture to a person, react to a situation or even simply think an unkind or harmful thought is a mighty idea. Making the commitment to be a purveyor of peaceful ripples is a worthy “assignment,” indeed.

Over the last few years I have made more than a concerted effort to impart “tools” for peaceful living through the books I have written, (www.womensspirituality.com), and the workshops I have facilitated. And even though I share these ideas joyfully and sincerely, my own ego fails to adhere to that which “I preach” far too often. Embarrassingly often, in fact. Woe is me.

And yet, I know, each day offers me another collection of moments in which to practice what I know to be true. I’d like to include a handful of these “tools” here for your consideration. I know they will effectively change people and relationships. I also know that nothing changes if nothing changes.

Embrace powerlessness.

Practice the thought, “I can choose peace instead of this.”

Choose carefully between the two voices in your mind. One is wrong.

Every person we encounter is “a messenger.” Honor him and the message.

Our “learning partners” are intentional, not accidental.

Sidestep chaos.

Sidestep angry people. They are simply afraid. Love them.

Choose love, regardless.

Seek reasons to be grateful.

Ask: what can I bring to my relationships today?

Forgiveness is our primary lesson.

The Holy Spirit is a “gift” from God. Rely on him.

Change happens when it is time for us to grow, to move forward.

Nothing happens by accident.

Surrender does not mean defeat. It means love.

I am here only to be truly helpful. . .

This list of tools have completely changed my life, for the better. I know, from deep within me, that if I can manage to practice these tools on a pretty consistent basis, you can too. No one of us can do something that no one else can. What’s possible for me is absolutely possible for you.

The planet needs us to step up to the challenge to make this a better world for all 7 billion of us. i am excited about being part of this challenge. I hope you are too. There is no time like today for picking up the challenge and moving forward.

And I thank you for all 7 billion of us.


  1. Laurie Watter says:

    I am so happy to see that you have re-emerged and feeling good. Sometimes, the one who is holding the lantern needs a break and, for a bit, the light goes out. During that time, you might wonder if anyone even notices your absence. Indeed, we do. It is reassuring to hear that you gave yourself some time to take care of yourself and wonderful to see you back in action.

    • Thanks, Laurie. Your message means so much. More than you can imagine. I’m not sure I’m completely out of the “Hole” but it’s more work related now. I have an impending deadline that is hanging over me. I have never missed one in all the books I have written. I don’t want to start now. I’m sure you are pulling for me. This dealing line is March 1 and I’m feeling under the wire.

      Lots of love.

      PS: The picture of your grandson was truly darling.

      • Thank you. He is a delicious little boy. I hope you are on schedule – I am pretty sure that where you are, is right where you are supposed to be 😉

  2. Good Morning Karen,
    Thank you for sharing your experience, strength, and hope…and a different perspective and outlook. I value and appreciate it. However, I find it very challenging and difficult to use and apply these thoughts and perspectives when it comes to a loved ones addiction that is an unmitigated “in your face” “no one’s going to tell me what to do!” “boundry shatterer”… I find it very difficult to apply these when my spouse is under the influence of methamphetamine and opiates, frequently missing in action, drugs brought into our home and used, found by our children, associates with felons and criminals on a daily basis, and denies, lies, and defies the truth everyday, and scoffs at the boundaries in place. What does compassion look like in that instance? What does detaching with love, being gentle, peaceful, honorable, forgiving, powerlessness, and thankfullness look like when there are four children seeing their mom live this life everyday? It’s very difficult to hear at an Al-anon meeting or literature that my loved one has a disease and I should know how guilty they feel and that they don’t love themselves, and how Iv’e contributed to the chaos and made things worse…really? I think there should be way more discussion and literature about how to remove such danger from the home, give our children an environment free of unmanaged addiction, “amputate” addicts from our lives who refuse treatment and “no contact” from loved ones who run over our boundaries. In my humble opinion there is way too much focus on compassion for the addict/alcoholic and not nearly enough compassion and concern for the loved ones caught in the crossed hairs of the addicts behavior…especially the children who cannot defend themselves from the emotional distress and toxic environments that addiction causes. Co-dependent loved ones cannot consider compassion for their loved ones until they are strong in recovery or else they expose themselves to unacceptable behavior and being a door-mat. No co-dependent or non-addict should ever and I do mean ever be made to even consider being guilty or the cause/worsening of the addicts choices and behaviors. Never. No child should ever have to stand by and witness their parents untreated addiction and be negatively impacted by the behaviors that result. No family member should ever have to endure the pain the addicts behaviors cause and thus remove that family member from their lives and NOT be made to feel guilty for taking care of themselves and their children. No one else will! My prayer is that more folks will start to talk about and write about taking actions that free people from unmanaged and untreated addiction/alcoholism.Thank you…detaching by amputation when needed…

    • Hi Frank,
      I do hear your pain. I do agree that the family members are heroic and deserve far more compassion. And I do think good Al-Anon meetings are far more compassionate to the codependent that you have found, perhaps. There should never be an expectation that you should put up with unacceptable behavior or put your children at risk. Never, ever.

      I am on your side. I do agree that alcoholics and addicts have a disease. And I do agree that many of them feel very guilty. But not all of them and you should not be expected to live in an unsafe environment.

      Thank you for writing and expressing yourself.I really appreciate your honesty.


      • Thank You Karen…
        I so much appreciate your experience, strength, and hope. The way my disease functions is that I tend to accept unacceptable behavior…I start to question my boundaries…I start to accept that the addict is correct in saying that Iv’e gone too far and am just trying to control her by enacting court mandated visitation orders…testing clean in order to see our kids…and a no contact boundary for me and kids as long as she is active in her addiction not managing her disease and associating with an underground network of criminal and addict felons.An addict cannot be present in a relationship when they are active in their addiction. Sometimes they never want to to get well because they are stuck in denial and blame everyone else for their plight. Thank you for the encouraging words

        • Hi Frank,
          Believe me when I tell you I have seen individuals far worse that your partner get well. Don’t give up hope. Also don’t give up your boundaries.

          Peace, my friend,

  3. Sandy Bartorillo says:

    P. S. Karen, I would add one more thought to your collection “This too shall pass” 🙂

    In Love and Light,

  4. Sandy Bartorillo says:

    Dear Karen,

    When on I clicked on the link to your blog today, I was anticipating that a current post would not show up, and to my overwhelming grateful surprise, I missed your 2 most recent posts! Thank you for your honesty and for your willingness to share with all of us.

    Lifting you in prayer and thanking God for miracles–YOU.


    • Hi Sandy,

      Again, thanks for hanging in there with me. The support we can get from each other for simply telling the truth about our lives is truly phenomenal.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *