Advent (Peace): Peace Be With You

A few years ago I participated in a class on Emotional Literacy where we learned about six core human emotions: mad, sad, glad, scared, powerful, and peaceful. The first four are pretty easy to understand. New to me were powerfulness and peacefulness. Learning about these was very enlightening.

Powerfulness is a feeling of competency. When we feel powerful, we feel that we matter; that we make a difference in the lives of others and in the world.

Peacefulness is a feeling of connection. When we feel peaceful, we sense that we belong; that we are connected with other people. In its largest sense, peacefulness can be the feeling of inextricable interconnectedness with all that is … to feel the tangible quality of connection in the star dust at the source of our existence.

Perhaps you too have experienced the practice in the introductory rites of a Catholic mass to turn to those near you in the pews and say, “Peace be with you.” And then to respond, “And with you.” It is a way of saying to one another, “I see you. We are connected. You belong.”

Perhaps you have been in a setting … a meditation group, a worship service, or a yoga class … where participants turn to one another with hands on their heart center, bow to one another, and say, “Namaste.” This greeting from the Buddhist tradition can be translated as “The divine in me sees the divine in you.” What better way to say, “I see you. We are connected. You belong.”

As you greet those you encounter today, how will you communicate “I see you. We are connected. You belong.” in a way that reinforces peacefulness? How might you give the gift of deep connection and belonging in even the most casual of encounters, and especially when engaging with those in your life who are most precious?

Jan Taddeo


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