May Peace Be With You
Michael's family visited Italy over the holidays, as his youngest daughter wrapped up her semester abroad.
He was gazing at the illusionistic fresco within the dome of Duomo di Parma and reflected on his religious and spiritual path. He imagined who would be in the pews eight hundred years ago and wondered if they offered each other peace during Mass.
Even as a shy child, he loved this part of service because it felt pure and unconditional. He wishes you peace simply because you're human - no quid pro quo.
As a gangly, pimpled-face, four-eyed teenager, he eventually stepped away from Catholicism for various reasons, including not feeling worthy enough. Those years were challenging enough, and he didn't need the clergy reminding him that God would love him only after he sucked less, which was what he heard and how he felt after going to confession.
And he wonders why he doesn't care for performance reviews. Hmmm???
Since his accident at thirty-three, he has tried to figure out who was filling his M.U.G. (Mother Earth, Universe, or God). When asked, he would share that he was spiritual but not religious; in truth, he was neither, but he felt he had to be something.
Then last year, during the quiet moments of his ride across the country, he discovered a powerful spiritual connection to five elements of nature: earth, water, fire, air, and space.
Connection is fundamental to life. It's how we come into this world, and once we "cut the cord," at least through today's lens, it seems like we begin chasing after the "right" school, job, and people. Our over-indexed pursuit of external merit badges is slowly separating us from ourselves and each other, and it's killing us.
We may want different things in our lives and careers, but connection to others, our higher self, and higher power (however defined) is needed to make it happen. It's a thirst rather than hunger, and it's quenched when we slow down, get silent, and extend respect, compassion, and peace to ourselves and each other. It's what humans who wish to be better humans to other humans do with no strings attached.
May peace be with you as you start 2023, and we hope you'll ripple this message to others.
p.s., To celebrate 2023, our Pause Breathe Reflect app is now $23 for a limited time, and you can download it today. It will help you build more connection in your life and at work.