How to Make Peace When You’re at War With Yourself

Peacemaking is important. It’s at the heart of everything we do. Woven into the fabric of providing relief, creating jobs, and building community is peacemaking.

Bringing communities at odds together, helping people cross barriers and find commonalities, changing the very ideas that lead to war… these are crucial to the work of peace.

But what if you’re still at war with yourself? What if you’re locked into a daily battle with your mind, your body, your own experiences, and perspectives?

Sometimes, the hard work of peacemaking starts with ourselves. It sometimes means therapy and counseling. It always involves diving into the raw and often painful inner work. It’s being aware of our emotions and how they impact others. It’s learning coping skills and strategies.

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It’s replacing self-loathing with acceptance and grace. It’s removing the mantle of assumptions and expectations and control about ourselves, allowing ourselves to be present right where we are. And only then can we offer the same acceptance and grace to others.

Until we practice reconciliation with ourselves, it’s hard to embrace reconciliation with others. Until we begin to practice being aware of our own emotions, triggers, and responses, it’s hard to listen well to others, without reaction.

Find a therapist, a counselor, a trusted friend, a journal, a forest trail, or a seat by the shore. Find the places that allow you to hold space for your own humanity—for your brokenness, yes, but also all your glory.

Do the hard work of making peace with yourself. Then, bring that wholeness to the world. Extend a hand in your community. Leave breadcrumbs for friends and neighbors to find their way to making peace with themselves too.

Use the ongoing healing and work of making peace with ourselves—of being changed—to change the world around us. To make peace. To end war.