BuddhaI like to think of myself as a positive person. I try to find the highest thought in most situations. I noticed this week as I witnessed some negative energy and anger that my tendency was to run in the opposite direction. I had an insight that there is a powerful healing opportunity if I could just stand still and not flee.

Since our human nature is 98 percent emotional and 2 percent rational, conflict causes a physical feeling of anxiety and an emotional feeling of insecurity. When anxiety is experienced, we have a choice between reacting or reflecting. When we neglect to choose, our default mode is reactive.

Our reactive mode runs the gambit; do we fight or flee, struggle or surrender, attack or withdraw. The need to appease is part of the reactive mode. All too often I find that we often suppress or deny our true feelings in order to appease. We can change this pattern by speaking our truth using ‘I’ statements instead of ‘you’ statements.

There is a lesson in the Course in Miracles that invites us to focus our thoughts: “Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter. It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.” The lesson invites us to notice our fearful, anxiety-producing thoughts and offending personalities or events and repeat a new thought: I could see peace instead of this.

By choosing to see peace, we have an opportunity to observe and relate to the situation at hand in a new way. We may still be troubled by the conflict and still observe it with an intention for clarity. The practice engages our Higher Self and we are guided to a more peaceful solution.

Mother Theresa said, “If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.” We can learn to forgive when we are willing to reflect and not react. It takes practice and commitment and it is one way we can begin to change our experience of the world.