Cowritten by Drs. Yvonne & Scott Rheinschmidt, Ph.D., L.P.C.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
“I will give you a piece of my mind!” How many times have we thought of this statement when we are angry? And how many times in our anger, have we said hurtful things especially to those whom we love the most? Anger is found in the “fight, flight, or freeze” response in our sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system’s primary process is to stimulate the body giving us an “adrenaline rush”, or a sense of urgency that occurs during stressful conditions. As a result, when we are angry, we are armed and ready to defend our cause. In our anger, we lunge to give a “piece of our mind”, but we are not in a “peace of mind”.
Today’s Mindful Moment is about being judgmental. Being judgmental is the opposite of being mindful. “I will give you a piece of my mind!” This statement includes judgment and negativity with an intent to disrupt someone else’s peace. When we are judgmental, we are not at peace. Jesus even said “I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” Jn 12:47. Mindfulness helps us to be in a state to understand each other. As St Francis once said, to be an instrument of peace, we need to seek first to understand than to be understood. Instead of giving a “piece of our mind”, we need to sow a “peace of mind”. When things don’t go our way, we tend to lunge into a control mode. We NEED things to go our way. When they don’t, we easily fall into a judgmental state. During this pandemic we have been affected in wanting to understand who is doing the right thing: wear a mask or not, go to church or not, go to school or not, etc. Out of fear, we judge what we think and what others are thinking. To overcome the need to give a “piece of our mind” out of fear, we need to work towards keeping a “peace of mind”. Mindfulness helps us to stop judging, to breath and relax and to stay in the moment. Then, we can gain a peaceful mind and share peace with one another.
October is Respect Life Month. The Catholic Church teaches that
“Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstances claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being” (Donum vitae, 5).
As we promote the Respect Life Month, we want to also reach out to those who hurt and carry the burden of having had an abortion. Abortion doesn’t just hurt women, but men and families are also affected by abortion. If you or anyone you know carry the pain of abortion, counseling services are available.