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The word 'peace' comes from the latin word 'pactum' which means 'agreement'. Agreement may be with self, as in "at peace with oneself", "a state of traquility", "freedom from fear" or "peace of mind". or with others as in "harmony in personal relations" or "freedom from hostilities"

One can never be at peace until one is at peace with him or herself. One of my old favourite Hymns begins and ends with the line "Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me." A person who is at peace with him or her self can handel almost thing including any level of stress. Hence peace begins with the "me".

Consider the factors which contribute with not being at peace with yourself: Conflict with Consciences, that you lack courage or other virtues...Non-acceptance of self as worthy(Low Self-Esteem, perfectionism, fear of self (Anger). Possibly the number one factor is toxic shame.

Shame, Guilt and Anxiety

John Bradshaw in his book Healing the Shame That Binds you talks about two forms of shame: nourishing shame and toxic shame. The first type is a healthy emotion that drives us to conduct ourselves in ways suitable to our humanity. The second type takes over our identity, divides ourselves in to broken pieces which we see as flawed and divides oureselves from pothers. We must cover up the parts that we don't like and hence we cease to see ourselves as basically what we are: human. We are not able to love others because we are not able first to love ourselves.

The solution according to John Bradshaw is what he calls the externalization process. To heal our toxic shame we must come out of hiding, we must embrace our shame. This can be a painful process. Honestly sharing our feelings with others. Naming our shame in writing. Embracing the parts of ourselves that we don't like and integrating them as part of the whole. Learning how to handel mistakes and having the courage to be imperfect.

Consider the factors which contribute with not being at peace with others: mistrust, miscommunication, fear, envy. Perhaps one of the largest fasctors is lack of empathy


Empathy is defined by Mary Gordon in her book Roots of Empathy as the the ability to identify and respond appropriately with and to the feelings and perspectives of others. The Roots of Empathy program that uses infants to teaches empathy. It is alwsys the weak, the vunerable and defenseless that lead the world to what peace and harmony that does exist in the world


Bradshaw, John (1988) The Shane that Binds You, Deerfield Beach, Florida: Health Communications, Inc

Gordon, Mary (2005) Roots of Empathy, Toronto: Thomas Allen Publishers