I grew up hearing and reading the scriptures that said “do not fear” and “cast all your cares” and “ “my peace I bring to you,” but I don’t ever remember hearing HOW to find that peace. “Read your bible more” they said. “Pray more” they said.
Honestly, though? Those activities never brought me peace. I was doing all the things a good “Christian” is supposed to do, but I still had repeating thoughts that kept me worried and anxious. I still lived in fear of doing something wrong.
The Enneagram helped me understand myself and WHY I do what I do and WHY those thoughts kept me worried I wasn’t good enough. Yet I still needed to know HOW to find that peace that passes all understanding. That’s when I started learning about mindfulness and practices that would help me become my “true self” in Enneagram language. Becoming our true selves brings us closer to Christ and brings more peace.
Unfortunately, I had been taught to believe what I “did” would bring more peace. It was when I started reading more contemplative authors I started to understand that finding that peace that Christ brings had nothing to do with checking off a list of “tasks” in order to be a “good” Christian.
When I started learning to be present in the moment and learning to let go of those repetitive thought patterns or thoughts that didn’t bring me joy and peace is when I learned what Christ meant when he says he brings peace. Thoughts that kept me stuck in worry and fear of not being good enough. Thoughts that kept me stuck in the past and anxious about the future. Those thoughts were stealing my peace. While some preachers will have an occasional sermon on the portion of Matthew that talks about the birds of the air and lilies of the field not being anxious they never really tell you HOW to live that way.
When I began learning about mindfulness and other practices that showed me how to live in the present moment, it changed everything. I’m no where near a master at it and there are days where I still struggle, but becoming aware of not only WHY I do what I do through the Enneagram, and also learning practices I can put in place that help me become conscious and aware of my thoughts throughout the day is bringing true transformation.
Below is a list of my top books that have spoken to me about these practices and learning to be more present in the now. As I’ve filtered the words from these books through the words of Christ I have learned how to be at peace even when life feels anything but peaceful.
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