conflict as a third world nation

For much of my young adult life I was seen as the benevolent presence in hard situations; I was the oil on the waters kind of a person who could usually stop a squabble in its tracks. While I was in high school high, people began calling me for relationship advice, and I became a Dear Abby of sorts for many of my friends and classmates. You may be surprised then to know it has taken years of work to hone my own conflict chops.
I have always considered myself a lucky lass to have parents who did not believed that the act of encouraging change in children’s behavior should include yelling, shaming, or blaming. What I did not get back then was how surprised I would be by other people’s approaches to conflict. I confess to spending quite a lot of time in my early life trying to avoid conflict or just wishing it would go away. I learned first hand that sometimes relationships can end over unspoken and unresolved conflict. I also learned that there are some real gifts to be had, even in the midst of the hard STUFF–courage, resilience, trust and, some true unvarnished insights into our own fears and defensiveness. Looking at how I respond to conflict gives me a clear window into seeing exactly where my growing edges are. Ahhhhhhh.
I was recently given another opportunity to reflect on the development status of my own conflict resolution skills. Did the other person feel heard and honored? Was this about me or something else? Was I able to speak what was true for me from a centered place? Did it feel complete in the moment or is there more to explore? I would give myself a C+ to a B+ overall. I am not a super-power of conflict resolution, but I am always learning and I am willing to try.
* My wish for each of us today is that we learn to open ourselves to all of the healthy strategies available to manage the hard stuff in our lives. Waving your way while I save a place on my dance card for those things that challenge me to learn and grow. Peace…

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