That conflict you are avoiding may be the medicine you need
Think about it, you can classify yourself into two camps, either someone who avoids conflict and confrontation at all costs or someone who runs forward into it. Now, there are always different stakes that make it easier or more challenging to manage conflict but in general, we have a tendency we fall toward. If you fall on the side of avoiding it and getting worked up even thinking about it, I want you to know why it may be the best medicine you could take and how to approach it less painfully next time. It all, of course, starts with gratitude.
Let's start there. What if everytime you had a conflict with another person, you first said thank you to them? Ok, maybe not to their face. Maybe in the privacy of your own home, even screaming it in anger if you need to. But saying it. What if we could start from the premise that "I could learn something here." About myself. About the world. About whatever. There is always always something to learn. Go ahead, think about someone you currently need to resolve a conflict with and start by just saying, "Thank you" either to the person or to the nature of the conflict. With an open heart, see if that changes the energy you are feeling around the conflict.
When we say "Thank you" to something that is causing us frustration or irritation, we are in essence first accepting it as it is instead of wanting it to be different. And that's half the suffering right there. We don't love the situation itself, that's why there's conflict. But then there's our added resistance which makes the conflict even bigger in our minds and hearts. Often anxiety flows from this and makes facing the conflict even harder to do.
Gratitude allows us to access coping mechanisms that may otherwise be masked by the cloud of our resistance.
So, get through this first step for me. Say Thank you, loud and proud or silently in a corner. But say it.
Then, realize, that by facing this conflict, you are walking more powerfully into your truth. Whatever your truth is, it needs to be heard so that it can be shared with the world and so even if it needs to transform, it can do so now. What happens when you avoid conflict? You deny who you are or what you believe. What you believe isn't always right but it's your base from which to learn and grow. So, express gratitude, get curious, and then walk forward into what you need to do like there is nothing you would rather be doing at that moment. Really own it.
And realize that if you are having anxiety about this conflict, the issue itself is stirring something very deep and important to you. Your anxiety is a message. It is time to listen instead of pushing it away. Your hesitation grows because when we get closer to our own truth, we know we are on the precipice of living creatively and proudly which may not be our familiar place to be. But why not? Why not understand that whether you are wrong or right, and especially when you are wrong, conflict has much to teach us. About yourself, about the world. Tthese lessons will carry you forward with more power. And by facing forward into the conflict, we lean into a new way of being. That, my friends, is the foundation of creativity right there.
So, next time you have a conflict and especially if it is causing you anxiety just thinking about the needed resolution, start with gratitude. Thank it. Thank the person who brought it to you. Thank your fear for showing you that you are human. Thank every last drop of it.
Then, realize that by walking forward into the conflict, you are stepping into a place of power because you are speaking your truth. And recognizing and owning your truth is how you will grow and learn.