As I prepared to write this month’s blog, I found I was tested, over the last several weeks, in my own ability to rise above conflict. It seems adversity had it’s poke at me to see if I practice what I preach. After spending a nice relaxing weekend with my hubby at a cabin in the mountain’s celebrating our 11th year anniversary, we came home to a sick little boy. The next day I got sick, and two days later, my husband got sick. Trying to keep the household together while everyone was sick was very stressful and definitely not fun. However, we all managed to get through it with lots of rest and prayers.
Let’s be honest, conflict is a part of life. We’ve all experienced a misunderstanding, miscommunication, a disagreement or an argument in our relationship with a spouse, family member, friend, co-worker or a neighbor, and we’ve all experienced strife in our lives. A lot of us have dealt with our fair share of conflict in our life. I know I have.
What is conflict? Conflict can mean a lot of different things. According to Merriam-Webster, here is the Full Definition of conflict. 1 : fight, battle, war. 2 a : competitive or opposing action of incompatibles : antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons) b : mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands.
How do you identify conflict in your life? There are many different types of conflict. Conflict can show up as a disagreement at work, a major life event such as a divorce, or as an act of war between countries. Conflict can present itself in an argument with a spouse, misbehavior in a child, a betrayal from a friend, a personal issue with a family member, or an illness or life-threatening disease. Conflict is commonly the result of a desire, demand, disappointment, judgment, punishment or an expectation that we have of us, the other party or of the situation. We want something and don’t get it. We argue and fight because we don’t see eye to eye. We get upset because things aren’t going the way you want them to. I’m guilty of these. How about you? Have you ever experienced any of these situations before?
How do you respond to Conflict? Our natural human response to conflict is to escape, avoid, deny, blame, attack or assault. These responses are what we were taught growing up. We observed different people’s responses to conflict and implemented what we learned. What response to conflict did your parents or caretakers use as you were growing up? What response do you use now? I sometimes find myself avoid or deny conflict because I’m afraid to face confrontation at times. As I became aware of this, I decided I didn’t want to be afraid of confrontation anymore. So, I learned a different response to conflict. I learned how to rise above it.
Rising ABOVE Conflict
Have you ever been angry at someone and felt at peace at the same time? Anger and peace cannot co-exist together. You have to shift the negative feelings inside of you in order to obtain a higher frequency. Negative feelings such as anger, blame, guilt, and shame vibrate at a lower frequency. Positive feelings such as kindness, gratitude, compassion, and love vibrate at a higher frequency. Most people aren’t aware of their feelings when they are in the middle of a heated argument.They get caught up in the blame game of who’s right and who’s wrong and end up getting ‘stuck’ in the emotions of the conflict and are unable to move out of it. Why? Because it’s what they learned. It’s all they know.
You have to learn a different response to conflict if you want to rise above it to make peace, find lasting solutions, and reconcile a relationship. I call this Rising Above Conflict.