Reflections

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  1. T
    Tb123

    I teach middle school. Moments of conflict abound. I notice tho when a student truly challenges me and I fret over it for days and nights then return to school to see they are a child. As a child I soften. Not that it’s easy. But when I realize their conflict is being in the world and expressing it openly, then I let myself in and learn. Often these challenges are the best part of my practice.

    6 months ago
  2. Robin Ann

    I took a class in “invitation to Change” on how to communicate with an addicted loved one. I gained a lot of insight by taking this class on communicating in general. The conflict in this situation is the impulse to react. Thru this process you learn to “pause” and learn techniques that are proven to help not hinder the situation.

    6 months ago
    1. Carol

      Robin Ann, Sounds like a helpful class to attend. The ability to respond instead of react is a powerful tool. My favorite definition for the word ‘responsibility’ is ‘the ability to respond.’

      6 months ago
  3. Don Jones

    Sometimes they say you need to have a breakdown before there is a breakthrough. I suppose it is a bit like the phoenix rising from the ashes. It might just depend on the extent of the trainwreck. These days I generally catch it early so it is not as dramatic.

    6 months ago
  4. luv-1-nutter

    Agape is how I see the world and to me it’s like being childlike not childish how I want to be.. this resonates deeply and I have this to say about conflict turned into growth. stems from what I recall being an ex member pulled out of a group as far away as was physically possible and whether I want to go away forever or… return.. unconditional vs. conditional love that wants to love unconditionally.
    What I want to talk about is storge and that unconditional love for family members. So, after 20 years of being adopted into “our family” one that fits, I still have other relationships because we’re separate individuals, not one impersonal, personal and we never agree 100%. but, we come together as the sum is the greater part than of the whole.

    6 months ago
  5. Charlie T

    In my life, so far, conflict has generated
    plenty of anxiety and emotional strife.
    This is a topic that I am currently trying
    to work on. The only positive spin I can
    put on it right now, is that conflict might
    allow me to practice resiliency, among
    other things. This is a timely question.
    Thank you🙏
    And by the way, thank all of you that
    contribute to this site. There is so much
    wisdom here. I get so much from all of
    your perspectives and sharing.
    I am grateful for this.

    6 months ago
    1. Michele

      I do too Charlie. Thank you for your perspectives and sharing:)

      6 months ago
  6. Carol

    This has happened to me many times but by far the one most difficult and the one most generative, and the won where I gained the most growth in self awareness and self worth was the loss of my 35 year marriage. To put it simply, I had to be willing to grow up in order to survive. I share two poems I wrote several years later.

    Rebirth: The Joy and the Grief of Letting Go of the past by Carol Ann Conner
    It’s like having a baby.
    The pain comes like a contraction.
    My first reaction is to control it,
    but if I breathe deeply into it,
    if I acknowledge that it is real,
    if I honor it, relief comes
    until the next time.

    That might be five minutes
    Five hours or five days
    Five weeks or five years
    What ever it takes to
    grieve the loss of 35 years
    of trying, crying, loving
    and lying

    Lying to myself
    Lying to myself
    Lying to myself
    Over and over
    Over and over
    Over and over
    again.

    Denial
    Betrayal
    Infidelity
    Anger
    Fear
    Depression and
    Illness

    A few of the tools
    that kept my illusions
    going.
    A few of the mental trips
    that kept me
    from owning
    my pain.

    I learned to honor that pain.
    Feel it.
    Don’t hide it.
    See it.
    Don’t fear it.
    You will never rise above it
    any way.

    Let it go.
    Let it go.
    Let it go
    Over and over
    Over and over,
    Over and over
    again.

    Suppress it
    and it grows.
    It builds a home.
    Your body knows.
    It feeds on your energy
    and saps your strength
    away

    It’s like having a baby.
    The pain comes like a contraction.
    My first reaction is to control it,
    but if I breathe deeply into it,
    if I acknowledge that it is real,
    if I honor it, I can breathe myself
    into new life.

    A Lonely Awareness by Carol Ann Conner
    Like a dark night with no stars,
    I bid farewell to the setting sun,
    knowing that no one will join me
    for the new, the half,
    or the full moon.

    I remember my early years—
    the childhood when I felt so alone.
    I’d watch the clouds in the sky,
    searching for a sign,
    hoping for a vision from God.

    I feared being alone in the world more
    than I feared an early marriage.
    I truly wanted it to work.
    I would make it work.
    Failure was not an option.

    I remember those years
    of devoted wife and mother,
    chief cook and bottle washer,
    nurse and taxi driver—
    legalized prostitute.

    Florence Nightingale,
    Mary Poppins,
    and Sophia Loren—
    the magic marriage formula
    that often pleases men.

    And now the kids are gone,
    the grandkids all half-grown.
    I finally left the husband,
    but I’m the one
    who walks alone.

    He just replaced me.
    Just erased me.
    Like a garment,
    that’s been worn
    and frayed.

    I sometimes wonder.
    I even ponder
    over decisions I might have made
    if fear-filled voices
    weren’t driving my choices.

    The frantic searching,
    the emotional lurching,
    Reacting,
    Regretting and
    repenting for what?

    Now is the hour,
    acceptance the key.
    Not husband or wife,
    Not bliss or strife,
    just the willingness to be.

    To be the light of my own life,
    To see the gift hidden
    in my darkness,
    To share the wisdom garnered
    from my pain.

    Like the dark night with no stars,
    I greet the moon’s redemptive light,
    knowing that I am enough
    that no one need join me
    for the new, the half, or the full moon.

    6 months ago
    1. c
      carol

      thank you .

      6 months ago
    2. Michele

      Powerful Carol. Thank you for sharing.

      6 months ago
    3. Robin Ann

      We are enough and I know it takes a while on that journey so well. Married 22 years but happy I learned eventually I was enough. Than you for sharing!

      6 months ago
    4. Joseph McCann

      Thank you Carol. I saw some of my past behaviors from a female perspective. My wife told me once that my constant relapsing was akin to mental abuse. I have accepted Cheryl was correct a year ago. Your poem gave me insight and inspiration to continue forward sober.

      6 months ago
      1. Carol

        Joseph, Thanks for your kind words. Blessings always and all ways to both you and Cheryl. Sincerely, Carol

        6 months ago
    5. Laura

      Powerful, Carol. I had similar feelings in my marriage, which lasted not quite 27 years.

      6 months ago
      1. Carol

        Laura, Thanks for your response and I do hear you.

        6 months ago
    6. sparrow

      I’ve been through both of these scenarios,
      dear Carol,
      and your heartfelt poetry
      reached into my heart and reminded me…
      they so beautifully expressed
      the humanity
      that we all share
      with love….

      6 months ago
      1. Carol

        Sparrow, Thanks for your kind and loving words.

        6 months ago
  7. c
    carol

    Sometimes the thought arises, the only person in conflict here is me with myself. And as I thought through the forgoing contributions- yes, love and desire for harmony and care about the well-being of all is the way through.

    6 months ago
  8. Pilgrim

    I was married to a man who turned out to be bossy and ended up cheating. I have two wonderful daughters and knew I needed to end that situation so that my daughters and I would have the opportunity to live peacefully and for my daughters to be free to become fully themselves. Best decision ever.

    6 months ago
    1. Laura

      I admire your courage, Pilgrim.

      6 months ago
      1. Pilgrim

        Thank you, Laura.

        6 months ago
  9. Yram

    Conflict is a big part of life. For me it pops up in many life situations. The results have varied from a brilliant solution, and everyone goes on their merry way to feeling hurt and defeated. I can’t think of a situation but I have come out of them with a lesson learned.

    6 months ago
  10. sparrow

    Oh my,
    yes.
    I believe my husband and I
    sort of ‘grew up’ together . . .
    not in the sense of knowing each other through childhood,
    but both coming to the realization
    that the old, immature ways of handling a relationship
    were not working,
    and we needed to mature into new ways.
    It wasn’t easy . . .
    the first few years of our marriage
    were rather torturous
    as we tried to cling to the old ways,
    tried to make them work,
    and then,
    for me with much sadness,
    letting go of some false notions I was clinging to.
    I am grateful,
    as we have a much more genuine connection now,
    and it was worth all of the growing pains.

    6 months ago
  11. Rabbit

    I held a working meeting with several people to resolve an issue. No one had an idea or could agree. As it approached the lunch hour it appeared there would be no solution. Finally, someone made a suggestion, and everyone agreed. That seemed like spiritual intervention to me. Or, maybe everyone was hungry, and they thought we couldn’t leave until a resolution was reached. In any case, I was grateful as these were especially hard days at work. That was almost thirty years ago, and it still stays with me.

    6 months ago
  12. devy

    My marriage has been tested as usual . I’ve learned and grown from my experience, looking at how my behaviours and reasons affected us. Because of what we’ve both done to prioritize ourselves first to work on our selves first, our relationship is more secure and loving

    6 months ago
  13. Joseph McCann

    My wife and I over the past 34 3/4 years have had conflicts. Surprise, surprise. All, so far, have been generative to one degree or another. Our love for each other has allowed us to move on from conflict. Just as sadness needs joy, conflict needs resolution.

    6 months ago
    1. Michele

      ‘Just as sadness needs joy, conflict needs resolution.’ – love that

      6 months ago
  14. Laura

    They weren’t conflicts as in full-blown disagreements. But they were situations where I had to set aside my ego and small self to hear and respect the other person. It built trust and safety in the relationship.

    6 months ago
  15. Avril

    That’s a tough question. Yesterday, someone told me, “in relationships there should never be a loser.” She skillfully reasoned both parties can have their needs met. The idea is like nonviolent communication. The conflict brings opportunity for everyone to come out with a higher degree of life satisfaction. But, both parties have to want to do this. I don’t see this as my current experience. But, I’m open. Right now, I feel like conflict sucks.

    6 months ago
    1. Carol

      Avril, I think the key message for me in your sharing is “But, both parties have to want to do this.” As I’ve said on this site before, “It takes two to tangle or tango.” Sometimes the reality is that such cooperation is not there. I’ve found that even in those situations, I can grow from the experience as long as I choose to accept that reality instead of play the blame and shame game.

      6 months ago
      1. Avril

        Well said. Thank you.

        6 months ago
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