Positively Navigating Forking Conflict
I'm going to be honest, this week in the Franco household has been week of GROWTH! And by that I mean humility, challenges, struggle, and lots of reflection. I could say it sucked or was hard, and while those things might be true, reinforcing the negative doesn't actually get me anywhere. Its like pressing the gas when you are stuck in mud. The wheels are going to spin and you are just going to dig deeper. So I say, it was a week of growth because we chose to see this and all opportunities as a chance to learn and move forward and, well, GROW!
But, why do growing pains have to hurt so much? And by growing pains, I'm not talking about the ones that kept your growing legs up at night shuffling around the sheets. I'm talking about life's growing pains. The challenging times that make us want to scream or cry or pull out our hair. It's those challenging times when you just want to plop down and hide. Well, we had a whole mess of them this week. And I don't say it for pitty. Not at all. I say it...or rather I write about it... because I know that you've been there too. I know that you have reached a point at some point in your life where you just stopped and thought "Really, Universe?! Really?" and you just didn't want to adult anymore. You wanted your mom and/or dad or your biggest cheerleader growing up to swoop in and rescue you. But now we are grown ups and we must take a deep breath, remind ourselves that we are stronger than we think, and walk bravely towards the conflict.
I know, I know. It's hard. Thats why I'm sharing this crappy week. Because the next time you are in the thick of the "suckiness," remember this moment. Remember this: you are not alone! And here is how I have come to handle conflict through the lens of mindful living and finding the positive every day.
First of all, I think when we reach a conflict, we are at a fork in the road. One path is stagnant and resistant and negative. It's those tires digging deeper into the mud. So if I find myself focusing on explaining "my side" or replaying conversations over and over in my head or confabulating and making up stories or filling in the blanks with ideas that just make me madder, I realize that I've gone down the road of resistance. The road of resistance does not lead to growth. It doesn't include learning. But it's often much more comfortable than facing conflict, even though it ultimately leads to pain. Talking about someone vs talking to someone is always easier. I always remember that unresolved conflict is a heavier weight to bear than leaning into the discomfort of a conflict, which leads to freedom.
The other road is the road to resolution. That road, while it may seem scarier at first because it involves bravery and leaning into discomfort, it leads to learning and growth and connection and communication and, ultimately, resolution. It involves listening. But not listening to respond. Listening to understand. It involves humility and the ability to say " I was wrong" but also to speak your mind with kindness. You don't have to get the world to agree with you. This road leads to connection, collaboration, and communication. It also, consequently, allows for more peace and happiness in your life! Because when you reduce conflict you don't have to carry all that negative baggage.
Now this is all from my own human experience. I am not a professional therapist or psychiatrist. But I am a professional mom and human and work every day to live mindfully and this is what I have found. And in that experience, I have noticed that when I can reflect on this before I head down one of the paths, it makes life a hell of a lot happier, lighter, and joy-filled. I have more opportunity to learn and grow and become a better human being. And that's the kind of life I want to live.