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Navigating Conflict Effectively

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

The truth is we all have a dark side and a light side. An angel or a demon. A choice to live from a fear, lack, closed mindset or from a love, abundance, open one. That is the choice in every minute of every day. In every situation you have to consciously choose how to react. When you make that choice a domino effect happens across time and space. It's as simple as switching your mind frame from "I can't" to "I can" and it is as hard as seeing a betrayal and choosing to forgive instead of condemn.

People have always labeled me as naive, and to be fair sometimes I have been, but more times than not I see the truth of a situation and consciously choose to forgive in that moment. I see people's higher self and although they may not be acting in that I choose to forgive the behavior anyway. Because at the end of the day that is what unconditional love is. It's seeing a person's flaws but also their good qualities in the mirror of yourself that you see in them. And didn't Jesus say "let (s)he who has not sinned cast the first stone?" Lord knows I'm not sinless. Are you?

Now hear me well: I am NOT condoning abuse. And granted my tendency to forgive too easily has landed me in abusive cycles in the past so hear me LOUDLY: One must stand in their power and set heathy boundaries. Do NOT stay in abuse because you think that is what you deserve or "people always leave" or any other toxic limiting beliefs we tell ourselves. But I will save that rant for another day.

My point here is we don't know what we don't know. We have all been trying to survive in this toxic/ wounded masculine state of affairs for so long that we are all healing from DEEP trauma that we don't even know we are carrying around with us. So why are we surprised when we are constantly triggering each other? Of course we are going to piss each other off, we have all picked up toxic traits and unhealthy coping mechanisms to survive in the toxic environment we have been growing in.

There is a quote that I love that says something to the effect of "when a flower doesn't bloom you don't blame the flower, you look at the environment and see what needs to be changed."

Here is my challenge to you: Next time someone triggers you, or pisses you off royally, instead of blowing up and ruining the whole relationship try something a little different.

  1. Practice the pause. Stand up for yourself and let the other know a line has been crossed but then take the necessary time to decompress and reflect on all of the emotions you are feeling. Understand those emotions and what traumas and truths they are leading you to. Think about your actions that could have lead up to the explosion. Another favorite saying I have is "there are two sides to every story and the truth lies somewhere in the middle." We all bring our own traumas and triggers and perspectives to communication situations so we all carry some of the responsibility, whether we like to see that or not.

  2. Once you have taken the steps to fully understand both parties sides a little more (I do this through meditation, role play, or just talking out loud while cooking or in other creative flow) resume communication from as neutral an emotional state as possible and use I statements to work through the conflict. "When you said ____ it made me feel ___. This is a boundary/ trigger for me because ___. I would appreciate it if we could approach things differently in the future so that I can feel safer when being my authentic self." Or however it flows for your situation.

By doing this you are creating a safe space for you and the other to understand each's feelings and how the situation could have been handled better as well as set healthy boundaries for all future communication. Conflict communication theory tells us that the only way to level up in relationships is to work through conflict successfully to grow the relationship closer. Plus, if it is a relationship we value and have put time in to isn't it worth the effort? If not, can it at least be a learning experience for relationships going forward?

I also really like ending with the ho'oponopono prayer which goes like this: "I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you." I use this once I have worked through all of the emotions in my meditation both for myself and for the other even if I do not get the opportunity to re-communicate with the other because it is important for my peace and healing so that I can stay open to love no matter the outcome of the situation.

Here is my point: just because someone does a bad thing it doesn't mean they are inherently bad. Someone can live in years of darkness and make tons of bad decisions but guess what... they can still wake up tomorrow and decide to do things differently. It's not our job to judge or condemn. It's our responsibility to forgive and love. Now, again, we can and SHOULD set healthy boundaries and love from a distance if necessary, but don't hold that hate in your heart friends. Then it just becomes toxic to you and the last thing we need is to be stuck in karmic cycles of toxicity because we can't let go of how another treated us.

And one last thing... write it down!! Don't let that toxic energy stay trapped in your body. Write it down and let it flow out of you. Burn it if you need, or tear it up, or keep it so you can look back on what you have overcome to be reminded of your strength. It doesn't matter what you do with it just don't hang on to it because you deserve better than that.

Namaste friends, love and light and may we all learn to communicate a little more effectively.

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