Driving into the clouds on Highway 101
I, like a lot of people, do not like conflict...in fact I would go so far as to say that I will do most anything to avoid it as I prefer peace and peaceful situations however, this is not a realistic view nor a healthy attitude. Today though, I discovered the best thing about conflict, more often than not, is that it brings about resolution which, as an end result, is what we crave.
Let me begin with a bit of back story. I have been trying to gear up for today for about a week now as it is my mother's birthday. She passed five years ago and it is a really hard time for me...my emotions have been off the chart on her birthday since her passing. I always feel that my mother is with me, watching and helping, but today there were more signs of that than usual. Beautiful and wonderful things have happened today, the first of which was a very special and dear friend of mine who checked on me throughout the day and let me know that she was there for me and loved me. To her I wish to convey my heartfelt gratitude and unconditional love. She lives all the way in another state and even though her life is very busy she made time for me because she knew how hard this day had been in the past. Talk about true friendship...that cemented it for me.
The next sign was this...if you follow my blog then you know I have a bit of a situation at work in which another employee and I did not get off to a great start. It began as more situational than personal but both parties found it to feel more personal than situational and conflict has been intermittent and, at times, unavoidable. So, at one point during the day I was trying to decide on a course of action to get everything in my life onto a very positive and carefree path so I came up with an idea for a successful confrontation with this person that could be accomplished in a non-confrontational manner...you know, more flies with honey, etc. I didn't know if I could handle it though and while tending to my work I came across a product which I have not yet encountered since I began there nine months ago...the product number was 2-2-2-4 (the last for digits of my mother's phone number were 2224). Right then it was like everything made sense all at once and I knew what I had to do. I mustered up my nerve and I went to this person when no one else was around and struck up a very casual, but semi-deep conversation about life and various aspects of life. This conversation led me in the direction I needed to approach subjects in which we did not agree and aspects of our dynamic that just were not working. We must have talked for over a half and hour and by the time we were through we had a new understanding of one another. I approached him like I would any one of my friends that I knew needed someone to listen and understand and not judge...to show empathy and to offer alternative ideas on coping skills and ways around quickly going straight to anger. He genuinely thanked me about four times and I let him now that he could come to me if he ever just needed to talk things out as a way around his anger. He said he would take me up on that and that he felt better about our work relationship, as did I. Of course this is just a beginning and not an instant cure, but it is a good and positive beginning.
Not only was I proud of myself for finally having the courage to approach this person, knowing full well that it could most likely create further conflict before the final resolution, but that I felt like I helped him begin a journey to self-discovery and self-healing and that to me, was exciting. It feels like there is finally resolution and all because I was willing to risk facing potential conflict (which is usually so unlike me).
If you generally despise conflict (aka drama...as it is also referred to), just remember that with conflict will come resolution and with resolution will come peace...that is certain. Dare to confront conflict in a non-confrontational manner and nine times out of ten you will reap the rewards (there is always that unbending tenth time, but as to that...let it go and leave it in the past where it belongs.
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