Conflict Reframe

Conflict, or times of significant stress, can also be the greatest opportunities for connection, healing, and growth when you learn to embrace the negativity and trust the journey. It is scary to be vulnerable and even though I have experienced the benefits of this experience, a part of me still gets triggered to fear and naturally wants to resist and that’s OK. It matters more how we choose to respond, to love ourselves and everyone else through. ~Debra

“Conflict can be a sign of where we are in conflict with ourselves: It can signal an unmet need that we’ve ignored for too long. It can give us a clue to where the fire’s burning so we can find ways to put it out instead of letting it spread and destroy us. It can point to where we’re stuck in our lives. It can invite us into awareness and reduction of stress. It can alert us to the first symptoms of illness. Conflict also can help us cultivate deeper connection: It can show us what’s unresolved in our hearts that keeps showing up in our lives and in our relationships until we confront it. Conflict resolution is a way of being rather than a method of getting along. When we practice being conflict resolutionaries, our children learn to embrace conflict as safe, fleeting, and a compassionate window into our humanity.” Excerpt from article Conflict’s Lessons Are Numerous. Clink link to read full article:  http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20110726/LIVING05/107260309/Conflict-s-lessons-numerous?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cs

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself, especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it transcends time and space.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be careful. Take care.
Strive to be happy.

By Max Erhman

This writing has shone great light for me during many difficult times. It comforts me every time I read it. I hung the original copy I got on the outside of my child’s door. It would remind me of the energy I wanted to emit as I entered and left his room. I owe much thanks to a dear friend who bought me the poster that introduced me to this wisdom. It would have been another item I wanted but would have never bought for myself. We need friends for so many reasons and at different seasons. ~Debra

My grandest positive reframe…

On September 19th, 2007, I gave birth to a beautiful girl named Anais. She had ten fingers, ten toes, and a delicate face. The doctor announced “She’s perfect,” yet she was dead…

I used to have a visceral reaction when I heard the word ‘perfect.’ I would cringe, feeling angry and focused on what I had lost trying to live to those expectations for most my life. When I heard the doctor describe Anais as ‘perfect,’ I felt offended and thought “she’d be perfect if she was alive.” My reaction was normal under the circumstances (20+ hours of labor and three pregnancy losses) but now I can see that she is perfect.

In order to achieve this positive perspective, I had to give myself permission and space to: 1) express and process through all my negative feelings and thoughts, 2) be validated for my loss and 3) redefine perfection and all its components.

Merriam-Webster defines perfect as a: being entirely without fault or defect, b: satisfying all requirements, c: corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept.

How could one be human and perfect at the same time?885711_10200369643260248_1620706323_o

What we perceive as faults, requirements, or the ideal depends greatly on context. Some faults are strengths in different situations. When you do not meet all the requirements for one position, you may very well open the door to a better one. There are many different paths to reach the same endpoint…

Thus perfection has evolved to mean when my behaviors, thoughts, and feelings work in a harmonious way to encourage me on the path that most honors my authentic self as well as evokes trusting connections with others. As my partner eloquently describes “I am forever grateful for this loss. It was the beginning of my great realignment with my true compassionate self. A life not measured by accomplishment but treasured through connection. She is always with me, tempering my anger, flattening my ego and helping me keep my hand outstretched with kindness and generosity.” Anais and all children are guides on this perfect path. Embracing loss, chaos, negativity, discovering my true self and seeing all the miracles we take for granted is perfection and a grand leap to peace.

Anais's memorial quotes

Vital Needs

There are no bad people, only those with less vital needs met and more pain to heal… 

Human defense mechanisms intrigue me…passive/aggressiveness, distortion, projection, denial, fantasy, rationalization, minimizing and so on…They protect us from absorbing too much pain at once so that the body/mind/soul can prepare itself to process the painful experience and hopefully transcend. But if we depend on these mechanisms or use them too long, they harden to bricks that build a wall. You might feel the illusion of safety behind this great wall, but the natural consequences and negativity will delude you. Connection, being able to touch another’s soul is one of our vital needs. Many of our other needs are cultivated within well-connected and mutually satisfying and respectful relationships.

When I reflect on my life, I took risks to allow people behind the wall I had built to protect myself. Of course, a few of these people I trusted backfired yet they all helped break down my wall.  My need for these defenses continues to decrease as I find more pro-active and responsible ways of getting my own needs met. I am unsure if it is possible to rid them completely, after all, we are human. Yet as I become more aware of my use of defense mechanisms and triggers, I am better able to embrace the value and those around me. I can love myself and everyone else through the pain even though I may be running into their walls.

Below is my favorite list of needs from the book, Healing the Child Within by Charles L. Whitfield. It is difficult to move on to getting another need met if the one before it is unmet or threatened. Sadly, I witness too many stuck and fighting at number two… 

Hierarchy of Human Needs 

  1. Survival
  2. Safety
  3. Touching, Skin Contact
  4. Attention
  5. Mirroring And Echoing
  6. Guidance
  7. Listening
  8. Being Real
  9. Participating
  10. Acceptance
    1. Others Are Aware Of, Take Seriously And Admire Real You
    2. Freedom To Be Real You
    3. Tolerance Of Your Feelings
    4. Validation
    5. Respect
    6. Belonging And Love
  11. Opportunity To Grieve Losses And To Grow
  12. Unconditional Support
  13. Loyalty And Trust
  14. Accomplishment
    1. Mastery, Power, Control
    2. Creativity
    3. Having A Sense Of Completion
    4. Making A Contribution
  15. Altering One’s State Of Consciousness
  16. Sexuality
  17. Enjoyment Or Fun
  18. Freedom
  19. Nurturing
  20. Unconditional Love

(compiled from Maslow 1962; Miller, 1981, Weil, 1973; & Glasser, 1985)light waitalk