it’s been a wild few weeks away from home. days filled with excitement, new experiences, reliving old memories and making new. nature and nurturing. family, fun, festivities and fireworks! relaxation, rest and renewal. but not every moment was bliss. as in all matters of joy, sorrow isn’t far behind. and as with family, you will often find strife. conflict, anger and sometimes fighting words.
and yet truth.
truth buried in the shadow of critical, hurtful, emotional words.
so often a long-repressed conflict is like the breaking of a dam.
like the rage of gushing water, a torrent of wild, reckless words roars with the passionate frenzy to be free.
we don’t always do it right. who am i kidding, we rarely do it right. we know the right things to say, the appropriate way to react, but when the moment comes…when it’s us on the chopping block it all falls away. sound judgment, clear reasoning, grace and love? in the moment of conflict the head and the heart disconnect. in the churning, murky water we lose vision and all we see is us. all we feel is pain. all we know in that moment is rejection, fear and self-preservation.
and yet, we know there is truth. embedded in every criticism is a sliver of truth. we know it or we wouldn’t defend against it so defiantly. it’s how we attempt to protect ourselves from the conflict. how we brace our heart for the pain of ridicule and rejection. how we attempt to numb from the force of angry, critical words that come for our peace.
so we avoid it. we tiptoe around it. we dam up our voice. and yet the very process of conflict is a powerful conduit for healing.
like roaring water racing through the floodgate, we get our thoughts and feelings into the open channel where we can dispel the misperceptions, reveal the untruths, correct the assumptions made along the way. quite often we’re wrong. just flat out wrong. we accumulate grievances, make lists of offenses. we silently make our case.
if only we had the courage to ask the hard questions. to reach out when we want to hide away. to clarify when we aren’t sure. to seek truth before taking action.
if we were bold enough to engage with open hearts, minds and hands. not to fight, but to learn. not to know, but to understand. to grow. to mend. to heal.
if we would allow truth to flow through us in love. if we would take the risk to expose our hearts, believing that it is enough.
if we were brave enough to forgive.
there is a lot to be learned in conflict. so often feared and misunderstood, it serves a useful, powerful purpose. sometimes it’s the only way the dam will break. the only way the water will flow. the only route to finding peace.
which will you choose? i choose strong.
perspective in criticism. truth in love. lessons in tears.