From Fearing Conflict to Harnessing Conflict
There is inherent wisdom in our fear.
Often, we avoid conflict in the fear of that it will worsen the relationship. And usually, there is truth in that fear.
We have a sense that in the face face of conflict, we will get defensive, we will shut down, we will blame. We have an idea how it will play out, given how we are likely to play out.
If we could look in the eye of that fear, we could ask - how do we think it might play out, how do we think we are likely to be, how do we think the other person is likely to be. Then we would start unpacking the relationships between our intention, our way of being, our preoccupations, and the impact of all of that on our conversations.
When we do that, we begin to find ways of dissolving our preoccupations. We discover how to get to a place that is more open, more compassionate, more truthful. A place where we are able to hold our truth, compassion for the other, and deep regard for the relationship, as we navigate our conversations. When we truly taste this place, we stop fearing conflict, because we shift those things that we instinctively knew would get in the way.
And as we do that, conflict becomes a pathway to deeper connection.
The path to getting there? Looking squarely in the eye of the fear, with curiosity and compassion.