i admit, i struggle with conflict – i’m an avoider of them. i’m the proverbial middle-child peacemaker. being married to an attorney, i find myself at a loss for words often. he’s trained to argue a point to exhaustion. in a methodical, mathematical & scientific way. i usually stand there, trying to make sense of my facts & opinions & feelings & then try to verbalize them in a logical way. it usually ends with me walking away feeling defeated & annoyed & wondering if my way of understanding is flawed. i sense myself in reaction mode with my pre-frontal cortex (PFC-my logical brain) offline leaving my amygdala (my security guard) defending myself in a fight or flight mode. or both of them.

my ultimate goal is to seek a place of understanding.

even with my husband.

“any fool can know. the point is to understand.” 

~ albert einstein

as i sat down to write today, the theme of conflict bubbled to the surface. i feel as if i’m in a match with the silence i create for myself & the noise from the rest of world, both near & far. so many directions & affirmations & expectations & judgments & funny memes & recipe swaps & yelling & i’m right & you’re wrong & this is how it should be done & this is how you revolt & this is who & how & why you shame & point your finger at each other.

so. much. conflict.

“it’s easy to judge. it’s more difficult to understand. understanding requires compassion, patience, and a willingness to believe that good hearts sometimes choose poor methods. through judging we separate. through understanding we grow.”

~doe zantamata

there are over 7 billion people wandering around this planet with their own minds, hearts, experiences & traumas. they have their own prefrontal cortex’ & amygdala’s to manage. it’s not my job to manage anyone else. instead, i aim to seek to understand how each individual arrives at his or her own conclusion.

i don’t have to agree with them,

& i don’t have to shame them either.

yes, i have moments of reaction & judgement & “what the actual fuck?” often. i try my hardest to remind myself to stop & breathe 5 deep, slow breaths. this simple act gets my PFC back online. i can then make a more clear & conscious choice whether if & perhaps how to respond.

(there is scientific evidence to back this up).

my husband has learned that this is how conflict resolution looks for me.

it’s probably boring for him.

i’m all good with being boring when it comes to this particular topic.

last year i was trained in traditional native healing & restorative justice circles.

it felt very natural & almost second nature to me.

it’s a process that seeks to understand.

meaningful action is derived from a deep understanding of the situation.

from all vantage points.

my goal is to not only hear, but to listen.

to not only watch, but to see.

to both sense & feel what each person has been through,

where they are at & where they are heading.

it’s not my job to fix or make myself,

or anyone else, right or wrong.

it is my job to see all sides

& hopefully understand.

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