There’s nothing gained in playing small, diminishing your light or diluting your energy. You are on this earth to be the person only you can be, and your unique people and opportunities find their way to you most quickly and effectively when they can feel your authenticity beaming and calling out to theirs. Today is the day for the truest you to live your most legendary life.
Sometimes, no matter how much it hurts or how much you want it, understanding and resolution of conflict between you and someone else will not actually happen with that person. It may be because they are no longer alive, because they are no longer connected to your life, or because they are not willing or able to engage in effective and meaningful process.
This is hard, because we innately want to alleviate pain, and we tend to look outside ourselves for that relief. This is why it’s essential to understand that resolution and healing is always something that you can give yourself and that your wholeness, peace and wellbeing are never dependent upon anyone else.
When navigating conflict with someone isn’t an option, what’s the alternative? Turn inward, seek as much understanding of what’s happened as you can, seize opportunities to challenge your thinking and behavior, and allow for as many inspirations for your own growth as possible. Then move all that energy—cry, scream, write, read, run, meditate, go outside, confide in people whose counsel you trust, repeat as needed, and move forward.
Responses to conflict have less to do with what anyone “deserves” and more to do with how we relate to ourselves and our understanding of our emotions, fears and defenses. Try to not take others’ limitations in conflict personally; some comfort can be found in accepting that we’re usually all doing the best we know how to do in the moment.
If the person you’re struggling with isn’t in your life anymore, then moving forward is just that: moving forward without them. If they are in your life, then challenges and disappointment in conflict resolution don’t necessarily have to be deal breakers regarding whether or not you maintain the connection. You may want to look at shifting how close you allow them to be to your innermost circles, where you’re most vulnerable, but remember that too is fluid. Long-term relationships usually ebb and flow in intimacy and distance depending on where people are at in their lives and their individual growth; this is normal and you can allow for it without compromising your own boundaries and wellbeing.
“nor·mal/nôrməl/ : conforming to a standard; usual, typical, expected.” – Could there be a less inspiring sentiment?
The true meaning of “normal” has no life or vigor and yet our fear-based egos desperately watch, measure and assess how who we are and what we are doing compares to everyone else. It tries to hide the parts of us it fears deviate from the norm because we are too sensitive, messy, complicated, challenging… or not motivated, creative, humorous or successful enough. In front of vulnerable truths ego would prefer to place shiny facades and carefully crafted PR blips.
There are so many heartbreaking problems with this form of defense. It keeps us terrified that we aren’t truly worthy or lovable because no one knows the REAL us. It keeps us alienated from meaningful connection because no one can reach us behind all the cover up. And perhaps most persistently problematic, it maintains the groupthink that there even is such a thing as “normal”, which perpetuates misunderstanding of what is honorable, honest, raw and meaningful about the human experience.
So I beg of us, if not for ourselves (though I want for that to be the greatest motivator), then for each other, let’s give up trying to be what we think we should be and start wholeheartedly being—simply being. I am certain we will find greater peace, energy, love and fulfillment liberated from the chains of assumption about other people’s expectations of us.