Wednesday, September 17, 2008


When those close to us are hurting, it can be difficult to be in relationship with them and with ourselves. Some people may act angry, sad, or indifferent as a reaction to their pain. In turn, we may act the same. This closed behavior can be difficult to be in and around.

I have recently come to understand that keeping connected to myself during such experiences of pain, and conflict can bring quicker healing. In order to see through these behaviors, which most often are negative, I heighten my awareness of how I am feeling and thinking. Usually, it is a "knee jerk" reaction to the other person/s behavior that comes first. But instead of just reacting and closing the door due to the many emotions (fear, anger, hurt), I acknowledge my "knee jerk" reaction. I do this by saying to myself, for example, "I really see that I feel like running away from this conflict." Next, I take a few deep breaths, and focus on being open and connected to everything around me and everything in me. By acknowledging fear, hurt, anger, and sadness(or whatever emotion I may feel), it helps me to remain open and connected to myself. The acknowledgment is acceptance of myself in the moment. In this practice of self love and compassion, I am then fully present to work on the conflict.

It sounds methodical, and it is. This method is a necessity for me because I was not brought up in a manner to know what being connected and open to myself feels like. There is no record or map from my childhood on how to work with/in conflict fully present and open. In this method of self love and self compassion, I create the space to love and have compassion not only for myself, but for the other person/s in the conflict. Once here, I can truly appreciate and be fully present for love shared between people, even during conflict.

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