We all carry pain, the question is: What do we do with our pain? Growing up, my parents would disagree with style! And by “style”, I mean their arguments were explosive like the 4th of July. They were real doozies! This, plus the way differences between my dad and uncles also turned into fights, and how other family members took disputes behind closed doors, led me to internalize and live this mantra: Avoid disagreement at ALL costs!
Relational conflict is a hurt I’ve carried for decades. The thing is: If we don’t transform our pain, we inevitably transmit it on others and/or twist it up inside ourselves. I’ve seen unhealed abuse survivors harm others, hurting people numb their pain with addiction, insecure people verbally pummel others, and so on, but the most important thing I’m realizing is how I’ve long fled from relational conflict and discomfort, even though such awkwardness is actually a good thing (when done with kindness)!
Nearly a decade ago, my therapist taught me while relational fights (wherein the goal is to win and hurt the other) are best avoided, conflicts (while uncomfortable) are healthy and important, as they’re key to working through our differences, understanding one another, growing together, and transforming for the better. Thanks Rhonda!
Recently, some super heavy stuff (which isn’t mine to share here) brought me face-to-face with the pain I’d twisted-up inside myself for years. You see, the only way to heal and go through the heaviness, was for me to dive into the muddy relational discomfort, disagreement, and disruption I’d long avoided. After resisting for a bit, I did. And with gratitude for the people who’ve been in the muck with me, I’d say dealing with my pain for the benefit of others, has also blessed me with greater confidence, peace of mind, and wellness.
Hugs & Love,
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