What have you carried forward into the new year?
Happy New Year all!
Let’s get down to it.
There are some things that we have brought into this new year with us that needed to be left behind. Maybe it is a grudge or a relationship issue still unresolved or maybe we sulk or pout when we are called out or perhaps we have been pretending to listen to others and do the work when in fact, we have only done it to our own satisfaction, but not to theirs.
It’s a mess out there in the world and the majority of it has been created by conflicts that have not been resolved.
What is the role that you play in unresolved conflicts in your piece of the world?
Are you ready to take a long honest look or are you still leaving the owning up to harm done to others?
It’s not that you haven’t been hurt at the hand of others, but what can you challenge yourself to look at within yourself when it comes to conflict?
I’m thinking about when I was in my twenties and I had a long talk with my mom about how critical she was of me and that her harsh judgments of me were often reflected in her tone, her sharp words and her endless remarks on my decisions and actions. I was asking her to listen, reflect and change. It did not go down too well, but I did see her listening in-between her objections.
About two months later, I did something that she did not approve of and she came to me and said that she was so proud of herself, because when it happened, she did not say a word to me about what she thought of what I had done (This was true and a noticeable change on her part.). She was clearly delighted by this, because both she and I knew how hard this was for her. My response was “I still saw it in your eyes and the way you looked at me.”
Full stop here…
I had already had the conversation with her, I engaged in a conflict situation by telling her my truth and the effect her actions had on me and my desire for her to change. She was hurting me, and she was wrong to do this. Her bad.
When she gave me what I wanted, which was at least an attempt to change, I stepped all over it by not acknowledging the attempt and how hard that had to be for her and I minimized it by tossing out another critique of her behavior. In other words, in that moment, I was wrong. I could’ve done better, and the continuation of this conflict also fell on me, but I didn’t own it. I did not go back to her and acknowledge this realization either. This is what I am talking about.
Without being hard on ourselves, can we look at our role in the conflicts that exist in our lives? We can look at how we contribute to societal conflicts in a bit, but for right now, can you own what is yours while I own what is mine?
I am basically asking us to own what it means to be human. We contribute to conflicts in some way and we often continue to carry that way into our conversations and interactions year after year after year.
Let 2023 set us free.
Think about it.
Make a short list.
Start with one thing.
Own it to yourself and someone else.
Deeply reflect on where it comes from for you.
Develop a plan for changing it and then do the work.
I am owning my habit of still interrupting folks too much when I feel the need to get my point across. It comes from my need to be right and have others think I am too, which comes from seeing that modeled in the adults who raised or interacted with me while I was growing up.
I have the tools to make the change.
I am doing the work.
Let’s get free together.
Let me hear from you. Whatcha workin’ on?