There’s an expression that I often hear people use, “love conquers all” and yet those of us who feel like we have been giving out love don’t always feel like we are conquering all. I mean, all of the big societal problems still exist. Racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, indifference toward the suffering of the planet and reality TV are still going strong. Yes, I do believe that reality TV is causing harm, but of course you are free to disagree with me.
In any case, the point I am making is that for many of us, love’s strength does not seem to be proving itself against these largely unresolved conflicts. On top of that, too many spouses, significant others, friends and families all involved in love relationships, are finding themselves stuck in conflicts that never seem to end. Where is love’s strength in these situations?
Many of us are giving up, cutting off, unfriending, separating, silencing and tearing down ourselves and others in a means of getting rid of these conflicts once and for all. Too many are loudly singing along with Tina Turner and meaning it. Even as the Conflict Closer, I can become jaded in some of these moments and seriously wonder what’s love got to do with it and when will this ever be resolved?
And then I think about the fact that time and time again when I have approached conflict with love and in love, it has opened me and the situation up in new ways. Unresolved conflict is particularly frustrating because we’ve either tried to resolve it and been unsuccessful or we have never tried and simply hoped that it would either resolve itself or go away. Either way, the fact that it is still here reminds us that something is still wrong. The question is… does this ever get resolved and how? The message that keeps repeating itself in our head is When? When? When?
When the conversation we have in love is delivered to hear, not to hurt. Words are power, they’re currency actually and when we choose to use them with others instead of on others love can shine through.
When being right isn’t the reason we engage, but rather something we put aside in order to understand their perspective. Of course, we believe in our own message and are often willing to fight for it, but love leads with an interest in understanding how others think and why.
When we lead in love even if we are still angry. Bringing ourselves to a place of calm does not mean that we have to neglect our emotions. Anger can be a reason to summon enough love to address the situation.
When we challenge ourselves to focus on being the change that we are believing for. Complaining and agreeing about all that is wrong does nothing until it produces action. Believe that doing even the littlest something leads to change.
When we invite, listen to, respect and implement different perspectives. Looking through the same lens does not allow us to see new solutions. Sometimes the new perspective comes by asking for help, other times it comes from simply inviting yourself to fully listen.
When we understand that a heart that can be broken can be built back up if it is cared for and not sheltered from every storm. So many of us shield our hearts and choose not to engage again with the same passion. Self-care must include our hearts. We build them up from learning how to love fully even after we’ve been hurt. Learn the lessons from each hurt.
When walking away happens because we have sincerely tried and there is no other choice. It is easy to walk away because we’re frustrated and don’t seem to be getting our way, or we’re tired of this same old argument. Try something new. Ask for help. Assess the harm. Last resort, we walk away with love.
When love is still a possibility even in the midst of what looks completely impossible. That heart that can be broken, keep it open even in the midst of hate. If hate is the absence of love, then send love from a distance. Some of the hardest hearts have been conquered with love, which means somebody never gave up.
As hard as it is, I know that love has got everything to do with unresolved conflict. Stay in there, breathe, take a break, return renewed in love’s power to conquer all.
I have seen love work too many times to give up on it or on you.
Hey, if you need to work it out to Tina before you go back out there…Here you go!!!