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Conflict & Forgiveness: For Those Who "Hate Confrontation"

Conflict & Forgiveness: For Those Who "Hate Confrontation"

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Published by: Dr Kenneth Silvestri on Oct 02, 2009
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12/06/2012

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Forgivenessisthewordweusewhen onechoosestoletgoofaparticular grievanceorhurt.Itisameanstoattain peacebynotdwellingonthepain whichkeepsyourbodyinthatrevved up"fightorflight"mode.Fewofus havebeentaughthowtoforgiveand oneofthereasonsisaculturalmisinter- pretationabout"conflict."Mostofus seeconflictasnegativeorbadwhich toooftencreatesangerandaggression. Inherbook
"AngertheMisunderstood Emotion,"
byCarolTavris,shesharesa storyabouttheBuddhacomingtohis templeandseeinghiscongregationout- sidefearfulofentering.Heaskedwhy andwastoldthatalargesnakewas stoppingthem.TheBuddhaapparently beinglikeHarryPotterwasabletotalk tothesnake,andaskedhimtonotbite anymemberofhiscongregation.The followingweek,histemplewasfull, andhehadagreatsermon,yetupon leavingheheardasoundofanguishin thebushes.Therehefoundthesnakeall beatupandbloody.TheBuddhaasked whathadhappened,andthesnake repliedthathedidnotbiteanyoneas theBuddhasuggestedandhewasbeat upforhiskindness.TheBuddhastared athimandrepliedthathehadsuggest- edthatthesnakenotbite,buthedidnot tellhimnottohiss. Itisoursensethatconflictisneither badnorgood;itjustisaninescapable
76Subscribeatwww.GBonkers.com
Conflictand
-
rgln
ForThoseWho"HateConfrontation"
byKenSilvestri,Ed.D.FredericLuskin,Ph.D.andJedRosen,LCSW
partoflife.TheGreeksdescribedthe processofnatureor"Gaia,"asaprocess wherethewholeismorethanthesum oftheparts.Thereisplentythatwe couldcallbadorgood,innature;pretty babycubsbeingeatenbylargerpreda- tors,ortheyin/yangoflifewherethere arechoicesbetweenfocusingonthe glasshalffullorempty.Theupshoot isoftenconflictissimplygristforcre- ativityorchange.Taketheshellfish thatgetssomemuckintoitsshelland resistsitwithitsownmucouslikeliq- uid,eventuallyproducingavalued pearl.Whichpartwasgoodandwhich partwasbad?Mountains,canyonsand muchofhumanbeingsworksofartare insomewayproductsofconflict. CarlJungoncedescribedconflictas resultingfromtheformationofpara- doxes(somethinggoodinonecontext butnotinanotherwidercontext;but thatcanbeseenassomethingthatif workedthrough,createsresolutionand happiness.Inherbook
"TheUnthinkable:WhoSurvivesWhen DisasterStrikesandWhy,"
AmandaRipleydescribeshowcatastrophe(ora grievance)isnottheend,butthebegin- ning.Itispartofhistorywhichhasno endandopensuppossibilities.Beingin thepresentaccordingtoRipleyismore interestingsinceitisreality. Understandingconflictisavehiclefor notblaming.ThisiswhatHunterS. Thompsonmeantwhenhesaid,
"Callongodbutrowawayfromtherocks."
Doingnothingisbeingavictim;its oppositeisbeingahero. Wepositionforgiveness,which,inits truesenseisnotminimizingnorcon- doningthepainthatmaycomefrom conflictsasacentralhealingmetaphor forconflict.Itaddressestheproblem thatmanyofushaveandthatisletting goofour"taleofwoe."Recentlya woman(Megan)cameforpsychothera- py.Shesaidthatwhatshewasnotget- tinginlifewasempathyfromherhus- band.Shenarratedmanyinstances wherehedismissedordevaluedher feelings.Whenaskedifshehaddis- cussedthatwithhim,Megansaid,
"noway,hewouldonlygetmadatme."
Herfamilybackgroundwasfullofstoriesof authoritariandiscipline.Shecould neverdialoguewithherparents.Inthis instanceMegan'sbrainwasvery"state dependent,"meaningitrecognizedpat- ternsofemotionsratherthancontent andsoshegotstuckinherstoryandher badcontent.Shecouldnotletgo,for- giveordealsuccessfullywithherexpe- rienceorherhusbanduntilshelearned howtoforgive. FollowingareninestepstohelpMegan dealwithherrealandimaginedcon- flict:
1.
Meganwasaskedto
expresswhatshefelt
soshecouldallowopennessto
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