5 Steps to Conflict Resolution

Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. Over time, one person will misunderstand the other. Some conflicts are so small that overlooking the gaffe may be the best advice, but do not let the pain or anger over old misunderstandings pile up and become a full-blown argument because you failed to resolve the issue when it first happened.   Oftentimes, then a seemingly small incident becomes a tipping point where making up for “the old and the new” aggravations become an intractable grudge. “When you are in deep conflict about something, sometimes the most trivial thing can tip the scales.” ~Ethel Merman

Conflict does not have to become a Hatfield and McCoy episode. You do not have to live with conflict, letting its flares ruin your relationships until the day you die. While conflict may not be avoidable all of the time, there are civil ways to resolve misunderstandings that preserve the relationship, your health and  your integrity.

5 Steps to Conflict Resolution:

  1. Acknowledge there is a conflict. It’s not good to suppress the feeling that erupt after a presumed infraction, instead pay attention to the feeling rather than internalize the emotion. Go inside, get to your heart/feeling center and ask yourself why does this trigger a reaction in me? Check in with what you are feeling, acknowledge the feelings. Stay away from blame, anger, self-doubt or feelings of unworthiness (usually the result of unexpressed feelings).

                        “Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.” ~William Ellery Channing

2. Identify the “real” conflict. There is a reason for the discord, identify why it exists.  Once you have gone within yourself to self-check your feelings, it is time to    get real. The next step is to hone in on what happened. Review the conversation or exchange-look for where things broke down and make an earnest attempt to identify the source of the conflict. It could be an integrity issue, a snub, a flaw, a mental illness. Whatever, the range of possibilities is wide. The point is to objectively pinpoint, as best as you can, what may be the real reason for the conflict.

“There are three principles in a man’s being and life, the principle of thought, the principle of speech, and the principle of action. The origin of all conflict between me and my fellow-men is that I do not say what I mean and I don’t do what I say. ”  ~Martin Buber

      3. It’s time to talk. Seek out the other person. Consult. Open up, share how you feel and then hear their point of view. This is where you seek to understand each other. Stay away from volatile, inflammatory accusations which escalate conflict. Talk in a hearing tone, speak with healing words, understand with an empathetic heart.

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict – alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.” ~Dorothy Thompson

4. Work together to resolve the conflict.  Keep a good attitude. Throw blame, heated recriminations out of the window. Stay in the now, rather than re-hash old wounds, and hear each other; find out what each person needs to resolve the issue. There are reasons why “vexed” feelings are there, tell the truth, share your feelings with a positive attitude, and then honestly do what is necessary to resolve the conflict.

“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” ~William James

       5. Take responsibility to maintain the solution. Own the outcome, do this for yourself. Take ownership of your feelings and release any lingering residuals that often accompany conflict. Take responsibility not only for your feelings but also take responsibility to honor the solution and then let the old conflict go. Sine die. It is done and over with.

“Conflict cannot survive without your participation.” ~Wayne Dyer

 Conflict is solvable.  Resolution is the agreement.  Children instinctively know how to handle conflict, go to your inner child and model love.

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Miracle Monday

Just when you think it will never happen, your miracle comes!  What a liberating thought-to love and live with expectancy. Have hope, expect a miracle.

Something good is going to happen to you, especially for you, TODAY! Keep this declaration in your subconscious mind throughout the day each and every day.  This attitude of gracious acceptance with genuine gratitude for your miracle, whether large or small, elevates your consciousness and messages to the universe that you are ready. Ready to receive, ready to reciprocate, ready to live your purpose.

Each of us are born for a reason, that’s why we populate the earth; not to just breathe and take up space. Absolutely not, you have a sacred purpose. You have a one-of-a-kind imprint, a personal tattoo of purpose. You have an earthly assignment. So, on this Miracle Monday take time to reflect on your miracle mission.  Go back to the basic question WHY? Why am I here, why am I breathing, why am I a thinking, capable being, why was I created noble?

We all have a noble destiny…let me repeat that-we all have a noble destiny.

Pause and inculcate that truth – you have a noble destiny!

“Our destiny changes with our thoughts; we become what we wish to become, do

what we wish to do, when our habitual thoughts correspond with our desires.” ~Orison Swett Marden

If you are not connected – or need a reminder – with the inner awareness that you were created noble and have a destiny, let me suggest these simple connection steps.

  • Place your hand over your heart and say out loud – I am noble. I have a destiny.
  • Smile, see that sacred part of yourself deep within your being.
  • Feel the healing energy and peaceful vibrations from repeating again and again – I am noble. I have a destiny.
  • Trust the universe-trust yourself. Know, really have a solid, unshakable knowing, that you are noble and are on this earth to seek your destined place.
  • Write your declaration – I am noble and I have a destiny.  Then allow your feelings to be and write what you feel.
  • Create your miracle

You can create anything in your life, purposed for the highest good. All you have to do is pay close attention – and expect your purposed miracle.

Recommended Reading:  Quantum Consciousness, Stephen Wolinsky

Miracle Monday

Just when you think it will never happen, your miracle comes!  What a liberating thought-to love and live with expectancy. Have hope, expect a miracle.

Something good is going to happen to you, especially for you, TODAY! Keep this declaration in your subconscious mind throughout the day each and every day.  This attitude of gracious acceptance with genuine gratitude for your miracle, whether large or small, elevates your consciousness and messages to the universe that you are ready. Ready to receive, ready to reciprocate, ready to live your purpose.

Each of us are born for a reason, that’s why we populate the earth; not to just breathe and take up space. Absolutely not, you have a sacred purpose. You have a one-of-a-kind imprint, a personal tattoo of purpose. You have an earthly assignment. So, on this Miracle Monday take time to reflect on your miracle mission.  Go back to the basic question WHY? Why am I here, why am I breathing, why am I a thinking, capable being, why was I created noble?

We all have a noble destiny…let me repeat that-we all have a noble destiny.

Pause and inculcate that truth – you have a noble destiny!

“Our destiny changes with our thoughts; we become what we wish to become, do

what we wish to do, when our habitual thoughts correspond with our desires.” ~Orison Swett Marden

If you are not connected – or need a reminder – with the inner awareness that you were created noble and have a destiny, let me suggest these simple connection steps.

  • Place your hand over your heart and say out loud – I am noble. I have a destiny.
  • Smile, see that sacred part of yourself deep within your being.
  • Feel the healing energy and peaceful vibrations from repeating again and again – I am noble. I have a destiny.
  • Trust the universe-trust yourself. Know, really have a solid, unshakable knowing, that you are noble and are on this earth to seek your destined place.
  • Write your declaration – I am noble and I have a destiny.  Then allow your feelings to be and write what you feel.
  • Create your miracle

You can create anything in your life, purposed for the highest good. All you have to do is pay close attention – and expect your purposed miracle.

Recommended Reading:  Quantum Consciousness, Stephen Wolinsky

Do You Care or Curse?

Do You Care or Curse?

Ultimately, that is the choice we make with our feelings hundreds of times a day-care or curse? The difference between the two often means happiness inside or despotic misery.  The choice is real, most of the time automatic and situational, but once you begin to pay attention to your feelings and thoughts you will begin to realize that yes you do make one of the choices.

Interestingly, our natural proclivity is to care. You learn how to curse a situation.  Watch the natural choices of a mother in the animal kingdom and you will see an innate caring instinct. But, for survival purposes that mother teaches her young how to curse, or become a predator, in the wild. Humans, who have the added faculty of intelligence, make the same choice-we learn how to curse certain situations based on feelings.

But, human choice to curse is usually made under the guise of the same notion of protection found in the animal kingdom. But, this is wrong. We learn to curse the unknown or what we fear, curse each other as competitors, damn those who are different, curse obstacles that come into our lives as an impediment which was dumped into our lap to make our lives difficult.

The natural human choice is to care. In spite of how often we are bombarded with instances where the volume of cursing is turned up to shrieking noise, caring still happens. Three four and five year old girls decided to sell their own drawings which they made with crayon and color markers to help the tsunami victims in Japan two days ago.

Why did they do it, they cared. A high school baseball coach donated a kidney to one of his players. He did it, in his words, “because I cared.” A young man stops to help an elderly couple after an accident-he cared too.  Teachers teach because they care. Doctors and nurses save lives because they care. Daycare workers care. Architects care about the safety of a structure. Fathers care about their children. When you listen to someone without judgment, you care.

Those who curse care too, but in an inverted way. People who curse measure their care based on past memories of pain which them provokes them to shield caring in a cloak of bitter internalized nonchalance. But, the caring is there not far from the surface if you studied the air of a grumbling curmudgeon.  Reasonably, this is true because it is natural to care. So, even though someone exhibits a hardened shell that looks like they curse the world, a persistent dose of caring attention will usually soften their seemingly bitter heart. They too have happiness inside and a caring sensitivity toward others.

This is not a sentimental musing. Honestly, it is not. F. W. Sears writes, “when w permit ourselves to condemn a thing because we say it is “bad” or condemn some person for any cause whatever, that is taking a destructive attitude toward that thing or person no matter how just we may think our position in the case may be we cannot relate with these negative, destructive currents in our thought world and expect constructive and harmonious effects….”

Make it a practice to care about the bitter and downtrodden, lots of people do.  Pause for a moment to pick out caring moments that others do. Just last week I watched this new show, Secret Millionaire, on ABC. The tagline is giving back never fet soo good.” The premise of the show, from its premiere episode, is for millionaires to live undercover, where others do not know they are wealthy, and spend time in the community with people who are serving are caring for others and then give a portion of their money away to strengthen the work those caring servants are doing which benefit others.  On the premiere episode a woman, Dani Johnson, who was once homeless but became a millionaire, spent time in a food kitchen where two elderly twin ladies prepared hot food for those in the community who needed a hot meal. For the housebound, their volunteers visited with them when they took them their meals; what they did was care because often the visit was more healing than the food. Another lady on the show devoted her time, talent and money decorating rooms and granting wishes for children who were very sick. Even though she was a busy mother and wife, it was her calling to care to decorate these rooms with bright and cheerful motifs to uplift the spirits of the ill child and their devastated parents. The millionaire funded both of these causes with a gift of a check, but as importantly she connected to her heart of care.

You may not be a millionaire, neither am I, but what we do share is a willingness to care. Care just a little more about your neighbor, check in on someone who is sick or elderly, send a card you have not seen or talked to in a while, smile, show your happiness inside.

The main rule for caring is to do something for others with tenderness. Be tender and patient even with the one, human or animal, who has been scarred and appears to curse the world. Let them feel your care.  Make a care investment  everywhere, it is the harmonious thing to do.

Recommended Reading:  The Prosperity Bible (compilation)

What is Love?

Woody Allen makes a point here:

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”

Whether you think Woody Allen’s comment is funny or not does not matter (I think it is privately humorous), the question here is what is love?

American relationship/marriage statistics are alarming (if you choose to focus on the divorce probability) unless you counterbalance those data numbers with heart memories. This is one reason I often refer to a book written by Julie Rainbow, Standing the Test of Time, that debunks the myth of divorced, dysfunctional Black families as she tells the story of Black couples who have been married fifty years or more and are still standing together.

I have other reasons for my knowing about love, my parents. My parents were married 53 years (until my Dad’s death in 2008) and his last words on this earth were to my Mom, saying “I love you.” Their eternal bond taught me something.

Adding another personal note, now that I have eulogized two brothers, one my twin, but both whom I loved deeply, I had to ask myself what am I learning about life through this experience?  I have been taught that love is a jewel that sparkles as brightly as you do. Well, I want to dazzle because that is the type of love that I want before I leave this earthly plane!

I have learned that “love” endures pain. It is an unquestioned face that relationships that mark years of longevity face pain. Even so, the pain of infidelity, disaster, trauma, or other disruptive issues do not destroy the core of love between two people who are devoted to each other.

I have learned that “love” smells different. Sometimes love stinks. But, like you learn to love your baby’s poop, love is the reason. Other times love smells like a fragrant rose, scented by time and passion. Love among two people may smell different from time to time, but each smell you learn to love.

I have learned that “love” ages. The longer you bottle love the more of an aged bouquet it has. Time and stillness together can create a bonus of a barrel of savory love.

What love is is individual. My impression of love is distinct from yours and you can bet yours is distinct from mine. When I was younger I equated love with lust, thus a divorce as soon as the hots cooled off. Now after taking years of celibacy instruction to heart, I have learned that even though love may lead to suffering, I’ll suffer any day for the aged, sweetness of love.

‘Tis the Season

We are already being bombarded by commercials and ad solicitations that could entice us to buy…tis the season. But, the operative word in the sentence above is COULD.

You control your choices. Yes, you could buy and spend or you could save and create memories without accumulating more things and debt. The choice and the outcome is up to you.

Here’s a seasonal suggestion:
*Spend some time alone. Reflect on the power of you. Really get in tune with your recessed greatness and then build upon that awareness as your seasonal starting point for powerful lasting change.

Seasons arrive in symmetry for a reason. Take this season to reason out who you really are. Tap into your passion and go out and live from that passion born of the season.

For example, if you enjoy music-say for instance country music, then that may be a latent passion of yours. Instead of just listening to country music this season, go a little deeper and may be write a short country music song. You may want to copyright the lyrics you have penned and shop them for publication and eventual performance by a country music artist or yourself even. Or, you just may want to keep your lyrical musings private in your own collection.

The main point here is to activate your passion with ACTION! Do something that you love. Dr. Wayne Dyer, in the Power of Intention, writes that “Whatever you intend to create in your life involves generating the same life-giving active quality that brings everything into existence.”
Bring your passion into existence this season,

Material things just don’t satisfy long-term. But, soul-born passions endure until infinity. Live beyond tomorrow.

Nine Things For Which I Give Thanks

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving  Day, is a symbolic time to pause and count our blessings. In American culture, the day is a time of gathering. Friends, family, and others sit together around the table and eat a hot meal. In essence, everybody is happy and thankful for the blessings in their lives.

Even the homeless or women and children in shelters are showered with more gifts of thanks on Thanksgiving Day. The season of compassion begins anew and usually lasts until the New Year. Food, presents, and the joy of sharing become prominent during this time of the year.

  • I would be thankful if all across the globe this spirit of compassion would last all year. Let each person in their heart pledge to think about their fellow man, woman and child each and every day. Then, the overcrowded soup kitchen will have enough food and volunteers to serve hot meals to every person in need. Then, the shelters will have enough room to house those who face hardship or the world will see an eradication of the need for shelters for all will be safe and warm at night.
  • I am thankful for my neighbors. Just three days ago one neighbor became alarmed that I was in jeopardy and a whole group of them gathered and called the police to check that I was okay.  When I arrived back home, they all were so relieved that I was okay that one neighbor cried. That is agape love which should envelop us each and every day.
  • I give thanks for happiness. Joy is a part of me because of the multitude of blessings that are evident to me. We are all blessed – look for the good and release negative burdens. Be in-joy.
  • I am so grateful for words. Words elevate the soul and   I am thankful to be able to use words to uplift someone, to soothe a troubled mind, to encourage the talent that we all possess.
  • I offer thanks for peace. Let me be an instrument of peace, taken from the prayer  of St. Francis of Assisi. Each of us can let peace begin within and change the world into a more harmonious place. Dr. Wayne Dyer offers that the only requirement for this to happen is to set it as our intention – it is done.
  • Thank you to my family who are my friends for unending love.
  • Friends, I thank you. We have chosen each other to share all there is in life.
  • I honor the children, youth, and young adults who are in my life with gratitude. Your acceptance of my love for you keeps my heart beating so that we can experience another time of sharing. You ALL make me proud.
  • I am thankful for unity. As a Baha’i, I get to experience the richness of unity – the oneness of mankind.  This spirit of oneness captures all that thanks is: knowing there is one source of good, facing each person as a creation of God rather than from the differences of skin color, gender or culture, enjoying close relations with everyone, exploiting the good traits as a priceless treasure, working in one accord for the betterment of the world.

Thank you today, tomorrow, and every day. I give thanks.