Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The C-Word

lately i've been thinking a lot about conflict {yes that c-word}.  i can't count how many times i've told people "conflict is not bad, it's simply a call to creativity."  i was taught that in grad school by my favorite hippy psychology professor, and i felt so proud of myself every single time i said it.  "oh kim, you are dishing out such wise advice!"  i truly believed the words that were coming out of my mouth... that is, until i had to apply it to my own life.  i was careful never to say this wise advice to myself, even though i whole-heartedly thought it was true.  why?  because conflict is not just a call to creativity.  if that were all, i would be fine with it.  i love to be creative!  but conflict is also a call to
change {oy, there's another c-word for you}.


the other day i was journaling about a quote i had read by *donald miller.  the quote was:

The most crippling belief a person can have is life was supposed 
to be easy.  Can you imagine how much more painful life would be 
if you thought life was hard because you were doing something 
wrong?  Conflict isn’t what detracts from our well-being. 
 Conflict is great.  What detracts from our well-being is the 
thought we weren’t supposed to be experiencing conflict in the 
first place. ... Life is supposed to be meaningful and we 
can't gain a sense of meaning without conflict.

as i was writing about how wise and truthful i found this statement, putting it to memory so i could add it to my arsenal of great therapy speech, i was interrupted by conflict - a lot of conflict.  the dog, the cat, the husband, each brought forth conflict to my peaceful existence within the span of 2 short minutes as i was writing about how conflict brings meaning.  fuck.  i was furious, not because of the specific conflict going on around me, but because i suddenly had the responsibility to face that conflict in a new way.  i could no longer face it with those dear old friends Avoidance and Blame.  i knew those were unhealthy and unproductive ways of dealing with conflict, but i still longed for them them because they were familiar and comfortable.  we humans are funny aren't we?  we choose the unhealthy over that which we know will make us happier in a desperate attempt to avoid any form of change.  i know i do. 

so i guess the points i'm trying to make are these:  i am a hypocrite just like everyone else; conflict really is great if it makes you grow as a person; but still, let's be completely understanding if we all take a long time to make those healthy changes, okay?

i think my 33 year old client said it best when he asked:  "Is this me growing up?"

* This is an excerpt from Donald Miller's new book Storyline.  I haven't read it, but I did download a sample chapter, which had some great words for thought.  you can download it too at the bottom of the page here.

1 comment:

  1. oh, so many good words and thoughts.

    I'm a terrible conflict avoider. Oh goodness.