Today I wanted to talk a little bit about resolving conflict. I saw this instagram post while scrolling through my feed and I started thinking about myself, the conflict in my own life, and how I regularly deal with it. The post says, "If you want to resolve conflict with the ones you love, be willing to be wrong and ready to forgive." Now looking in my own life I know that besides the very rare quarrel with a friend or argument with my parents the biggest place where conflict occurs is my marriage. Marriage is such an amazing thing: promising and giving your life to a person forever, putting them first, and wholeheartedly loving them. It can also be one of the hardest things. It's such an intimate and vulnerable place and we are not perfect people, we make mistakes, we hurt each other with our words, we put ourselves first, and we get angry and selfish.
Yes, I don't think conflicts are unavoidable but I think we can work to change the way we interact, react, and resolve conflicts. When I look back on all the little or big fights my husband Jaimey and I have had I can see pride and selfishness strewn throughout. And when I look back at the times when major conflicts have been resolved ending in the best way possible, we admitted to our mistakes, owned up to it and apologized, and forgave the other, not holding onto any part of it as a grudge.
Now I am not saying at all that if there is a real issue going on to roll over in conflict or take blame. In all honesty, I've lived that way before. I've let myself roll over because I was sick of a fight or because I felt I was being attacked and just wanted it to end. Despite the conversation being over, I found myself holding onto anger and frustration that inevitably found its way out at another time during another fight. I am talking about really looking at yourself, examining your heart in a given situation and humbling yourself to see the wrong that may be there. And when you see it, be willing to confess it and ask for forgiveness. And when you find yourself on the other side be willing to forgive and LET GO of hurt or grudges. There is true healing when you humble yourself and acknowledge your mistakes AND when you fully forgive someone who is confessing their wrongs! I am preaching this message and yet still struggle with this on a regular basis. It's hard to lower yourself to a vulnerable state, it feels weakening but honesty is really strength. Pride is hard to kill and is something we have to continually work at.
I want to also just say how thankful I am for a husband who partners with me in this struggle, who loves me so dearly he is willing to put up with my crazy self and willing to be humble and be forgiving. It makes a world of difference when you're on the same team towards the same purpose. This stuff isn't also just for married people, conflict like this can happen between anyone, your friends or family or coworkers...etc. I just want to challenge you as I am challenging myself to approach every situation with a humble and gracious attitude, not to just role over and give up, but to be truly honest in your imperfections, to forgive yourself and others, and hold others to do the same. Thanks for reading and happy weekending!