Do you hate conflict? Do your words sometimes fall on deaf ears and get turned against you? Do you feel lost to know what to say to get your point of view across? This frustration causes you to not even want to speak. So, you stonewall which according to John Gottman is withdrawing to avoid conflict and convey disapproval, distance, and separation.
My mother always said that if you do not have something nice to say that do not say anything at all and choose your battles. Yet, as we discussed in last week’s blog post about defensiveness, that if you keep filling up your bag of negative feelings, eventually there is going to be a problem or a separation between you and what you are stonewalling. It’s like digging a grave for that relationship. When you stonewall, you are saying that you and I are too different to understand each other’s point of view. There is no hope that you will understand me or I will understand you. You begin by walking on eggshells and then not walking at all. Strangely enough, even though you are no longer moving forward, that bag of negative feelings is creating more and more distance between the two of you. So by avoiding conflict, you are not helping the situation, but rather worsening it and without moving creating more space between the two of you.
A Crouse in Miracles and the Bible emphasizes that we are all one. There is no separation. When we hurt someone else, we are hurting ourselves. When we help someone else we are helping ourselves. So to separate yourself from others is actually separating yourself from you and losing part of your identity and your soul’s purpose. By not understanding someone else, you are not understanding yourself. Therefore, inviting discussion until you can find a mutual ground is bringing harmony to you and the other person. As in the previous blog post about defensiveness, you do not need to agree, but simply understand and validate each other’s feelings so that you can be you and be comfortable expressing your feelings.
Ahh, to be a free spirit! Wasn’t this country founded on the desire to be free? To have freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from an oppressive government, etc. Most importantly, freedom for our soul.
How would you talk to yourself? Here’s an idea, rather than entering into a conversation anticipating a conflict, go into it softly by seeing the other person’s point of view as if it were your own. Express that you can see their side of the equation and then gradually interject your view and needs. Remember that you are doing this for yourself.
Think of a time when you have contemplated a conversation in your head or avoided a situation. Once you finally get to have that anticipated encounter, you feel so much better now that it is over. Avoiding conflict means that you do not want to fight. So don’t fight. Don’t go into a conversation expecting a battle. Manifest what you are wanting to happen.
Letting go of old habits is as hard as letting go of things that happened in the past, but what benefit is it to hold onto these things? That’s all you need to ask yourself. What do you have to lose – just regret, hurt feelings, animosity, grudges, and the feeling that you are alone? We are all one. Talk to yourself. Know yourself. Love yourself. Then love everyone else. Everyone!
Stand your ground, express what you feel and need while remembering that you are both standing on the same ground, together. ~Your Inner Guide
Voyage to HEAL Weekly Task
Stretch: Let’s move those feet. Sitting in a chair, find a footstool, block, or box. Make sure it is the right height for you to stretch your calf and foot comfortably. Place your toes on the block and let your heel drop down. Roll to your big toe and then the little one stopping where you feel a stretch. Do one foot at a time.
Exercise: Get your core on and rise up on those toes. Hold for 30 seconds and then pulse for 8x up and down. Can you do this 1 foot at a time? Think about standing your ground, but being flexible as well as you complete this exercise.
Habitual Change: When you are standing or completing the exercise above, notice your feet. Do you clench them to hold your balance? How do your toes respond to movement? Whenever possible, let your toes be as soft as the words you speak.
Perspective Enlightenment: We are all one. Just remember that. Turns toward each other, not away. Unite, not divide. We are all one.
Godspeed along your Voyage to HEAL.