It's been a long time since I blogged!
I'm not sure what happened. I think that between writing a recent article for the NH Bar News, putting the finishing touches on a corporate training, and writing a presentation I'll be giving for NHCRA (the NH Conflict Resolution Assocation) in December, I may have run out of things to write, at least in the moment.
It may also be that I spent a fabulous week on vacation in New Orleans this month, which meant that my vacation provided no inspirational conflict stories.
I could go home and stir the pot with my husband, looking for trouble (and something to write), but I'd rather wait and let that conflict happen organically.
Today, let me just tell you a story.
I was having a conversation with a friend about another person who is an acquaintance. We started off talking about some behaviors that person exhibits. Then we started negatively judging those behaviors, that person, and we threw out a couple negative, descriptive adjectives to label them. At the same time, I was noticing my body's reactions to this.
When we were simply talking about the behaviors, I wasn't feeling triggered in any way. I was accepting that person as a person doing the best that person can do here on planet earth.
When we started assigning negative labels to the behaviors and to the person, it changed things. I wasn't as able to sit in my happy place, seeing this person as doing the best she can do. All of a sudden, there was a little voice in my head, saying,"Well, she could do better than that; couldn't she? I mean, how hard is it?"
It's the negative judgments that get us into trouble.
We are all here doing the best we can in the moment. If we had the capacity to do better, we would.
If you can hold that truth in your heart, at the same time that you are looking at the behavior, you will see the behavior differently. You will see the person differently. You will be looking with compassion, no matter the circumstance. You will see the whole person -- the good and the bad and all the bits in between.
You may still come to the same conclusion. You may still decide that you cannot or can no longer live with that behavior.
In the alternative, you may find that you focus more on the other person's humanity than on that person's flaws. You may find there is more there that is lovable than you realize. You may find that you have more patience with and understanding for the other person.