What reaction occurs in your gut when someone throws out one of the following statements?
I’m voting for Clinton.
I’m voting for Trump.
I’m not voting at all.
I believe in God.
I’m an atheist.
I’m not sure about vaccinating my kid in the future.
I don’t want a pit bull near me.
One of those statements undoubtedly ticked some response in which you agreed and decided to like that person more and the others might had spurned your internal character assassination of them for thinking that way. I’m not going to elaborate on who I’m voting for this November. This isn’t a political conversation. It’s not a call to pacifism either.
I’m just wanting to delve into what has been on my heart lately about what it means to understand the natural and inevitable occurrence of confrontation in all our walks of life. So I am what you could consider a confrontational person; it has been an asset as well as a detriment. If I’m not careful of my heart, I can view confrontation as purely an ugly event that becomes the breeding ground of resentment. I can choose to make moments of confrontation as opportunities to harm and demoralize whatever force is bumping up against me. And that’s not good.
I feel like we naturally have an aversion to confrontation. But what if we adjust our lenses a bit and see it for the normal part of life that it is? Sadly, 99% of us have had a poor example of how to examine it’s role in our lives whether it was in our childhood, relationships, past careers or unhealthy friendships. We might have become avoidance strategists as a result. Or perhaps we are on the other end of spectrum as volatile Titans. Regardless, each end of the confrontational spectrum isn’t healthy if it’s your home base.
I don’t know where to begin in delving into how you can become a person to perfectly handle the gauntlet of emotions that disagreement stirs within you. Probably by saying that there isn’t going to be a level of perfection achieved in this life. I’m just trying to encourage you and in the end process in my heart what it means to accept this part of what makes us human. What if we leaned into our fights with the desire to seek understanding versus the natural desires to “make them feel sorry” or to just prove you’re right? Is it possible that a fight can result in finding a deeper love for the person you’re at war with?
Maybe this week we could examine our hearts in the moments where there is something confrontational in our lives? Are you seeking pacifism, the Clash of the Titans or understanding? When someone says they’re voting for a candidate who you would rather die than vote for, maybe take three seconds to see if your response will bring life or anger to your relationship with them? If you disagree with them maybe choose to not become angry or fearful and maybe instead capitalize on the chance to learn something new. I feel that if we can become people who can have the character to self examine how our perspective towards confrontation can be adjusted that we can have the character it takes to be strong, honorable and kind in all our conversations.
With so much love,