What comes to your mind when you think of "conflict?"  For most people, the word conjures up many negative thoughts and feelings relating to war or battles, being wounded or losing.  Since fulfillment occurs when hearts are open, and hearts close when we attempt to protect ourselves from the fears that become activated in a conflict, learning to keep our hearts open more of the time is how we can achieve greater fulfillment in our lives.

Reframing Conflict

  • A conflict is merely an upsetting situation such as a difference of opinion, or an unmet expectation. 
  • Differences are a natural part of life and will always occur. 
  • How differences are reacted to usually leads to the fighting, or withdrawing that creates alienation and emptiness.
  • Although we can't avoid differences, we can learn to react to them in ways that create intimacy and fulfillment.

Charts for Resolving Conflict

Below you will find links to charts for resolving conflict that can be used in every area of life.

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Couples (292 KB) — "The Paths Through Conflict" chart is the essence of Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?
Parents (292 KB) — "The Paths Through Conflict" chart was refined and adapted for parents in Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by My Kids? 
Work Place (292 KB) — "Trust or Distrust" demonstrates how the intent to learn springs naturally from the open heart of compassion. 

 

Although the basic concept of the original chart has remained constant, the language has changed depending on the situation and as my understanding of the material has deepened.

Utilizing the Charts

  • Study them
  • Read books related to this material
  • Copy them
  • Put them in a place where they can be referred to when your heart closes. 

A Realistic Expectation

It is not realistic to expect that deeply ingrained reactions to conflict will change just because you have been exposed to another option.  So, in the non-intimate space that follows a closed hearted response to conflict, pick up a chart and learn how you landed in the predicament you are in.  Closing your heart in the face of a difficulty is not so terrible.  What creates an on-going lack of fulfillment is not learning from our difficulties and thereby returning to the open hearted place that feels good both within ourselves and with others.

Conflict Resolution
For most people, the word "conflict" conjures up many negative thoughts and feelings relating to war or battles, being wounded or losing.

 

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© Copyright 2004. Dr Jordan Paul