Conflict Resolution Peace Process
Conflict is inherently painful and saps energy and focus for pursuits of higher goals. It's important to know how to move past a conflict. Lawsuits and legal problems often originate because earlier conflicts started and were not dealt with. This guide is a pathway out of conflict to peace.
Wish for a Better SituationThe first step in resolving conflict is to have a change of heart and mind. You need to change your focus onto desiring to reach a better outcome. I suggest you enter a spiritual, sacred frame of mind. With your heart and a focused mind, embrace fully that you want conflict relief. Say it out loud or write in down. "My goal is to move past this conflict."
Next, imagine what life would feel like and be like if you could get past this conflict. Feel those good feelings. You can anchor that image with writing it down or saying it out loud. "Here is what I want..."
The third part of this process is to trust that with 7+ billion people on the planet, on a planet spinning remarkably fast in an empty part of the universe, that there is a chance that everything you just wished for can happen, and can happen faster or slower depending on other people outside your control. Open your awareness that many things are possible and that this sweet dream of yours can happen. Trust and allow the idea to germinate.
In practical terms this is like imaging I'm divorced and moved on in life, the auto accident lawsuit is over and I have money, or the issue with my relative is past and we can eat BBQ at the family reunion and both attend. It can be I never see that horrid person again and I can move on feeling better knowing I now have peace of mind. Each Best Outcome varies depending on you and the facts.
Make a Small Gesture of Good WillDo one small thing that is a nice and kind act towards the other party involved in your conflict with you. Keep adding nice gestures at your comfort level. This can start with just saying in your mind a compliment about them, or saying a nice word about them to someone. Depending on the level of splitting and fracture the relationship has suffered, this oververture could be as much as sending a positive, short email or text conveying a neutral or positive message. You are starting the peace process here.
All conflicted situations improve when we begin to pour some good positive mental images into our brains about the other person. We grow positive outcomes from thinking positive thoughts. So do something to activate your unconscious brain to know the future direction you are planning and intending to go. You're going through the conflict resolution process to peace. In whatever way is comfortable for you and maybe just a faction of a step in the direction of peace, take and make one small gesture of good will towards the other person or towards your vision of a life past this conflict.
Repeat a few times. Keep upping your efforts of being conciliatory and compassionate and kind towards the other side. Eventually, you will be ready to move on to the next step: really listening to the other side speak. You'll need to be able to see and hear the other side's position to move beyond conflict.
Listen to the Other Side TalkHear what the other side is thinking, feeling or saying. Just take it in. Resist the urge to fight the information, and spend your time focused on making sure you maintain calm and cordial. Just listen. If your heart rate soars, you can focus on keeping yourself calm. Don't talk in return. Just hear the other side and take it in. Avoid being weird, upset, emotional, argumentative, or responding at all to the information you have just heard.
Depending on your comfort level and the nature of the conflict, you will listen via text, email, phone, in person or through your attorney. The action is the same. They are telling you their perspective, explaining what is important to them, how they see things, how they have felt and other important information. Just take it in. Don't try to come up with your response yet. Your task at this point is to open up your mind and heart and see, hear and feel what is being communicated. Try to hear and see clearly and deal with your emotional upset later by yourself outside of them being on the phone, room or text chat with you.
If you aren't comfortable actually reaching out in any way, you can do this process by yourself and pretend to listen to them speak. Pretend to have a conversation in your journal or play it out in your mind.
You initiate a conversation by saying something like, "I want to hear your thoughts about X. Can you tell me? I'm open to doing this by phone, email, in person, whatever works best for you."
During your listening session, don't interrupt and ask clarifying questions when they are done. Don't interrupt the flow of speaking unless its very serious to your understanding and you don't do it too often. Example, "Hey, I missed who you said is talking in your story." is the type of interruption for a question that might be ok. Interrupting the story to say, please tell me about something unrelated would feel intrusive to the talker.
Lay back. This session is about giving the other side the respect of your full attention to their words and important thoughts. You sit back inside of you and manage your own emotions and thoughts tabling that for a different time, not here.
At the end of this session, thank them and let them know when you will respond back. Explain you need time to come up with a thoughtful and dignified response. Thank the person and say you'll be in touch after you've had time to digest and reflect and formulate a sensible response.
Digest and ReflectTake the information you just heart and sit with it for a few days. Think it over. Consider that maybe 10% of the message is true. Go through any emotional upset you may have.
If you are very very upset consider that perhaps you are really upset about something upsetting from your past. Like your childhood, or an especially bad situation that happened to you before. This is the time you will take a small journey through your emotional memory and re-live and re-feel that old material from the past with a new perspective. This process will require you to do things to process your emotions. Journaling helps, doing art helps, walking while you think through these emotions helps, sharing with someone who will listen kindly helps.
The idea is that you are allowing the truth and falseness of the words spoken and shared with you to go through your mind. You are picking what you want to believe as true and what to discard. This takes some time to shift out valuable gems from poo. Not everything the other person told you matters to you. Somethings matter a lot. Allow their words to challenge your thinking. Be willing to see the truth about yourself more clearly.
Maybe the reason you got so upset is that there is something unflattering about your behavior and how you live your life that needs to change and you don't want to change. Maybe you have to accept some bitter information. Don't worry, facing our shadow of dark personality traits is a fact of life. When you see the truth you then can begin to improve and redirect your life in a happier and healthier path.
You won't know what you'll discover so stay open to new thoughts and ideas. Discuss this whole process with a few people you trust. You may need to verify some facts to learn more. You may need to research some information you didn't know and need to know to fill in a gap. You may need to explore more. Follow your curiosities and instincts at this point. You are reworking your brain and impressions and emotional life from hearing this new information from the other side. Allow the transition to unfold gently and naturally. This is a natural human process you're going through.
Take care of yourself well during this time. Water, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, sun, exercise, proper relaxation, loving contact with people who you feel good with, taking care of your bills and obligations, sleeping right and leaving time for vacant emptiness to process.
Eventually, your hurt, anger, sorrow, depression, rage, confusion, jealousy, disappointment, or other emotions will taper off and you'll see the current situation more freshly. You'll start to get insights and a spring will come back into your step. You've just worked through what is known as an emotional trigger.
You should by the end of this processing, that might include seeing a therapist if the pain is particularly old, particularly uncomfortable, or particularly widespread across your life.
A Solution Will Occur To YouEventually, a solution will pop into your head that seems to make the whole conflict better. You might come up with an idea that is a win/win for both of you. You may have a change of heart and just care to walk away. You might be ready to sit down at mediation and roll up your sleeves. You might decide to write a letter of offer to compromise. You might be ready to do a facilitated sacred peace circle, or to just be in a sacred healing loving space to allow the love to come back and the resentment and hang ups from the past to move away into the past.
Take steps to implement this solution. Make the call, do the email, text, whatever is the natural next step. These next steps might be to interview mediators, to hire a third party to be a facilitator for a tough conversation, or to hire a lawyer to advise you about a settlement proposal letter. Sometimes you may realize the next step is to file for divorce or to initiate getting a no-contact order. No two conflicts are the same and each requires a unique path to resolution.
I suggest you research the solution you thought up and test it to see if your fantasy idea matches reality. Learn more online, make some calls to learn about the next steps to take. Take some positive action on your new insight within a short period of time to keep the momentum ahead of the fear.
It is at this point in the process, you'll come to a decision about how to engage the other person to proceed. To talk it out yourselves, to hire a mediator, to sue them, to do a sacred talking circle, or walk away are some options.
The Talk, The Mediation, The Sacred Peace Circle, The Letting GoAs humans, we do know how to move past conflict. We need our animal selves to calm down and this happens best when we are in person and close. We learn that the other person is not a bear and we are not a small bunny about to be eaten. This helps emotionally to stay calm enough to get to a written agreement.
If you are fairly amicable. It's best if you can get together and then spend most of your time chatting in front of a food tray, listening to soothing music, watching something beautiful like a sunset or some art or a video that uplifts like an animal funny youtube.
For more formal situations, this animal bonding effort happens is the pre-mediation event where you socialize the night before or the hour before as you are checking in to begin the mediation. Sacred activity like lighting the candle, burning the sage or just keeping a moment to be quiet and settle into the time together are ways to calm down our animal selves and invite our higher mind and best insights to come forward, not our fearful and angry animal selves.
The heart of your conflict resolution process might be: Talking it out one on one; talking with a neutral third party; back and forth lawyer letters; mediation; collaborative law; restorative justice; settlement letters, negotiation and conferences; sacred circle; and truth and reconciliation processes, and litigation solutions. These methods are well described other places on the internet. At this stage, you would be doing one of these processes. These different ways of doing the in-person, nuts and bolts decision-making are particular to your facts and people involved. The goal of each method is to reach a final resolution and agreement. This is when you will want to reduce your agreements to writing.
Each process has its own path, and exceeds the space allowed in this article. You'll follow the path you and the other person have agreed to follow.
Your outcome may be to let the conflict go and to move on. Leaving and walking away forever is an outcome that may be best for you and your conflict.
At this step in the process, the legal documents are prepared, signatures onto contracts are signed, copies are exchanged, and new solutions implemented. You may need to cycle though this process in this step several times working on smaller issues each time. For example, in a messy divorce, you might do a mediation on parenting, a mediation on child support, a joint session with a financial advisor to work out the property split, and then do a one on one session with your brother-in-law acting as the referee as you discuss the family house.
At some point, you finish your business with this person and the conflict is now done. Things are resolved. Final agreements are firm. Now it's time to implement the deal and move on.
Whatever process you undergo will lead you to a better place.
Implementation and then ThankfulnessYou're done. Now it's time to do the tasks of the agreement. This may require some tweaking and communication. But essentially the impacted conflict is over.
At the end of the process you selected and performed, there should come a day when you are peacefully within yourself. The situation will be different and better. At this time is when you take the time to say, "I'm glad for my life and I'm glad to be here now in this new place" This is when it's important to appreciate your efforts to take this conflict resolution journey. Say a prayer for your life, say a prayer to the Goddess of Peaceful Resolution, or smile as you ride your bike and feel good being more conflict free.
Understand this moment is just a stopping point. Conflict will return to your life. Smile and feel a happiness in your heart. You will be better prepared when the next conflict shows up. This is the start of a never ending process that goes around and comes around. It's part of living in the human community.
Share this knowledge. It will make life on earth more peaceful and happier for all.