By Eliane - Founder, Parenting For Wholeness
A conflict happened with a mom in my Clean Parenting™ Program and I didn’t like it. It was uncomfortable.
The thing is, I really like her. And I’m pretty sure she really likes me too. Yet, the situation needed to be addressed because neither one of us was at peace, and it was interfering in the work we were doing together.
We Facebook messaged each other several times, explaining how we experienced the situations, what was important to each of us in it, and wanting to understand the other.
There was fear of hurting the other.
Fear of having messed up.
Fear of being in trouble.
Fear of creating an uncomfortable situation.
General fear of conflict.
But through goodwill and open communication, the situation was easily resolved. In fact, it seems to have led to even more connection.
Always wanting to get to the root of any issue, I sat with it afterward, trying to identify what caused it to happen.
Yes, some information was missed. And yes, at some point there was a delay in expressing a truth.
But those weren't THE cause of the conflict...
And then the answer came to me, so obvious I couldn't believe I hadn't realized it before.
You know what the real cause of the whole situation was?
It’s that LIFE IS MESSY!!!
We may be good people, have great intentions, have great relationships skills, and be in relationship with like-minded people, yet conflicts WILL happen!
They are inevitable.
Many of us (me first in line) try to avoid discomfort. We hope to get to a point where relationships are smooth, where conflict doesn’t happen, and where we’ve develop the skills needed to have a smooth life.
But we’re setting ourselves up for an epic fail, because life will NEVER be that way.
So the goal for me is no longer to avoid discomfort, or, I’m realizing, even to avoid causing discomfort in another.
It’s accepting that life is messy, and learning to navigate the messes as gracefully as possible.
This applies to life with children too.
Sometimes, toward the end of my Clean Parenting™ Program, when things are going very well in their family, a mom will report a messy situation that happened, which she handled skillfully, yet she still asks me what she could have done to prevent it from happening.
And my answer sometimes is: "Nothing!"
The goal is NOT to never have issues, upset people, or conflicts in your family.
That's just not realistic. And if that's your goal, you'll make yourself crazy and will feel like a failure, because you'll never attain it.
The goal, for me, is to have everyone's needs in the family met, to have close and healthy connection between all the family members, and to have goodwill, skill and confidence to handle the inevitable conflicts, emotional outbursts and messes that happen.
(For a guide in this, request my FREE Report: "The Almost Magical Formula For Surprising Ease and Harmony in Your Family While Fully Honoring Your Children’s Spirits.")
Peter Gray wrote a wonderful article where he encourages us to strive to be good enough parents instead of perfect parents. In it he writes:
"The belief that perfection, or even something approaching it, is possible in parenting promotes a tendency to blame. The perfectionist reasoning is this: If problems arise, then they must be someone’s fault. Parents seeking perfection blame themselves, or their spouse, or their children when things are not just right. Blame never helps. Blame is the bane of every family in which it occurs."
So, here's to you letting go of the weight of perfectionism! ☺
P.S.: And if you're ready to live my goal (of having everyone's needs in the family be met, having close and healthy connection between all the family members, and having the skill and confidence to handle the inevitable conflicts, emotional outbursts and messes that happen) and can't get there on your own, I can help!
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