Saturday, May 7, 2011

Seventy Fourth Post - Growth

With all the work I have done to move towards congruence, peace and stability, there apparently is still opportunity for shadows of things past to creep into my life. I suppose the realization  that they are indeed just shadows and not actually dark black images of the present is proof of growth.

I was blessed with - and still have, three remarkable brothers. It was the boys, me, and mom for most of my childhood. Dad breezed in and out between marriages. My mom, in all her craziness; both good and bad, held us together. She instilled in us a love and loyalty to family, to each other. As do all families, we had our own rules of combat. We didn't let things fester, we addressed the many issues that emerged; sometimes functionally, sometimes in a dysfunctional way. At the end of the day, we knew we loved (know we love) each other and continue to live in peace.
I have always been uncomfortable with conflict. It leaves me feeling  unsettled. If I've knowingly offended someone I have a need to make it right as soon as possible. When you are strongly opinionated and rather outspoken, there is a risk of being misunderstood and subsequently upsetting/angering others. For the most part, I temper my words, reactions, thoughts, doings with compassion. However, on occasion, advocacy merges with anger and the pit bull in me breaks off its leash and pounces before I can give the 'stop' command. Yikes, what a mess!
To be fair, in professional settings, ie with clients, students, parent or support workers, the pit bull is safely in its pen. Dealing with colleagues and more precisely, peers, there is a greater risk of that pen door opening.
I have spent a large portion of my life wishing and hoping and praying for that part of my personality to just go away.

Oh to have a poker face.
Oh to be just a bit more beige.
Oh to be that woman who can keep her opinions, passions and thoughts to herself!

How often have I wished to be someone else? It's that wishing away of myself that has been the focus of much of my personal work and growth. Over the past fifteen years, I have become quite comfortable with me. I have come to quite like me. I have examined the many complex and simple parts of me and declared that God has made me just right! I have come to an acceptance of who I am and my place in community. So imagine my chagrin, shock, disdain, when I was faced with conflict that ambled its way to someone disliking me. To be judged unfairly, to be misunderstand yet again, sent a slight tremor to my being. Was I at risk of losing my grounding? A sounding NO!

After rehearsing the situation, with my beloved and wise reverend; after repairng and restoring understanding with a close peer, resolution restored peace. I learned again, that there will always be conflict. It is how we deal with and learn from that conflict that will determine growth. I was once again reminded that I am responsible for some of the repair, and yet in conflict there is some responsibility for the other party as well. I can only fix so much. I have confirmed at my core that I can have peace even though there is not 100% peace around me.

This week I was able to wrestle through a situation and come out stronger and gain a more solid working relationship with a peer. Growth is rewarding, growth is good!

What opportunities have you had for personal or professional growth this week?


  1. You seem very grounded and your post is perfect timing for me. Thank you!

  2. Vanilla Mama - Thank you for you comment. Sometimes I feel more old than grounded. Glad the timing was good.

  3. Thank you for visiting, I came over to visit after your comment and it looks like I'm here to stay. In a way, I can relate to your post, and I'll hang around to learn more... thank you again for visiting ;)

  4. What a wonderful post. I can really relate to wishing you were someone else, that is something I am working very hard to stop doing. It sounds like you have made amazing progress in your personal growth journey. I'm glad you were able to weather this recent situation and come out stronger on the other side!

    Happy weekend to you!

  5. I loved this post - so thoughtful and helpful and real. I'm not growing this week, I'm staying just the same. :-O. Seriously, I'm pooped and I kinda just laid low. Low growth week.

  6. Happy Mothers Day!

    My Motto is Be true to yourself.
    Don't lie or hide your true feelings.Thats an every day thing.
    When you know yourself and people know who you are, this is a good way to live.You respect people and people respect you. Both learn and grow through truth although you do not necessarily agree. I tell people this is what I believe and you go home and think about it.:)
    Today life has become a lie.
    When you live life as a lie, truth dies.
    I tell people, its easy to lie, to fool around, to say yes to everything etc.... but try saying no. Try being true to your beliefs, to the right ways of life and living. Thats hard cause you become the bad guy.
    People say there is no right or wrong and this is a lie because if you don't believe in right and wrong, you bring sorrow and pain into your soul and others.

  7. Glad you came over today to follow me, and to leave a comment.

    I'm uncomfortable with conflict, too. But I'm not always as patient as I want to be. I'm working on it. Life IS a process. I too feel blessed.

    I do hope you had a good mother's day.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  8. We all have shadows of things past that creep into our lives but it's remembering that they are just that, shadows from the past, and we are free to move on without them that's the most important thing.

    I always worry about things that I've said. When I get home from any kind of social gathering I analyse every little piece of conversation and agonise over whether I said something to offend. Don't we make life harder than it needs to be sometimes!

  9. I feel I'm always growing. It seems God puts people or situations in my path that he knows are my kryptonite. :) I'm learning to recognize this.

  10. @Bz - welcome! I hope to hear from you and visit you often.
    @Julie - Learning to accept ourselves can be a challenge. You sound like a wonderful person, I appreciate your comment.
    @Melissa Ann - your comment made me chuckle. I'm have way into a no growth week this week.
    @Lady - I always value your comments. Thanks for some great thoughts.
    @Ann - yes life is a process. Hope you had a lovely Mother's day.
    @Rosalind - I do the same thing after a party. My poor dear reverend gets to listen to my processing (yup, I'm a verbal processer).
    @Jennifer - Kryptonite is a good description! That silly green rock. Growing is good.

  11. Wow -- great post and quite thought provoking! I absolutely detest conflict, and yet if I feel strongly about something, I do have a pitbull side that takes over. I have learned many lessons while being a teacher these past ten years - not all of them easy, but certainly necessary for personal growth.

  12. Growing can be tough but when we realize we have moved a step forward it is a great success. Wished so many years I was different & I learned how to accept me and love me - It was not an easy walk but as you say God made us just right!!

    Happy to read you always. Stay well & remember we can all do something to get away from conflicts *if others want to stay in this state of mind you can't do anything for them.

  13. That pit-bull lives in my too. And too often I can not stop him! I am very much like you, when i know I´ve hurt someone with my words, I have to make it right as soon as possible.
    Great post!