So the other day I was sharing a story my son’s day at camp with a friend. And she was struck by the way he handled a conflict with a friend.
A day or two before Eli had been called a name by this friend. He handled the conflicts as most 9 year olds would and even lots of us adults. He was upset. So he got a counselor involved.
The next day he and the friend kind of avoided each other. And Eli was still upset thinking the friend didn’t like him anymore.
I’m so grateful he shares this with me and Marc so we can counsel him. So I asked him a few questions:
- What is the story you are writing? You know the one I mean? The one that hasn’t happened yet. The one that is projecting from your Ego/FearVoice/Inner Critic?
*Writing a story or ASSUMING what will happen shifts your energy and the energy of the situation. REMEMBER: Energy follows Energy
This type of thinking can bring about increased stress, anxiety, depression, anger and yet- NOTHING has happened YET.
Try not to be mad at the fear voice. It is only trying to protect you and keep you safe. Instead give it gratitude. Thank it for having your back. And then tell it. I’m SAFE. Please get quieter so I can hear my Heart/Intuitive voice.
This is the voice that won’t steer you wrong. It leads from LOVE.
Now Eli, had already decided his friend was done with him. They were not friends. And he decided that if Eli approached the friend he would not be received.
So we role played with each other and with his stuffed animals. We did some silly ones, some funny ones, some angry ones and some positive outcome ones. And Eli began to see the story hadn’t been written… YET.
2. The next question I asked him “What from your past hurts is feeding your worries. ” Can you think of another time when you felt this same way? OR When the story you are writing came true?
Now Eli has been doing a tremendous healing around an incident that happened a couple of years ago when a man in charge of his Tae Kwon Do after school program physically threatened him. So he was able to speak his feelings about this AND the bullying by the older kids in the program who tortured him while the adult provided no protection or solace.
He connected TRUST and his own CONFIDENCE were the wounds contributing to the story writing.
3. Next I asked him: Where is your power when you write these stories? Where is your trust and confidence?
He is so cute. He said “Mommy, I give away my power when I don’t trust myself and God to help me and that makes me feel not confident. And Mommy, you taught me energy follows energy. So I’m bringing my energy down when I could TRUST myself and God which will give me the power and confidence to do something different.”
I have to admit my eyes welled up with tears at this point. It has been a short, yet long 2 year journey filled with some scary shit. So to hear him say all this was beautiful and such a testament to his amazingness and the POWER LOVE has in healing.
4. We spoke about his options of what he could do the next day. All of it being his choice. Do nothing. Ask a counselor to help him speak with the friend. Speak with the friend on his own using a powerful technique called “I statements”. And more.
BEFORE making this decision, I asked him to sit with this. Think back to the time you’ve spent with this friend BEFORE the conflict. Is this someone you really enjoyed? Did you feed each other’s energy? Did you have fun? Was there a mutual respect until the conflict? And if you could have the outcome you desire, what would it be?
Marc and I told him this was his to decide and there was NO right and NO wrong. We’ve both tried many of these things with great outcomes and shitty outcomes. He had to really feel this out.
So here is what he did: He found the friend and asked if they could speak (BIG ASS COURAGE for my guy). The friend agreed.
Then Eli used the POWER of “I” statements.
When you do _____
I feel _____
Because ____ (vulnerable)_____
Self reflective share
And then he gave his friend an opportunity to do the same. Though at 9, his friend didn’t know what to do. So he asked Eli if they could move forward and be friends. And Eli being the forgiving soul he is, said YES. And off they went.
The “I” statement takes the sting out of confrontation while you stay in your power during a conflict. And provides an easy to maneuver conversation aiding in coming to resolution. All involved are seen and heard through this SUPER POWER tool.
The keys in conflict is know you are getting stirred up by your wounds, your fears. If possible finding space to calm, breathe and discern the answers to the questions I asked Eli will help you process.
And the “I” statement during confrontation, conflict, in the heat of the moment…helps empower you and the other person. It keeps you from going below the belt and provides the beginning of a map to communicating through the conflict and synergizing a solution. And that takes the STING out.
Look, none of us is perfect. And we aren’t here in this life to be perfect. It’s about learning, experiencing and loving while we are here. You are going to make mistakes, you are going to make bad choices. You can drown in them or choose to learn from them.
Free will baby, it’s all about choice.