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Ep. 132 5 Tips for Feeling Peace Amidst Conflict

by Claudine Sweeney
June 8th 2022

Conflict is inevitable but how can we experience peace despite ongoing conflict in our relationships? When we face conflict, we either will build walls or build connection by our response. Today we... More

you're listening to the Rise Up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the Rise Up and Shine podcast. Hello everyone, thank you for tuning back in with us, Claudine and Ashley, We are so happy you're here, we hope your week is off to a wonderful start. I mean it is halfway through hump day, right Wednesday. Um but we're glad you're here and we're excited about this topic and I actually want to start first by my favorite scripture because this is going to be our topic today and it is so so important. I mean this scripture has given me so much encouragement and it is in Isaiah 26 verse three, it says you will keep in perfect peace.

Those whose minds are steadfast because he trusts in you and I love that because it has really helped when I do that practically has helped my life in so many ways. And today, what we're talking about is keeping peace amidst ongoing conflict primarily in relationships. We're talking more about relationships today because there's definitely conflict out there in the world. Lots of disagreements, lots of fighting, lots of war, lots of, you know, just lots and lots of conflicts, but today we want to talk about specifically in relationships, ongoing conflict now, it's not necessarily we do have conflict in trying to discuss or we get in arguments and you know, we're not talking about those onesie twosies things throughout the day and then you resolve and then you're good. We're talking about if you have conflict in your relationships and it's going on and on and on and you're struggling to feel the peace and even struggling to know what to do a lot of times.

That is what we want to talk about today. How can I still feel peace and in in our work, both of us as coaches? We deal with this a lot. We have, we hear about conflict in marriages, um, with older Children and adult Children with in laws with roommates with coworkers, right? It doesn't matter what kind of relationship there's bound to be conflict. And when you think about it, conflict, every human has its own mind histories, opinions, habits, tendencies, and preferences, right? We all have a different lens that we look through. So we can come across the same situation have two different viewpoints on it and conflicts can arise. Right? Right. We are not all the same person. No, we don't think the same first year bubble. Yeah. But you know, it's funny, it's like, yeah, I know that, but it's still when we have disagreements and conflict, a lot of us come with, you know, into conflict through, like you said, our own lens, our own experiences, our own hurts either in this relationship or even past relationships that still play a factor.

So there's a lot subconsciously that's going on in the background that plays a factor in the conflict, especially if it's going, you know, it's ongoing. It keeps going on and on because, you know, we all heard it said, oh, we all come with our own baggage, right? So it's true in the sense I hate that word because it sounds so negative unless you're going on vacation. But it is, you know, it is what it is. We've all had our own unique experiences in life. We all have our own needs and desires and we all have our own lens through which we see ourselves and others absolutely. You know, I love the message version of James and I'm just going to read it says, where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again, they come about because you want your own way and fight for it deep inside yourselves and so you cannot have peace if you're fighting deep within yourselves and that's why we're talking about this today. Because even when conflict happens in our closest relationships, even if it's ongoing, we can still find peace and that's why we're going to give you some tips and practical and the truth of it is even with conflict when we have disagreements or we see things differently.

We ourselves can either intensify the conflict or foster intimacy. We can build walls or build connection. The choice is ours. So today hopefully we'll share some of those tips that will help you be uh connection builder and an intimacy foster er foster or that I think that's the word. We're going to make it up even if it's not sounds good, but you know, Yeah, I'm thinking about as you read that scripture in James Children think of Children, you have Children or you've been around Children and you've seen them have conflict and disagree right? What is it over? I mean we just had a family conversation with the kids and you know, ask each other, how have you been feeling like you've been treated lately? How are you feeling how you've been treating others within our family lately? And a lot there's been a lot of hurts because there's been a lot of conflict and so, but we've been trying to get you know, kind of dig out roots and how are you feeling like, okay, you, we both know that?

Well you're not talking very nicely and you're not sharing, It's like, well let's get a little deeper and why are you not wanting to share or why are you feeling like you have to snap back and defend yourself and you know, and we talk about it all. It does is it escalates, right? When we react out of our emotion and then also it's a lot of like with kids, they are about themselves because that's just the nature right there. Nature right now. It is about themselves and even as adults, but as we've grown up, we've learned social norms of how to properly interact with others. But it can still be hard, especially if you have been wronged a lot, if you've been hurt a lot. Um you know, especially for my personal self and others who have experienced a lot of trauma. Um and it does, it still plays a factor, but you think about it was like, well I want what I want and I want to be a lot of us want to be right. A lot of us want to just feel heard scene and a lot of us want our opinions to be valued.

A lot of it is how we go about it, right? But it does, it kind of gets to like, well I want I want things to go my way because if it goes my way then I feel better and it'll be so good because my way is the best way. Yes, but let me ask you this and Ashley, I'm asking the listeners, but you can answer, do you believe you can have peace even in the midst of conflict? Absolutely, absolutely. I have experienced this in my life for sure. And I've I've been on both sides, I've been on the side where I did not feel peace. It felt very far from me. Hope felt very far from me. I was very discouraged. I've been anxious. I've been depressed even, you know, depressed for a year or two at a time. Um I have there been a lot of times in my life I've gone through challenges and I felt very down and I did not feel that peace. Uh some of it, it has been in my marriage, we've been open and honest, that we have Been doing a lot of work in our marriage 17 years since July.

Um, and we know our marriage has a bit easy, but we try to do the work. And in my marriage there were times I felt peace during the conflict, especially ongoing conflict. But there's been times where I felt incredibly discouraged and hopeless as well. So, I have experienced both sides and that's why we're talking about today because I know many other women as well who you know, if we if we just get some of these ideas and kind of practice some of these ideas that we're going to share some of our practical, there is the opportunity for peace. How do we get there? Because we struggle with that and that's why we are into coaching and wanting to help others and there is peace there. You can feel, let's help you get there. Yeah. And it's so funny because I too have had ongoing conflicts at time, mostly in my marriage as well. Certainly earlier on, we're at 34 years and we're still working at it, but it does get easier. So that's the fun part. But I remember thinking that if my circumstance changed, then I would feel peaceful and I really put a lot into my circumstance until I understood that it was my thoughts about the circumstance that affected how I felt.

I felt. I really believed I could not have peace until my circumstance changed. And so that's why today also is so important that even if your circumstance stays the same, even if they're still ongoing conflict, you can still develop the emotion of peace. The feeling of peace even admits the conflict. Absolutely, I can totally identify with that because um yeah, I mean, there have been times where there's been conflict ongoing and we're really struggling with finding resolution and it was depending on how I chose to go about it and like what you said, our thoughts that we put on it. I remember when I was learning about coaching, um the thoughts are the meaning we give to the circumstance and that was eye opening for me, because to me, I always thought thoughts are automatic. They're just default. They just they just happen. And then what we also believe is that all of our thoughts our truth. And then so as you and I have become coaches and helped others, we our thoughts are not necessarily true.

They're just a meaning that we are giving to a situation or a relationship or the conflict from our perspective, our lens, our experiences hurts all those things. Playing a factor into it. So that was really eye opening. That I want to point out here that the thoughts we can't have more control over our thoughts which create how we feel. So he should help out more. He doesn't appreciate me. He doesn't, he doesn't say all these things. So when I would fixate on that, no peace. Right, That makes sense. That. Well, yeah, you would definitely, you'd feel even resentful, bitter, frustrated, discouraged all those things And I've been there and at a point it was really hard for me to get myself out of that. Now I have learned a lot of these practical that can help me try to prevent that from happening going down that spiral that thought spiral, right? And putting those meanings onto it. That again, feel true to me.

But especially if I'm not communicating, then I am just building a story right? Then it's true to me, but it might not actually be the facts. So that's important to remember thoughts are not always factual. And so, but then there's been times where I just decided to change my thoughts and be more in control of what I was allowing myself to think and choose differently. And then it created a different feeling in me and I thought, hey, even though we're in conflict right now, I'm actually not feeling as emotional, I have better control of my emotions, I'm not reeling and ruminating over all this negative thoughts in my head that I can still function. I was still able to be kind and I was able to, you know, spend time with the family or make dinner and I was able to still just kind of function normally. When I would get in these normal negative thought patterns, I would spiral into a darker place and I have no energy and you know, a lot of that stuff And I know many of our friends listening right now can relate to that.

Absolutely. Yeah. I spent many years like that, just like that, not knowing how to get out. Right? I figured well when he changes then I'll be better. I'll feel better and it just doesn't work that way. And now that I've learned I am responsible for the way I feel regardless of someone else's behavior that was life changing for me. And now I can choose peace. I can choose it and I can create that feeling of peace through my thoughts. So actually why don't we start with a few practical. Absolutely. First one, listen to your body. This is so crucial. This is a great place to start listen to your body and what I mean by that for example, we are pretty good listeners to our bodies when we're hungry, right? We know when we're hungry, we know when we're tired, we're yawning, our eyes feel a little heavy, you know, we recognize those things, but when you feel maybe you've been triggered when you're trying to have a discussion or it's you know, maybe you or your spouse or the other person, not always your spouse or you can tell it's escalating, it's okay to take a pause to take a pause.

Hey, I or maybe you or let's let's table this for later and let's come back. Let's take a break, Not days, but maybe an hour, maybe even 15 minutes whatever you need. But take a pause because what happens in our brain when we get triggered is it's that flight, fight situation. Fight flight. Sorry, I know, I mean it goes either way, but so are freeing or freeze, freeze, freeze. Uh huh. So we fight, we avoid we run away or we just freeze up and so we all come with it in our own personal way. But what happens in our brain when we're triggered is it's a threat. It's a danger. Okay, this is a dangerous situation, a conversation, right? But we think it's a real danger. It's a survival instinct. Um and so our brain, our prefrontal cortex is just like off, I'm off and our limbic system is going to take take over, right, we're emotional where we have a harder time with self control, We might say things that were going to regret, I shouldn't have said that and we have a harder time controlling our emotions and so I read in this book by Dr Daniel Siegel is actually a parenting book, the whole brainchild highly highly recommended.

And even for yourself, I mean even if you know your kids are like mine, it was eye opening and I actually stopped reading it, I got into counseling therapy, worked through my stuff because it was eye opening for me and I thought wow. Uh and so anyways but there is a whole process that the brain is going through so it's not like I mean we feel I need to defend myself and our walls go up, you know because it feels dangerous threat but exactly, but just know okay my brain is just you know my brain is kind of hijacking my executive functioning, my thinking, my logic, my reasoning nothing is going to really get solved in that moment. I even teach my kids that when you guys are just getting really upset with each other, take a break, it's not a punishment or consequence. Just take a break, let your brain calm down and then when we're ready let's come back and let's try this again when we are calmer and we can have more of that self control. Such a great parenting tip.

So help I use it in my marriage, I use it in other relationships and with the kids even how I interact with the kids when they get triggered or trying to teach them in their own relationship. So good. Yeah, I mean we do need to listen to our bodies because like you said, our brains get hijacked and then we respond in a way that we don't really consciously want to respond. It's almost automatic and we can do more damage. We can intensify the conflict or build a wall during that time instead of really letting it all settle and coming back together and it's not 10 seconds. Didn't they used to say count to 10? I think it's a little more in 10 seconds. I think it's like 20 minutes, like seriously step away for about 20 minutes. It takes about that long for all the chemical processes and everything too right, go on and walk, breathe, read. You know, it's kind of just, you know, kind of check out for a little bit just to let your brain calm down. The second practical is to have some awareness some conscious thought like really think about what's going on. What do you really, really want in this situation so many times?

I think you said it earlier, but we make these stories about it like with our spouse, if they say something all of a sudden it becomes a personal attack or he doesn't care about me, we create this whole story about it, but we need to stop and go, okay, what is it that I really want in this instance in this situation and get conscious about? Because sometimes I feel like for me in the past when I was in the midst of these ongoing conflicts, there was a lot of subconscious patterns going on and I wasn't even conscious of what I really wanted and I was fighting because I'm the fighter and maybe I wanted to be right, or maybe I wanted to be heard, but I didn't even know what I really wanted. And so had I spent a few minutes to gain some awareness and some consciousness, I could have, you know, gone okay, what I really want is to be heard and you don't need to scream to be heard. Yes, it's deeper level. And if you're not screaming. Yes. Yes, right? I know that will come to one of my other practical towards the end.

Next practical is to choose to allow others their own free agency. So that means they are allowed to have their own thoughts, their own feelings, their own opinions. Even if we disagree, even if we don't like it. But they are allowed that just like we are allowed that, right? But what happens a lot of times is we want others to think and feel and act like we do or how we feel like they should we're stuck on that. And then there's frustration and there's more conflict and it can prolong the conflict as well. But choosing to allow others their own free agency and it is a choice. It is it really is when I've learned that for me to have more peace, I have to accept that. Let's say e my husband is allowed to feel what he's feeling and we all just want to be valued and respected and loved and you know, heard.

And so when we do that, when we allow, hey, you are allowed to feel what you're feeling. You know, I'm not going to criticize you and validate where they're coming from, validate where they're feeling. But allowing that, choosing to accept, okay, you can think and feel what you're going to think and not like why I just don't care. But you know, just as much as I am allowed to think and feel what I what I do. This is such a big one for me. This was huge with my adult Children, right? Because when they're little Children, especially when they're adults and they start making adult choices that are not in line with perhaps the way we raise them or with our own values. And at some point we have to let go and realize, wait, they have free agency. They get to have their own values and their own opinions and their own habits, their own mind. And that's really hard as a parent to let go. I probably spend a good portion of sessions talking about adult Children, definitely the disappointments and the frustrations and it can become conflict.

I mean, I know several parents right now quite a few actually that do not talk to their adult Children. So, um but it is, it's a huge practical to allow our Children, our adult Children, our husbands are co workers, everybody of course, but that free will, that free agency to have their own opinions and minds and values and it is not a reflection of you because that's the hard part. We think well, especially with Children, we think well, you know, I raised him, they should think this way kind of like with you, you know, you were saying he should treat me this way. He should earlier. Yes, I think I teased you about all the should, but yeah, it's it's a powerful practical and going along with that when number four is really to try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. This one is actually really difficult for me. It's really hard. I fit my shoes really well. I can see through my lens really, really clearly. Um, but really try to put ourselves in the other person's perspective, like what is it, what's going on behind there opinion or their thought or whatever the disagreement is, what could it be?

What is it that they are really seeking? What is it that they value? What is it that maybe they fear maybe there's a fear there. I think a lot of conflict comes from fear. Um so really putting ourselves in the other person's shoes and trying to look at it from their angle and also treating them like we would want to be treated, you know, I don't like to have someone raised their voice to me or be demeaning or devaluing. So I'm going to make every effort not to do that to the other person as well to be kind and gentle and treat the person the way I want to be treated during a disagreement. So really again, valuing the other person enough to try and see things their perspective and to treat them with the dignity and respect that you want for yourself during conflict. So easy to say sitting here so hard to actually do, but very in the moment. Very valuable practical. Well that's why we have to know our body and walk away for 20 minutes. So we can get to that point where we can do that Well and it takes work.

It takes practice right now. If I'm just going to do 123-45 then it'll all be great. You know? It takes time, it takes practice, it's work, this is doing work. But are you wanting to invest in yourself in your relationships? Absolutely to put in that work? It's like if you get a job, is that salary going to be worthwhile, is it going to be worth your time and your energy and your enjoyment or fulfillment of your life, Same thing in our relationships and our own well being. It is an investment to living how you really want to live and feeling more peace and feeling more joy and feeling fulfilled in your life as well. Um Alright, I'll jump off my soapbox here for the last final practical, Keep your eyes on God, trust in the Lord and I am going to add one more thing. That person who you are in conflict with is not your enemy.

This has been transformative for me. This has been incredibly helpful in finding peace, keeping peace in my soul in my heart when conflict is ongoing in in my relationships, especially because again, I've lived both sides and as soon as I blame or point out all the wrongdoing they are doing to me, I feel defeated, I feel I feel like a victim, I feel they're doing this to me. I'm discouraged. My my confidence or lack of confidence is because of how they're treating me all those things. So even though we feel justified and we feel like this is unfair because really we've heard life is unfair. You still want things to be fair, we still want to be treated a certain way, we still want, you know, we wanted to fall down in our favor, don't we?

We do want things to land there is very subjective through our eyes. So when you take your eyes off of this person is my enemy and you put them on God and on jesus, you will be filled with peace because you are, this is faith, You're putting your faith, your trust, your hope in God and letting him work behind the scenes because we try to fix or control or manipulate or to make things go our way. But we do it on our own power, right? And so I remember very vividly, this was several years ago where my husband and I were going through a really challenging time and I was just feeling so utterly discouraged and sad and depressed and I remember it was like a light bulb that went off, wait a minute. This is a spiritual battle. I forgot that he is not my enemy. We are fighting against each other right now. But that's not what we're supposed to be doing. Like satan is like having a field day, that's great.

I got these two in my hands. So really and that's that stronghold that he's going to try and get. And so when we realize, wait a minute, you're not my enemy, let's fight to work together against the common enemy and keep my eyes on God. And that is again, even even if it's not like my husband, I haven't always been on the same page. This was something that I did within myself. I had to see him as like my brother in christ as a child of God as you know, I had to change my view of him rather than this person who's doing something to me or and this goes with other relationships, not just my husband. This is just an example in our challenging years. We have had. Um but anyways, but keeping our eyes on God and just remember, you know what God works for the good of those who love him and I trust I put my hope in him and he will provide a way he will work through things. And really like in those moments I feel peace just overwhelming and I can function normally and I can be loving to that person who I feel I'm in conflict with, but I'm not taking it personal, I'm not super emotional.

I'm, wow. Like I this is definitely not on my own power. You feel it, this is God's power has filled me to still be loving and still, you know, do do what's right? Because I put that trust in him. You know when you were talking, I got this visual and I saw two people standing across from each other and when I think of conflict, I think of two people standing across from each other and the practical we're sharing and the things you just shared. I see two people standing side by side trying to come to the common good, just a little just a tiny pivot doesn't feel, doesn't feel, especially when they're not seeing things our way, right my way. Why can't you see things my way everything would go so well if you could just do everything my lot built into that? Yeah, there is but I just saw that it was like a picture? I see two people like you can be in conflict. Yeah, exactly.

Yeah. Too bad. That's not filmed. I don't I I saw your hand movements but it was really good. Well those are five practical to help you find peace amidst conflict, ongoing conflict. And I also found you said keep your eyes on God on jesus. And I love this scripture in the message bible, it's Philippians 46. It says don't worry about anything. Instead pray about everything, tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything you can understand. And I love that because even in conflict we we don't have to worry about the result, right? We don't have to worry how it's going to turn out. We can just pray about it. We can give it over to God, We can tell God what we need. God. I really need to feel heard. I need to feel valued. I need to feel protected, whatever it is we need, I need to feel supported. Those are some key ones that come to mind for me and then thank him for all the ways that he has already done that for us and trust that he's going to continue to do it through that other relationship and then we will experience God's peace and it will exceed anything.

We can't understand, I mean, to have peace in the midst of conflict, Who doesn't want that and who are world right now needs that right? We have so much conflict going out in the world. If we could just show up in peace regardless of what's going on in our own lives, think of the piece that we could spread out to others. So we hope these have been helpful to you and until next time we hope you have a peaceful week. Take care. Alright, everyone, Thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the Rise up and Shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button. So you never miss an episode. And while you're at it share this episode with a friend who, you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember, ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.


Ep. 132 5 Tips for Feeling Peace Amidst Conflict
Ep. 132 5 Tips for Feeling Peace Amidst Conflict
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