Walking up to a friend’s home hit by a recent tornado, the place seems barely recognizable. The steps that lead to where the door once stood help identify it.
The upstairs bedrooms now rest on the ground at a slight angle. Glancing down into the windows of those tilted previous upper rooms from ground level seems a bit like peeking into a dollhouse. Standing on the lawn next to parts of a neighbor’s grill, among glass, insulation, and so many trees and branches strewn about seems surreal.
Relationships sometimes feel the same way. You may wonder where to begin during situations that look so chaotic. When mediating storms in life, here are a few strategies:
- Accept what is right now. When experiencing conflict at home or in your organization, you may get stuck thinking what “should” be. Believing “things should not be this way,” or “they should not have done that” keeps you in “problem” mode. When you stay in the “should” zone, you rarely move forward. You may accept “what is” without being resigned to it. This is the situation right now today. Accepting the facts gives you a better chance of moving toward what you would like it to be tomorrow, next week, or next year. It may help to distinguish feelings from facts. You get to feel what you feel. Remember what you feel is not the same as the facts of the situation.
- Consider what you wish to create. Seek more support and understanding in your family relationship? Wish for more freedom and respect in your organization? It helps to know what you want. Maybe you think, “I do not want this.” Sometimes knowing what you do not want helps you clarify what you do. Ask yourself, “What would I love to see here?” or “What do I wish to see or hear to feel better about this situation?” You may envision a home with a solid roof, or a relationship in which you communicate clearly and respectfully.
- Take the step you can take today. That vision that you have may not be your reality tomorrow. You get to choose your experience in the relationship. You may create what you seek by design or live your life by default. Who will you be when you get what you want? How does that person show up in the world? When you show up today as the person living from the vision of tomorrow, you change the energy in the relationship. What step can you take in the direction of your wish? Whether it is picking up one piece of debris, looking through eyes of love, or listening through ears of love, you may take a step.
Storms sometimes brew over a long time and other times seemingly show up out of nowhere. This may mean that relationships seem unrecognizable or not how you want them to be. You always get to choose how you respond. It may be an opportunity to learn, grow, and create something even better than what exists now.
If you need help navigating conflicts at home, work, or in your community, you may let a mediator help.
What ways do you mediate the storms of life?