My mother had open-heart surgery a few weeks ago. That can create anxiety, conflict, and drama in a family. My family is certainly no different. Unfortunately, the repairs necessary were not possible arthroscopically, so they had to crack her chest open and go in the old-fashioned way. (Oddly enough, she did not appreciate my jokes about her being spatchcocked…) Her surgeon was wonderful and, at 80 years old and 110 pounds dripping wet, she came through the surgery amazingly well.

The recovery is entirely different, and much harder journey. As much as I would like to be there with her every day, my life and business require me to be elsewhere, so I visit with her and her nurses on the telephone a couple of times a day. During one phone call, (right after she was transferred to the rehab facility, and expected to be working hard on her physical therapy) she was tired and cranky and feeling like I was pushing her too hard on something. I don’t even remember what we were discussing, frankly, but she lashed out at me in anger. “You have no idea how hard this is, Lauren Ann, so just shut it.”  

I took a deep breath and responded with something I have learned from my friend and mentor, Nate Regier, Author of Conflict Without Casualties. I said, “Mom, I need you to know that I am struggling WITH you in this, not against you.” That stopped her in her tracks. “I know, Honey, I’m sorry,” she said.

Wherever conflict comes from (work, family, politics), it creates energy – which is not inherently a bad thing. Energy is a good thing. How that energy is channeled is what makes it either destructive or constructive. When the energy of conflict is channeled in a destructive manner, and we are struggling against someone or something, that creates drama. An environment of drama rarely allows for productive, respectful resolution – because drama begets drama. On the other hand, when we focus on channeling the energy of conflict in a more constructive manner, struggling with someone or something, that creates an environment of compassionate accountability wherein problems and issues are more easily resolved. That simple shift in paradigm could make all the difference in whether a conflict is resolved without drama or perpetuated.

What are you struggling against right now, that a simple shift in paradigm to struggling with could allow you to transition from drama to compassionate resolution?

If you want to learn more about Compassionate Accountability® and the Leading Out of Drama® program, click here.

From Higher Ground,