(Image from pixabay.com)
I happened to read two interesting passages on handling stress, conflicts and dialogue.
How do you handle situations such as – being swamped with work, conflicts with colleagues, strong disagreements with friends or family, frustration at differing opinions?
As it happens, many of us unconsciously choose to handle such situations by distraction. We remove ourselves from the source of stress (people, place or circumstance) and focus on some other activity (typically something we find pleasing). This has it's benefits – time dilutes the impact of stress and conflict, a new focus activity which we like gives us some pleasure, and also being active provides us with a sense of self-esteem and a feeling of being useful in some way.
While this can work to handle the current circumstance, what about the longer term? How will we react in a similar situation next time?
This is where expansion is crucial – and needs to at least supplement distraction. Can we expand our thoughts to allow for differing opinions? Can we introspect to understand a differing point of view? Can we react without being offended and justifying our standpoint? Can we recognize that our thinking creates judgement of good and bad?
The universe expands all the time, holding within it remarkable diversity – gas giants vs rock planets, new star vs dying ones, expanding space vs black holes…….
Taking a cue from the universe, can we expand?