I know I’ve been silent for a hot minute.

Between more sickness, some looming deadlines for a BIG THING I can talk about next week, and the seriously awful things happening around the world right now, I’ve been in “watch and process” mode.

Not everything requires everyone to make an immediate statement (or even one at all).

Sometimes, we need more people shutting up and listening, including me.

So instead of crafting messages, I’ve been asking myself:

How do I feel about this?
How do I feel about leadership’s response to this?
What are my values NOW (not from 1, 5, or 10 years ago)?
What do I really want to have happen?

And something that hit me hard during all my thinking and feeling was a statement by a friend of mine, Lynne Maureen Hurdle – the Conflict Closer.

Facebook post from Lynne

It’s there in that second paragraph. “…I am telling you that the way we view and handle even the smallest disagreements between us is at the core.”

In all the conversations spouting solutions, this is the first time I’ve heard someone call attention to the fact that we are terrible (as a society) at handling conflict. Period.

Because really… how are we supposed to come together to tackle the huge problems when we can’t even come together to tackle the small ones?

And looking even deeper, how are we supposed to come together to handle external conflict when we actively avoid looking at and solving the conflict within ourselves?

How many of us continue in toxic relationships and work environments well after we recognize they aren’t healthy for us?

How many of us make excuses for family instead of setting and holding healthy boundaries?

How many of us ignore our own indicators that we need to leave a room, a conversation, a situation? Or the reverse, that we need to speak up and take a stand?

If we want a safer, more supportive society, then in addition to electing leaders that support our values, we must also look to create a safer and more supportive space inside ourselves.

One that allows our inner voice to be heard and takes action when it speaks.

One that puts our safety, joy, and desires above following others’ rules in order to prove our worth or earn their acceptance.

When we learn to have the hard conversations within, we empower ourselves to have the hard conversations outside too.

Sending so much love through these frustrating, angrifying, and difficult days.

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