Let us approach conflict from both sides – from the perspective of the person giving and the person receiving. When you come across someone who is trying to control your actions, see through the person’s actions to look at their fear, their loss, their neediness, their mess. Then do the same with your own need to control the situation.
Dig down deep and find the root of it. If you feel fear or shame about something, instead of just feeling those feelings, try to be curious about where they came from. Many feelings are taught to us. We are often taught to be ashamed of our bodies, for instance. We are often taught to think that we are greater than or lesser than another. We are taught whether our minds are open or closed.
If this is an unpleasant feeling, or one that isn’t productive, dig down. Don’t turn away from it. Uproot it. Bring it out into the light. Who first taught you to feel that way? Where were you? What was the circumstance? What was going on? Then go deeper. Who taught that person? Then who taught them?
There can be many generations of this line, this rope that we hold on to, this rope that we use to define ourselves. This is how we in this family act. We might be told “Don’t shame us. Don’t embarrass the family name.” We are exhorted to not let go of this rope that holds us together. We are told in subtle ways that we all have to stay together or we’ll get lost.
But this rope can also be a noose, a lariat, a line that prevents growth. Someone is trying to plant seeds of fear or shame into you. Don’t let it bloom into an ugly tree. Don’t give it space in yourself. There are many things that they will try to plant. They will try to plant seeds of doubt and fear. These seeds are the fruits from trees that have matured in them. They often aren’t even aware that they have these misshapen trees growing inside them. They have had them so long that they think this way of thinking is normal.