Since my earliest recollections, I have searched for something profound beyond words and verbal expression. Words became my voice, escape, heartbeat, and the rhythm of my existence. However, my voice was silenced by abuse, leaving me feeling like a voice on mute, only perceiving the vibrations. Is this the essence of my existence? I bore the burden of shame resulting from the theft of my innocence, the erosion of trust, and the encompassing darkness that enveloped me. Yet, deep within, my soul yearned for something greater.
Throughout my life, I have been on a relentless search for meaning, a quest to understand why the world can be so cruel and unjust. I have realized that existence is not just about enduring pain and suffering but about finding meaning and purpose in the midst of it all.
I have grown to choose compassion over cruelty, love over hate, and understanding over judgment. In doing so, I want to create a ripple effect of positivity that will touch the lives of others. So, as I reflect on why bad things happen, I no longer search for external answers. Instead, I look within myself and commit to being a source of light in a world that can sometimes feel overwhelmingly dark.
As we embrace a mindset of learning and personal growth, our perspective and worldview undergo a profound transformation. It is crucial to acknowledge that this does not mean dismissing or minimizing the challenges and hardships we encounter. Instead, it sheds light on our true selves and ability to overcome. We are all on a journey through life, and we will inevitably face obstacles along the way. However, everything happens for a reason, and it is up to us to rise above these challenges or allow ourselves to be consumed by them.
Conflict is an intrinsic part of our human experience, arising from the culmination of our past experiences and the events that have shaped us. Through these conflicts, we are given the opportunity to grow and evolve. However, there are times when we may try to avoid conflict altogether, believing that it will spare us from further problems. Unfortunately, this avoidance can often lead to more significant challenges and complications.
From a tender age, I was subjected to the unspeakable acts of a family member who, in their twisted logic, believed that silence was the only way to maintain the illusion of normalcy. The echoes of their threats reverberated in my mind, leaving behind a deep sense of shame and secrecy that would profoundly influence the course of my life. The weight of their warning, the fear of retribution, pushed me towards a path of self-reliance and self-discovery. While this independence has empowered me in many ways, it has also become a double-edged sword, a constant struggle to find balance and trust in others.
I adopted a stance of self-preservation, determined to break free from the chains of silence. I made a conscious decision to tolerate any form of abuse no longer, whether physical or verbal. The burden of shame and self-degradation was no longer mine to bear. In its place, I embraced a newfound assertiveness, using it as a shield to protect myself from further harm.
I found myself in a state of survival, where my primary focus was protecting myself, regardless of the consequences. I became unapologetically honest, even if it meant appearing harsh or hurting others' feelings. My emotions were fierce and unyielding, and I didn't hesitate to express them. I stood my ground in the face of every attack, refusing to back down.
I recognized that my approach to conflict could have been healthier and more productive. Instead of handling it constructively, I had allowed my emotions to take control, leading to confrontations that were hurtful and damaging.
My life took a turn when I had a profound encounter with Jesus. I found myself immersed in a pit of despair, hosting a pity party where my guests of honor included hurt, mistrust, abuse, neglect, and Jesus. In desperation, I turned to Jesus, seeking peace and understanding. As I poured out my grievances and frustrations, I felt a profound sense of peace over me. At that moment, Jesus spoke to my heart, assuring me that he understood my pain. But he also offered me something more - the opportunity to discover my true self beyond the wounds and scars of my past.
As I positioned myself at the feet of Jesus, I began to experience a deep healing within my heart. The turmoil and conflict that consumed me started dissipating, and I found a sense of peace that I had never known before. In this newfound stillness, I realized the power of silence. Sometimes, the best response is not to engage in conflict or arguments but to be still and allow God to work in and through me.
I recognize that conflict is an inherent part of the human experience and will continue to exist as long as we do. We are all imperfect beings, carrying our burdens and facing our struggles. It is easy to look at someone's position or status and assume they are exempt from life's challenges. However, the truth is that we are all vulnerable to pain, capable of experiencing love, and subject to the ups and downs of life.
When we approach conflict with compassion and empathy, we can see its underlying beauty. Conflict, at its core, is an opportunity for growth, understanding, and connection. It allows us to challenge our perspectives, learn from others, and find common ground. By embracing conflict with an open heart and mind, we can create positive change in ourselves and the world around us.
The one who knows uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. -Proverbs 17:27