Forgetting what currently “is” and straining toward peace in our relationships is a challenge we face many times in life. Those challenges may seem as if we need to move a mountain. It isn’t necessary to move a mountain.
We can learn to look for new pathways to navigate the hills and the valleys of relationships as we get to a new place in life with others.
We can have difference of opinions, personalities, and beliefs and still live in peace with others.
When we have a “difference” due to personality we do not have to be at war with those people. We can have a personality conflict and not shut each other out or tear each other down. We can even still be friends and get along if we value the person and relationship.
We can have different opinions including topics of politics, cultural choices, relationship expectations...the list can go on and on. We do not have to gossip, put someone down, or verbally fight with them because of those differences. We can know what we know and let others have their own opinion.
We can have different beliefs including personal and religious beliefs. Sharing what we know to be true is one thing, attempting to force someone into believing what we believe creates more barriers.
Surface differences can literally divide friends, families, and communities unnecessarily.
A question to ask when trying to live at peace with others is, “Do I value this relationship enough to learn how to live at peace with this person?”
If our answer is yes then it will be necessary to take the next steps to work at living at peace.
Start talking. Work through the disagreement and come to areas of common ground over multiple meetings and conversations. When people stop talking walls keep building and eventually the wall becomes so big and wide we can no longer reach one another.
Keep listening. It is important to hear what others have to say even when we don’t agree. Listening expresses care and concern on a personal level.
Be honest. If we don’t agree we can respectfully acknowledge someone’s belief or opinion and request to agree to disagree for the sake of a relationship. Time has a way of working all thing out for good is one way or another.
Often time’s differences have roots that relate to personal background and experience. As we continue to know someone better we also learn where certain ideas and opinions come from and understand some ones background and history more completely.
When we criticize, condemn, and communicate negatively, those actions rob our ability to live in peace with others. These also aren’t actions that express love, show others that we care, or represent the idea that we are attempting to live at peace with others.
Waiting for opportunities, looking for teachable moments, and accepting others as individual’s further builds relationships. Leaving room for grace and choosing to live in peace is something we can continue to work toward in our friendships, among our family, and within our communities.
Visit www.RealLifeRelationships.org to learn more. Our self-guided courses and the book Love Forever are available through the website.