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Living In Conflict

A friend shared that over Thanksgiving she decided to just enjoy the weekend with her adult son. Her entire agenda consisted of time with him watching football and eating good food. That was it. She said it felt so good to let go of everything else and just be with him; there was no conflict about what she should or shouldn’t do. It felt free. Then she asked me if I could live without conflict. Could I just let it go?

Her words struck me in a really emotional way that I couldn’t explain. We got distracted by the meeting we were in and the subject dropped. But, it didn’t drop for me. Over the next couple of weeks I thought about what she'd said. Do I live in conflict? We’re not talking about being in conflict with another person, what I was contemplating was do I live in conflict with myself?

I think the reason I felt emotional around the question was because I spend a good deal of time in conflict with myself. I have been noticing more and more of it since the conversation. Sometimes the conflict is simple: Do I want to go to the gym today or walk the dog? Others are not: Should go with my Mom to the funeral of a family member who I had no respect for because it’s the right thing to do? Is it the right thing to do? The conflicts go on and on...should I take a nap on the weekend like my body really wants or push myself to keep doing chores that need to get done?

Can you imagine the amount of energy I expend debating those conflicts instead of just deciding? No wonder my body wants a nap! The reality is that I wasn’t even aware of how much time I spend in conflict with myself until my friend asked. I am grateful for her question. Do I have the answer on how to get out of it? I actually think I might, but implementing it will take practice.

Do you spend time in conflict with yourself? This could really come up during the holiday season when social and family obligations ramp up. Here are the steps I am going to practice. Maybe you want to give it a try too?

  1. Notice the conflict

  2. Call it out to myself “here I go again fighting with myself”; this idea is based on acceptance and commitment therapy; interrupt the thought, give myself a minute.

  3. Take a deep breath and ground myself

  4. Ask myself what I really want to do and LISTEN to my heart/intuition and not the stories spinning around in my head of social/family obligation. The question is what do I want to do not what does everyone else think I should do!

  5. Make a decision and stop fighting with myself

  6. Notice conflict come up again and start all over.

If you decide to play along let me know how things are going in the comments below or on my Facebook page ( We’ll be working on it together.

Could you use some stress busting this holiday season? Head on over to to receive an email per week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s with simple tips to make the season a little merrier. Don’t worry about signing up late, I’ll send you the back issues. I’ve also included some bonuses as my gift to you.

I want to wish you and your family a very happy holiday season.


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