The human mind is designed to register danger and conflict more than it registers peace and harmony. When we experience harmony for very long we often grow nervous and wonder when trouble will inevitably show up.
Conflict and injury is easy to cause. It can happen fast and the repair time is much slower than the time it took for conflict to occur. Very often people who care about each other are not aware of how long it can take to truly repair from a fight.
It takes five positive interactions or more to repair the damage done from one single negative interaction. Most people do not see that process through to the end and the ability to reconnect slowly becomes more and more difficult.
When people who have caused a conflict know that they have done so, they are often regretful and sincerely want to make amends but do not have an awareness of how long it really takes to restore trust with the person they’ve injured. The cycle goes something like this: I do something that causes my husband pain and frustration. I realize that I have hurt him and express that sorrow. Being hurt, he is not able to simply snap out of his perspective the moment I convey my regret. His protective brain is on high alert and knows that if he interacts with me again I will more than likely hurt him again. People do not mean to hurt other people. The fact is, we are all sharp objects moving through time and space. The logical response to being injured is to get away and stay away from that which injured us.
If I really want to regain the trust of someone I injured, I can not put a time limit on how long it will take them to feel safe around me again. When I convey my regret once and do not experience a reconnection, I am putting pressure on the person I injured to hurry up and get over it. If they don’t get over the issue right away, I get angry back at them for being angry at me. It feels unfair if they do not return to connection as fast as I want them to. I feel resentful that they are holding a grudge.
But they feel resentful for being rushed into a complex neurological process they really have limited control over.
It is true that, as the injured party, if we want to continue staying connected to a person close to us, we must put timely effort into letting go of the injury done to us. But for a full return to true harmony, it is helpful when both parties understand that our desire to make up and our capacity to do so may not match up or happen as fast as we would like.
When we override our pain and frustration out of an urgent longing to return to a happy dynamic, we are actually storing up reserve anger and resentment which shows up the next time there is a conflict and which often doubles or tripples our reaction to what might otherwise be a small issue.
To put frustrations behind us we need more time to be in that frustration and to follow at our own pace, the thought processes that will find our way out of the woods in a real and lasting way.
The urgency that occurs between two people who care about each other is actually an indication of distrust. We need to fix the problem because we do not trust that we can both handle the challenge of being distant and out of communication.
Life is an undulation. We move in and away, like the ocean tide to all people, places, and things. The ability to return to a dynamic that hurts is the ability to separate our identity from what happens to us. We are not what happens to us. If I identify with an expression of disgregard or inconsiderate behavior towards me, I create a narrative where I am a victim. I can create a better feeling narrative. But only if I am able to release the desire to do so and sincerely travel the distance it takes to arrive at that new perspective.
When we go at life with desires, we impose our priorities, we strongarm ourselves and others into behaving against natural pacing.
Connection is the ability to hold conflict and distance within us without drawing too many conclusions or taking too much action to right a situation that will in time right itself.
The old adage, “Don’t just stand there! Do something!” is better rearranged to say- “Don’t just do something- Stand there.”
Let pain hurt. Don’t push it away. Pain is like cooking. You can not hurry the process along. It takes the time it takes to arrive at releif and realization. If you interrupt or push it away you delay the arrival of resolution. Strengthen your resolve to be able to endure disconnection and locate the higher energetic connection between you and the ones you care about.