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Growing a Heart of Peace in Conflict

September 30, 2013
Posted By: Counseling Center of Cherry Creek
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Have you read The Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute? If you are in a relationship, I recommend that you read it, or watch this five-minute video to get the gist of it.

One of the central premises of the book is how to maintain a “heart of peace” rather than a “heart of war” in times of conflict, and life in general.

What Is a Heart of War?

Let’s start with how a heart of war feels. It feels cold, righteous, offended, wronged. This is the part of us that wants to attack and defend during a disagreement or situation that is not pleasing to us. You might hear words in your head like, “Who would do something like that?” or “He is such an jerk! Sitting there, talking to me like that!” You might even hear yourself saying in your head, “I haaaaate her!”

A heart of war is marked by making the other person an object

rather than staying connected to them as a person.

What Is a Heart of Peace?

How does a heart of peace feel? A heart of peace feels quiet, soft and is present in the moment. A heart at peace is the part of us that sees the “other” as a human beingas someone trying to get their needs met. You might hear words in your heart like, “This is my wife, and she is in pain” or “This is the man that I have chosen to spend my life with.” A heart at peace is interested in staying connected, in growing, and in giving love.

Grounding Yourself with a Heart of Peace

I know many of you might be thinking that this sounds good in theory, but it's easier said than done, especially when emotions are running high. We have all had arguments and disagreement wit our loved ones. But the key is to try to remain calm and connect with yourself. Focusing on breathing also helps you feel grounded during these situations. It's challenging but important to remember that you and your partner's roots spread deeper than the present moment. And this is the time to reorient the heart of peace. 

If you find yourself in a challenging situation or in the midst of conflict, repeating a personal mantra may also be helpful. There are several techniques you can use to engage from a place of love, generosity, and kindness as a way to positively relate to your partner. This is often better and more beneficial than proving your point. 

Self-Reflection and Holding the Space for Peace

To practice holding a heart of peace, consider these questions:

  • Where is it that you harbor a heart of war with a partner or significant other?
  • Where do you feel yourself loading up with the ammo in preparation for battle or setting the stage for emotional bloodshed?
  • Where do you reorient and see your partner as a human being? As a being wanting to be seen, valued, and heard—just like you?
  • When you feel the cold rigidity of the heart of war creeping in, how can you connect to your higher Self and invoke a heart of peace?
  • How can you exercise the heart of peace throughout your day at work and at home?
  • Why not take actionable steps to transform your life today?

The heart of peace is a muscle in you that grows and strengthens with every word, action, and thought.

If you are interested in having focused support for how to grow and live with a heart of peace, please give us a call. 

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