conflict and love

September 19, 2009 § 4 Comments

here’s the problem.  in a lot of chosen families/liberatory communities. we dont have a way of dealing with conflict.  we just have to assume that we all agree.  and we dont.  i dont.  i wont.  i am standing at a slightly different angle.  i have a different perspective.  especially when we come from different cultures and communicating styles.

but.  communities go in flames often after the honey moon period.  because any conflict doesn’t feel safe.  we haven’t agreed on ways to disagree.

so people shut the fuck up.

i was talking to a friend and she reminded me that there are communities that have been doing what we dream of doing.  supporting each other.  re creating the world.  loving each other.  for centuries.   those communities dont outlive their purpose.

maybe it is so easy for us to leave a community that there is little will to stay and struggle.

maybe the staying and struggling seem so impossible because we havent agreed upon how we will talk to each other.  how we will argue.  how we will make decisions.

i am thinking about bfp’s new commenting policy. what i love about it is that it exists.  it tells us how we are to argue with one another.  hash things out.  critique another’s words.  with respect and love.

i still believe in radical love.  probably more now than ever.  this summer i focused on loving myself, my body, my past, my future.  and i realized to love myself means that i must be vulnerable to myself.  that if i am to be whole.  i must first gather the discarded and forgotten parts of myself.  my stories.  my visions.  my people.

we need to assume that we are going to disagree.  passionately.  and we must decide what is a good way to do so.  that i what i learned.  that all the parts of myself dont agree with each other.  i live with contradictory visions and conflicting folks.

§ 4 Responses to conflict and love

  • bfp says:

    yes. a thousand times. yes.

  • NaksibendiMuslimah says:

    and more yes

    i am automatically leery of anyone who says that they are looking for a relationship with no conflict. contrary to popular opinion, that is NOT because i enjoy conflict. i hate conflict too. but i understand that conflict is inevitable and that it is actually necessary for growth and self-critique. the problem isn’t that there is conflict, it’s how the conflict is dealt with. typically, it is dealt with either by silencing it, or by all out war that doesn’t end up addressing the actual needs but just hurts everyone. both of those methods end with someone(s) leaving, walking away.

  • Mamita Mala says:

    Yes, and I think part of the issue is a failure to do the work from the get, the taking of the time to create practices on how to deal when conflict present themselves and present themselves they will. It’s easy in some way to do the worky work, the “fun” stuff.

  • whatsername says:

    Yes yes yes yes… So much yes to this post. I have been preoccupied with thoughts of this nature for months now. How to disagree with each other? How to remember everyone in a disagreement is human? How to move on from arguments? How to listen?

    All I have are questions in how the fuck we are supposed to do this, because it seems so important and yet it equally seems as though we generally don’t know how to even begin.

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