St. Augustine Woman's Journal - Educational Resource to the Women of St. Johns County Since 2009

Turning Conflict Into Joy


June 1, 2019 | View PDF

Healthy individuals and families are not free from conflict, disappointment or hurt. To the contrary, they understand life includes such trials. In the world you will have trouble (John 16:33). But a key difference for this group is a willingness to see and deal with conflict as an opportunity for growth. Consider it a great JOY when trials of many kind come upon you, for you well know the testing of your faith produces perseverance and perseverance must complete its work so that you will become fully developed, complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

Sadly, many people have not been taught to deal positively with conflict and often use negative approaches such as denial, avoidance, anger and even physical aggression. This can last for generations, stretching the family system to the breaking point. Families that have broken are sometimes in need of court-ordered parenting coordination to assist and mend high-conflict parents in interacting with themselves for the benefit of their children.

Fortunately, psychotherapy can help individuals and families find a new way forward, to learn healthy ways of dealing with conflict. Today’s therapists rely on scientific research in the areas of communication, social skills, anger management and domestic violence to help adults and adolescents deal with problematic relationships. Research in the area of family systems therapy has helped many families put an end to generational patterns of dysfunction, helping ensure the harmony of future generations.

Spiritually-based psychotherapists use the research to help their clients but also go a step further in striving for the ultimate skill of turning conflict into joy. Joy is different from happiness – it is an attitude arising from the deep currents of the soul, detached from the circumstances at hand. The process of turning conflict into joy begins with the ego, working through the mind to learn the scientific tools, but then begins moving into a state of total personal accountability, where one begins to see all conflict as a psychic reflection of one’s own healing ability. So instead of fixing the other, I fix myself. Through honesty and openness, one learns to stop projecting their wounds onto their family members and other relationships, thus halting the generational cycle. Radical acceptance of self and others, forgiveness, and a more abundant, radiant and joyful love become the natural byproducts of this fascinating process.

For a free email copy of our handout, The Paradox of Relationship Conflict, please email [email protected]


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