This week’s calligraphy prompt was to create something around our favorite fairy tale. I had a hard time narrowing it down to just one. As I thought about what I might do I spent time thinking about why I like the fairy tales I like. What is it about them that makes them attractive to me? Why am I always drawn to the more romantic ones? Then I realized they usually follow a recipe – boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. It all boils down to romance and conflict resolution, hence what you see here. I used ink brush pens and Copic pens on mixed media paper.
When you mention conflict most people wince, most of us go out of our way to avoid conflict or avoid dealing with it. It is easier to not deal with conflict than to deal with what could turn into a very messy situation…or so we think. Conflict is not a bad thing, it is actually very productive. We wouldn’t have put a man on the moon or have invented the wheel if there were no conflict. Some conflict is necessary in order to keep things moving forward, in order to change the status quo, in order to grow from where we are to where we need to be. Conflict makes us stronger, makes us think, makes us face the things that need to change in order for things to get better.
So why do most of us avoid conflict? Conflict is messy, uncomfortable and takes effort and time to handle. Conflict makes us face the unknown in our emotions, it makes us face the consequences of our actions, and it forces us to do things differently in order to avoid it in the future. Left alone conflict can fester like an unhealed wound. Unmanaged conflict becomes the silent killer of respect, relationships and confidence. Avoiding it may seem easier simply by pushing the conflict out of sight, which usually means choking it down and internalizing the pain. It might seem “easier” yet the reality is that it hasn’t gone away it has just moved to a place where it seeps and oozes pain that spreads like cancer.
So what is the best way to handle conflict? We will all do it as ourselves, and we need to handle it gently and quickly. By taking power over the conflict it no longer has the ability to control us. Sort of like a Band-aid, let the patient know what’s coming then rip it off quickly. There will be a sting for an instant then the pain is replaced by relief and healing. With things out in the open the wound has airflow and time to heal properly.
What conflict are you avoiding? Why are you avoiding it? Maybe the better question is what is preventing you from dealing with it – fear, anxiety, apathy, uncertainty, or lack of a willingness to change? Just like in fairy tales, the conflict you are avoiding has the opportunity to bring you closer to your happily ever after, that is if you have the guts to deal with it. So rip off that Band-aid and move closer to your dream of happiness. Your life and your relationships are worth the effort.