They should stop fighting

Yikes. Those two are fighting again!?!

Have you ever witnessed two people arguing with each other, and you wind up feeling super uncomfortable, sad, disappointed, frustrated, furious, or even scared?

Two siblings are fighting over a toy. A couple you know is arguing again over which music to play during the party. Your mom and dad are yelling at each other about who’s responsible for the broken dish. Your grandpa and your dad (hmm, sounds familiar somehow) are furious with each other about where the money went. The two political candidates are interrupting each other constantly.

They shouldn’t be fighting. Hands over ears. It’s driving me nuts. (I remember having this thought once when my kids were little).

Someone I was working with recently knows a guy and his mother-in-law who constantly bicker. At a family reunion, they yelled in the kitchen. One threatened to leave the event. For good.

They really shouldn’t be fighting!

Is it true?

Yes. Come on people. Let’s be civil! You don’t have to fight! Jeez!

Can you absolutely know it’s true, though, that they shouldn’t be at each other like that?

Hmmm. It feels true. It was very alarming for the entire group, for the other people in the room, for the kids, for the neighbors.

It seems absolutely true. This is a deep one. People really shouldn’t fight. Wars happen….people get killed.

How do you react when you believe they shouldn’t fight, when….they’re fighting?

Oh man.

I start to get furious myself. When my kids were little, they were in the back seat of the car, and I screamed so loud all of the sudden they gulped and went silent.

I feel frightened.

I think “those people are wrong! They should Grow Up!” I get very judgey. I might take sides. One of them is a problem. The other should never react. I discuss strategies for helping everyone with the outcome called Project Stop Fighting. I’m on a mission.

But who would you be without this story?

Oh. Wait. You mean, it’s OK that they’re fighting? Because people are getting hurt and….

Just pause. It doesn’t mean, without the thought, that you love war and you’re letting it happen, or that it will never end unless you believe this thought. You aren’t condoning the fight.

It’s just wondering what it’s like without the belief they shouldn’t be when they are.

Deep breath.

People fight sometimes. Humans get hot-headed. We tend to feel passionate about our position, or what’s right and what’s wrong. It does seem to be the way of it. And there are many ways to address that fighting feeling. Communicating with some openness, and willingness. Sharing honestly. Expressing our needs and wants. Saying what we fear. Doing The Work.

Who would we be without the belief those other people shouldn’t fight?

Noticing they are, and not fighting myself.

Turning the thought around: They should be fighting, I shouldn’t be fighting THEIR fighting. 

They are feeling threatened, and some kind of opposition. They don’t know another way to protect, defend, find resolve, be OK with what is. They’re raising their voice in order to be heard, to say what they need to say. Animals do it, too. Why would I argue with reality, with nature?

Fighting also helps people draw lines, create boundaries when they feel frightened. It may not be the easiest way, or kindest way, but it’s what they know best.

And oh man oh man, I definitely shouldn’t be fighting. I get all riled up, tense, angry, and join in the energy to blow the whole fight up. Violently. It doesn’t feel so good.

I should be peaceful, and when I’m not, I can question my thoughts about fighting.

“I saw that the world is what it is in this moment and that in this moment people couldn’t possibly be more loving than they are. Where reality is concerned, there is no ‘what should be.’ There is only what is, just the way it is, right now. The truth is prior to every story. And every story, prior to investigation, prevents us from seeing what’s true.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,

Grace

2 Replies to “They should stop fighting”

  1. Such a lovely sharing here of your experience and watching this relationship unfold. I love the fighting can turn to gentle love, and likely it’s been love all along. Thank you so much for your example, so appreciated. –Grace

  2. My 2 kids fought all the time growing up. it was horrible. they hurt each other. i tried all different ways of dealing with it but they tell me now that i “did nothing” to stop it. Before I was divorced their father was able to get them to stop; not always in the best way, but at least they listened to him. After the divorce me and the kids went through some bad times. I don’t even like thinking back on it.

    But here is the odd thing: they are now best friends. At some point when they were both in high school they started appreciating the other and realized that they had each other to talk to about their mom and their dad; all the good and of course, THE BAD, things their parents did.

    There was no way I could have know it would turn out like this but after all those years of hurt I cannot even describe how good it feels to see them so close.

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