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Mini Relationship Tip: Ground.

If you are anything like me, conflict isn’t the easiest thing to deal with. Conflict often likes to makes itself known as it races through your bloodstream when a friend or colleague brings up something they are disappointed with.  Or a lover lashes out with anger or struggles to articulate something, awash in sadness.  Or a partner lets you know what you did “wrong.”  Or a heated disagreement, sparks flying left and right.

The point in relationships isn’t to avoid conflict, however – the point is to deal with conflict constructively.

Nowadays, I am able to do that pretty well. But it’s all learned behavior, practiced and honed, with much sweat and adrenaline keeping me company. And I owe much of this essential relationship skill to an understanding of how lightning and lightning rods work.

Conflict in and of itself isn’t a problem. Often, it’s simply the squeak of a wheel desperately in need of grease. Conflict is something stuck, looking to get shook loose. If we can work with it and not freak out and run from it, freeze up in the face of it, or make it mean something’s wrong, then it can reveal a big learning or blessing. About ourselves, about the other, and about the relationship.

Perhaps you’ve heard of a Lightning Rod or Grounding Rod? It’s usually a long, tall piece of metal, often attached to the roof or side of a building, and its job is to attract the electrical energy of a lightning storm. Instead of the lightning striking the building – or your head – the Grounding Rod acts as a conduit; it collects the lightning’s energy and runs it into the ground. Hence, the term, “grounding.”

Without the Grounding Rod, the electrical energy would get into the building – or your head – and fry things.

So, the next time your nervous system starts blinking red, letting you know you’re entering into conflict zone, Ground.

Pretend your body is a Grounding Rod. Feel the electrical energy of the conflict’s lightening storm, but instead of letting it stay in your body, use your breath and intention to run it into the ground.

Then, when the lightening is dispersed and you aren’t a live wire any more, you’ll be able to think straighter and communicate clearer.

You’ll be able to make some sense of where the person is coming from, what’s squeaking that needs a shot of emotional WD40, what’s all bound up beneath what their words, asking to be loosened and looked at.

Enjoy practicing constructively dealing with conflict in a way that doesn’t involve freezing, fighting, flight-ing – or frying.

“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

And don’t forget to leave a comment below.

Best, LiYana

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