I was leading a conflict management workshop a few weeks ago and we were discussing why conflict feels hard to navigate sometimes.
One participant raised her hand and said, “Because conflict brings out all your stuff.”
“Your stuff?” I asked, inviting her to say more.
“Yeah, your stuff. All the stuff you keep neatly packed away most of the time. Conflict reaches in, opens the bureau you’ve stored away in the attic, and your stuff comes tumbling out.”
“Sounds messy,” I said.
She shrugged. “Can be. But what I think you’re inviting us to do is straighten out our bureau drawers so that when they’re opened, things don’t spring out all over the place and make a God-awful mess.”
What a great image! And folding clothes just took on a whole new meaning.