We all have them, the mixed feeling or conflicting thoughts. What does it do to us? How do they make us feel? They stress us out. They make us tired both emotionally and physically. We stay paralyzed because we don’t want to make a wrong decision. It hurts us worse to make a wrong decision than it does to make a potentially right decision.
April 20, 2022
Internal conflict is the experience of having opposing psychological beliefs, desires, impulses or feelings.
A few examples:
- You feel frustrated and angry at the health care system (doctors, hospitals, insurance companies) but, yet, you need them.
- You are disappointed in the lack of communication but you are unsure how to fix it.
- You are not sure that your loved one has the financial resources that they will need to have the best care possible for them, yet, you are not sure how much, if any, you can contribute.
- To be an advocate, you need good, science-based information that works for you and your needs.
- The frustration of unmet clinical concerns (diagnoses, treatment plans, home needs).
- Our inner child emerges and is ready for battle.
- Our compassion and losing the ability to be compassionate.
- Our Ego gets bruised and then we act out instead of seeking to find the best solution.
- Conflict with yourself – taking care of yourself along with taking care of your loved one.
- Unresolved family issues rear their ugly head.
- And many more…
What is causing this inner agitation? Ruminating thoughts? Troubling thoughts? Feeling like the thoughts are in control? You experience this out of control feeling and you just keep spinning your wheels. There is an element of fear. In fact, the “fear” of something is always at hand.
When your mind is relieved of the stress, those feelings of conflict and turmoil will disappear. Our minds want to be in a state of calm. We like it when things are copasetic. So, how do we get there?
Your thoughts and not always true. Identify what thoughts are causing the distress. Do you have competing or conflicting thoughts? Get your paper and pen out. Write the competing thoughts down. Under them, write down the good points about each of them. We are looking for win/win ideas. Now you have to change hats to be the mediator. As a mediator you are looking for the best options for RIGHT NOW. There will be give and take. Get rid of the “either – or” mindset, look for a “both – and” mindset.
Have you figured out that the biggest problem is between your WANT and REALITY? Yes, it sucks, but more times than not that is what the conflict is about. Does that mean we give up? Of course not. Making things the best they can be under the parameters that we have is our goal. Rarely, do we have a perfect reality anyway so we know that we can course correct and move forward. We are made for challenges. Take the limits off of your thinking. Let’s try and see.
You are the one in control of your thoughts and your feelings. No one else. That is powerful. That is an “in control of me” empowering feeling. You have to be the one to learn how to handle your strong emotions and feelings. Drill down deep, what are they trying to tell you? Yes, they do have a message. They are ALWAYS trying to keep you safe. They will always raise a ruckus. It is your job to listen, step back and figure out what is real and what is not real. Are you safe, right now? Is this an old trigger? Is this a pattern? I know we just chased a squirrel her.
Back on task.
What does the evidence say to you?
What does the logic say to you?
Reasoning is a powerful tool for the mind. To be able to reason well, we need correct and true information. Three trusted sources is sufficient for you to make a well-reasoned decision. A trusted source is NOT ‘they said and I heard.”
Remember, we buy with emotion and justify with logic. Sometimes, we keep looking for sources to help us justify the way that we want. We keep searching until we find what we WANT it to be.
Be careful about how you are searching for information. Do you want the facts or do you want the biased information that will support what you want? When you know the facts and your options, you will actually feel much better about your decision. You will know that you have done everything possible to get the best information available at the time to help you make a decision. It doesn’t mean that it will be easy. It doesn’t mean that you won’t wonder? It doesn’t mean that you won’t make a mistake. We are human, we will probably always wonder. But those are just thoughts. They are not reality. The reality is that you did the best you could with the best information that you had at the time. Very few decisions are final. Oops, that did not work as well for us, so, you make adjustments and move forward. Progress over perfection.
Write these things down and answer them:
I am concerned about ____________________________________________________
I am afraid that _____________________________________________is going to happen.
Write down all the possible outcomes that you are thinking about.
Make 3 columns – Thoughts that reinforce Negative outcomes, Thoughts that make the situation stay the same, Thoughts that are Growth/Goal oriented realistic outcomes
Try to focus on the thoughts that are growth/goal oriented realistic outcomes. These thoughts are the motivators to help you take action.
Consider what you really want. What are your life values?
We want balance between our head and our hearts. When it is out of balance we have inner conflict. You are having trouble or confusion between accepting and aligning your belief with what is being presented to you. Accept the duality. Sometimes, you need to be still and breathe, just deep breathe. Allow your thoughts to calm down so you can think more rationally. Think about your life values and the principles that you live your life with. Decisions are hard. If you have no good decision, then which decision will you least regret making?