Handling Conflict in Close Relationships and Church

A Dream Parable on Handling Conflict

By: White Dove

"In troubled families, abuse, neglect are permitted; it's the talking about them that is forbidden." – Marcia Sirota

An area I've not been good at (conflict resolution) appeared in a dream, in a series of parables about how God wants us to handle conflict, separation, and even divorce. I'm sharing what I saw in these dreams, most of all to help ME understand conflict resolution through Truth and Love. 

This is the dream parable: I'm inside a church meeting where a series of women stand in front of a congregation, baring their hearts and releasing the pain caused by an offender, a member of the same community. The offender is seated in a room, by herself, with a video screen so she can hear the testimonies. 

Because the church believes in walking in the light, everyone understands the importance of being naked and unashamed. Truth and Love walk hand in hand together, so no one was afraid of criticism or judgment. It was a common practice for forgiveness and keeping no record of wrongs.

When the women had finished their testimonies, the offender was brought into the room. Her eyes had been opened to the toxicity that had seeped into her own life, and in the atmosphere of love and acceptance she found the grace and courage to confess and apologize for her offenses. It was a healing moment, for her and for everyone involved. The whole church applauded with genuine admiration and respect.

I sensed the love and wisdom in this type of public meeting. In our dysfunctional families the women who have been abused are often not validated but, in fact, blamed for the situations that brought great harm. They go to church leadership for help and hear instructions to "have more grace" or to "forgive and keep on forgiving" or to "have patience, give it some time". Rarely, if ever, is the issue of abuse handled correctly in churches today.

Some of us write what has happened to us, even publicly, to the larger community. Writing helps us get our lives back, because we were unable to find resolution in our families and communities. We search for Love and Truth within the larger community. We find each other there and share our stories and it helps us to heal, but it never resolves what happened in our local community and families. In fact, we may be feared, which is why I have decided to begin using a pen name.

"A woman who writes has power, and a woman with power is feared." – Gloria F. Anzaldua

The reality of life is that we ALL have to deal with a dark side to our own personality. The people closest to us are often the ones we hurt the most, whether it's intentional or not. How do we handle the conflicts when we encounter the dark side of each other?

Yelling, blaming, shaming, bringing up each other's records of offenses is the most common way but it brings defilement to all.

We all need to share our stories in a way that validates each person and opens up an avenue of restoration. Too often, it's the perpetrators who have the biggest mouths, so they gain "power" in their ability to out-shout other voices. 

We need safe places to tell our stories, to be naked and unashamed. The most common advice we hear is "Go see a counselor. Get therapy." I have done this. It's terribly expensive and not always effective. It can take multiple trials until you find a good fit, someone who truly understands the dynamics of abuse systems. Many victims have lost everything and cannot afford counseling, not even on a sliding pay scale.

What you can't say owns you. What you hide controls you. ~ Corall Theill

The reality we deal with is:

Violators cannot live with the truth;
Survivors cannot live without it. ~ Corall Theill

I believe this dream parable shows me how we can be peacemakers in our own homes and communities. Conflict is inevitable, because most of us carry unresolved pain from the past, even if only through our ancestors.

Michael Roads shares:

Anything unresolved in the past, is unresolved now. 

All time occupies the same moment.  Linear
time allows us to play with cause and effect, but
this is just one of life’s teaching games.
If you have had an issue in one frame of the
movie of Self that is unresolved in the so-called
past, then that issue is unresolved in the frame
we call, now.
If you died grimly a number of life-movie frames
ago, or had a really horrific experience, the pain, fear,
and misery of that experience will be with  
you in your consciousness now. It will cast a very
powerful influence on the choices you make in
your continuing life.
Generally, it is best to face those issues, and go
through all the trauma that arises, but this should
be done only in timing with your ability to deal with
it. A method that works is the transforming power
of Love . . . as in consciously . . . choosing Love!

Michael J. Roads

We each need to take responsibility for our own pain. That's the first step in exiting victimhood and becoming our own heroes.We need people who will validate our stories and help us to release the grief safely so that it doesn't become toxic. 

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; – Hebrews 12:15

Telling the offender our story directly often isn't an effective tactic. Perhaps that is why the book of Matthew teaches us that if going to the offender one-on-one doesn't work, that we should bring outside people into the situation, and if that doesn't work, to bring the matter to the church. Maybe that is what I saw happening in my dream, the final step in resolution.

My goal in writing this dream parable is to coach myself, first of all, by reminding myself that victims often spew defilement on themselves and others. The pain of victimhood is messy. I've been on both sides. It's defiling. 

We must end the silence and allow victims to share their stories, uninhibited by the offender's proximity. Everyone must have a voice. If the church continues like a dysfunctional family, where abuse is enabled by silence, where victims are blamed and shunned, we lose parts of the Body of Christ. Souls and their life missions are aborted.

If you find yourself in a place where you can't tell your story because you are invalidated, shamed, blamed or shunned, please tell your story here. Get it out. Practice telling your story. Learn how to share your story in such a way that it empowers you, sets you free. Usually it requires telling and retelling.

We dip our pens in blood and write the pain away. We are writing ourselves into a better story. I'm right alongside you, doing the same. This blog is the telling of my own journey. More dream parables are available, if you are interested. I, myself, long for the days when these dream parables become reality!

Contact me     Kind Words from Readers     What I Believe    My Story

With all my love,

White Dove

Hi, I'm White Dove. Yes, it's my pen name, and it was given to me by a blind man who shyly whispered it to me in a Divine encounter. Yes, it's my real picture… just an ordinary selfie in my backyard. 

I live with my family in the mountains, surrounded by ancient forests, pure streams, and mighty rivers. I work at a local grocery store to earn my living. My earthly needs are simple as I try to let my inner child lead me, instead of me trying to be what the world says I should be and do.

My kingdom of God career is a Heart Scribe. I love to write from God's heart and have been recording His living Word for the past three decades. It's brought me so much beauty, joy, peace, and happiness! 

I love to inspire trauma survivors to write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into the future. We dip our pens in blood and write the pain away… as God has shown me how to do, in the company of supportive friends and family. We are writing ourselves into a better world and it's the most exciting place to be!

Copyright © 2017 Heart Scribes, All rights reserved.   For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact me. 

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