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Hello, it’s Joe Dwyer and it’s nice to be with you during our journey on conflict resolution in week one.

Chances are if you are living and breathing you have had a conflict in your life at one point or another where you looked back and said that I wondered if it could have been resolved better. Chances are that conflict took place in the last couple of hours or even in the last couple of minutes! Why, because they happen! But I hope that during this journey I hope to come to some real resolutions when it comes to these conflicts in our lives.

First, I would like to start with a story when I was in marriage preparation and I heard a great story from a married couple. They had been married for a few years. One day, the man went into the bathroom to shave and written in lipstick on the mirror was “Take out the garbage!” The man scratched his head and wonders gee I thought I did take out the garbage, why is this message here?

He decided he didn’t want to approach his wife so more time elapsed at which point he realized he needed to talk to her since it was a day later. He asked he why the message about the garbage was written in lipstick on the mirror. Her reply was because he didn’t take her out to dinner the prior weekend! Well, the story as it unfolded got worse, time elapsed and then it wasn’t even the real issue she was upset about!

Now before we go blaming her, or before we go making any judgments, because that is the worse thing to do, we have to ask ourselves this. What could they have done better to make this conflict resolve itself in a more amicable way?

First and foremost, comes the time elapsed issue which we all have done. Let us not let too much time elapse before we address an issue that has caused conflict between us and another person. That certainly is the most important thing to talk about right now. I think we would all be wise to say that we have done that at least once in our life, that I have let too much time gone by, I have been silent for too long. Do not let time go by because it can really be detrimental to resolving an issue.

Secondly, we need to stick to the issue at hand. This story is probably one of my favorite one as I am guilty of it myself, I think we all are! In the story we saw it – it wasn’t about not taking out the garbage, it was about not taking her out to dinner. But we do that don’t we, we seem to suppress the really issue and then it complicates resolving the conflict. I urge you to really try to not let this happen because this too can really hurt the conflict to be resolved in a peaceful and amicable way.

Now, I have two wonderful Beagles mixes in my house, Daniel and Spartacus. They are two very high spirited, very strong-willed males – I’m sure you are groaning along with me as you listen to me describe them! They are beautiful dogs and they are great to be around. Daniel, of course, is Daniel, the Miracle Beagle who survived the gas chamber.

Now, I’m going to tell you that every so often about once a week, a conflict arises between them. But nothing that we talked about today happens with them. The conflict is clearly resolved immediately upon it taking place and there is no other agendas brought in. I don’t think I ever saw Daniel say to Spartacus (even though I know I can’t understand exactly what they are saying!) listen last week when you took that food that fell on the kitchen floor, I still mad about that! That is the beauty of the way dogs can resolve something and what we can learn from them.

We have covered some important ground here in week one and I want to bring it together in a very good context with you. We have talked about spreading seeds that are positive in natures and how they grow into something beautiful when we do it with respect and compassion. We talked about this in previous modules. Well unfortunately, these seeds can also grow into something dangerous when we don’t tend to them as well.

Now I’m not one to wish for poison ivy but I’d like you to use that image in your mind. Poison Ivy would be very detrimental and grows very quickly. That is the good image to put in your mind because if we don’t squelch that conflict right away, it could grow into something worse down the road.

So our action items are pretty clear but let’s review them. First and foremost I’d like you to really try the next time something comes up to stop yourself and try to resolve it as quickly as possible. Secondly, make sure you are sticking to the issue. So as I ask you to do, go back in time and see what you could have done better, what is your memory recollects in the distant past and try to be proactive going forward. So let’s really take a good try at this in the coming week as we will go along way to a peaceful, spiritual way of settling conflicts in our life. If you need me to, I would more than happy to spend Spartacus and Daniel along as living examples.

Thank you. Have a good week. I really welcome your comments and thoughts and I appreciate you being part of this journey.


  • Try to resolve any conflict that comes up as soon as possible
  • When a conflict arises, don’t refer to grievances that do not relate to the issue at hand