I’m interested in exploring boundaries and when they don’t include writing someone off. There has been a lot of discussion on leaving those behind that don’t respect our boundaries. I am realizing though, that it is also super important to discern when, through conflict resolution, to grow past the hurt. Conflict doesn’t necessarily mean that we must abandon a person.

Sometimes, conflict is a part of growth. I’m interested in looking at how we resolve conflict and disagreements in a healthy way. How do we forgive? How do we come together past hurt with those we love? This society is so emboldened in separating us, trolling us, speaking hate and harm where there should be none. How easy is it to click unfriend when we see something that repels us? How easy is it to actually talk about this with the person, to come together through our differences, and grow past the rift?

I think it is our job in a world that seeks to divide to have compassionate discourse centered in love. Don’t assume the worst. Don’t demonize people. Abusive people, yes, we must state boundaries and leave them behind, but what if we sat with the uncomfortable for just a little while longer. What if we didn’t allow our repulsion and defensiveness to guide us, to click, unfriend, unfollow, dislike, frown, angry face, and troll.

Nonviolent communication might just be the basis on which we build a foundation to peace. Let’s not continue to polarize ourselves. Let’s find the commonalities, compassion, and forgiveness, and let’s grow past the divide that always threatens to distract, disarm, and repel us. Let’s learn how to sit with our triggers and learn from them, in safety. Take no abuse, but don’t assume the worst first either. This social media allows us to abandon would be friends to readily. It teaches us not to resolve but to reject.

I want to reach past the divide and be a bridge to understanding.


-Angel Marie Russell

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