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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Negotiating Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Impossible situations are there for all to bear. Achieving forbearance, though, can seem a maddening prospect when all we can see are options to attack protagonists or curl up in the foetal position.

Have you ever noticed that conflict arrives in threes (or more)? We’re not confounded by one problem, but several, and it takes just one of these problems to seem genuinely insurmountable and we’re bamboozled.

We derive hope, however, when we understand everyone feels this way from time to time—some situations cannot be avoided, just as some situations cannot be resolved.

Negotiating the Impossible

We may logically think that negotiation is only possible when win/win outcomes are to be achieved.

But, when situations are so diametrically opposed, as is the case of two warring sides, both with their non-negotiables, pressure builds to breaking point—two rocks to shatter as they collide—in an instant. How do we reconcile such untenable conditions?

Neither they nor we can budge right now—but it is not hopeless.

Emotions deride and deceive us—both theirs and ours. Negotiating the impossible cannot be done in such extraneous circumstances. Level heads are needed, with space and time the generous portion for reason to intercede.

When we’re caught between a rock and a hard place, especially when our minds are in a chaotic hiatus verging on a moment’s insanity, the best place is indecision.

Some moments just cannot be redeemed.

Some relationships, during those moments, are on a wing and a prayer. They’re at the full disposal of the Lord, and surely all we can do is trust God to guide us in not doing anything stupid.

Holding Out Hope Despite the Hopelessness Felt

We can know by faith, by the times that such an above intercession arrived, one encased in the wisdom of earlier indecision, that hope for such hopeless situations will appear—usually by means and results beyond our perception or prediction.

And if we don’t know it by personal faith, we can know it by the fact it has occurred in others’ lives.

By deferring decisions to communicate in haste, frustration, and anger, leaving good sense behind, we will buy ourselves both protection from regret and options to deal another day with no barriers-from-hurt (theirs or ours) in our way.

Sometimes it’s a case of just saying, “I don’t want to discuss something so important when we’re both not of a right mind to do it—it’s not fair on either of us, others, or the situation.” There will be times, though, when we cannot afford to say such things.

Negotiating between a rock and a hard place is a necessary life skill. There’s wisdom in accepting situational chaos and choosing for indecision when emotions can’t be trusted. Things will turn out okay if we maintain the poise of faith.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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