It was a great week of riding — 177 miles for the week. Lots of sights, smells, and sounds. Plus, the beautiful sensation of rhythmic motion in gorgeous surroundings.

If you’re not already following my Spoke And Word page on Facebook, find me there for daily updates and short musings on what I think about each day while I ride. Below is my favorite contemplation for the week. Enjoy…

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Bike: Bomer The Kreeps  Pauma Valley Ca

Conflict Cocoon…

I was thinking about conflict during last night’s ride. I think about conflict a lot. I go to great lengths in avoiding conflict.

In increasingly complex times, it appears conflict is often around every corner and always straight ahead. If one keeps their vision fixed any screen for too long, be it a 7-inch screen or a 82-incher, there’s a good chance conflict will hijack and saturate their perspective on most things human. Guilty I am.

Though I don’t necessarily see the world that way — as choking on conflict, that other people see the world this way brings me down more than I often let on. Watch people struggle long enough, and their struggle becomes your own.

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Some people have a better aptitude for absorbing and dealing with conflict. I’m not one of them. Others still, embrace conflict and feed off of it. Some even hunt it down. I’m not one of those either.

I grew up a typical suburban household with typical suburban parents. My parents, like many married couples, fought over typical suburban things — money, the kids, household priorities, time, etc. That is, they fought over small things — unnecessary conflicts that sucked energy and life out of the family. When my parents fought, they often yelled, especially my dad. It could get loud.

I have clear memories of hiding in my bedroom and often under my bed when my parents fought. Not that I ever thought they would come after me or become violent with each other — they just yelled. Being under the bed while they were yelling was like a protective cocoon to an eight-year-old. This is where my avoidance of conflict began.

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Bike: Tang   Fallbrook Ca

Don’t get me wrong, my parents loved my brother and I, and they were incredibly good and generous to us. They worked hard to give us a good home. Unwittingly though, they allowed conflict to tear that home apart and our family  eventually died from unnatural causes. They would end up divorced, and I would end up afraid of all things loud.

So where am I going with this…?

My parents no longer fight. They haven’t been married since 1977 and my dad has been gone for nearly 7-years. But conflict still surrounds me, and it still scares me in the same way it did when I was a child hiding in my room and under my bed.

Conflict today manifests in many ways and from many sources. Social conflict seems to be the rule of the day. Be it political, religious, gender related, food related, or gun related, it seems everything we discuss, has to be discussed with some amount of conflict.

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Bike: Cortez The Killer   Oceanside Ca

In my own life, and in my human relationships, there is almost never conflict. I have built my life that way. Build each day with a foundation of good intentions, shore it up with the framework of listening in equal portion to speaking, and wrap it with patience and intelligence, and that’s a good plan for a conflict-free day. When conflict does arise in my life, it’s usually minimal and easily resolved.

When I open my 7-inch window to the world though, I’m usually met with conflict within a few seconds — not mine, but I become an instant witness to the conflict of others. It’s like when I was as a child and my parents would fight — I become a victim of secondhand conflict.

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Los Jilgueros Preserve   Fallbrook Ca

I no longer hide under my bed though, to avoid conflict. I ride a bike. My cocoon rolls on as it insulates and protects me. The rhythm of my ride muffles the screaming voices until they dissipate entirely. The sounds, the sights, and the smells of the road remind me that there is much more to the world then the fruitless arguments, the chest thumping, and the escalating voices of fools on an uncharted course to nowhere.

This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb

This Week By The Numbers…

Bikes ridden: 4
177.28 miles
11,400’ climbing
15.0 mph avg
11,801 calories
11 hours 47 minutes in the saddle

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Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there is this from The Yawpers. Enjoy…!

5 thoughts on “Conflict Cocoon…

  1. Unfortunately, I can really relate to this. My parents conflict was very painful for me. Talking to my dad about this one time, he “joked”: about some old radio show called “The Bickersons.”
    I happened to see about 5 minutes of an old I Love Lucy show last night, and all they did was argue with the canned laughter in the background. What was so funny about their continual conflict? Now in my life, I’m a blend of hating conflict and a personality that gets into conflict with my tell it like it is nature. I am always improving in that area 🙂 One downside of avoiding conflict is some people will often lie. We have to be careful about that trap. Honesty may hurt in the moment, but the pain of being lied to can last forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My parents watched I Love Lucy a great deal. In hindsight I wonder if it was some kind of template. The yelling home was a little bit louder though.

    As for the downside of avoiding conflict, I have lived that too, and have made a large priority of living my life honestly, even if I have failed in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Roy. And at the end it has reminded me that the dip in my mood of the day that I’m feeling right now will very likely be helped by the cocoon of exercise. I walk outside during the week at work. But I have an elliptical walker glider machine thing that has worked out well for me to use at home when I can’t get outside because of cold/heat/allergies/darkness. It’s compact and requires no electricity and very much mimics my quick walking pace. Right now it’s in front of an open window waiting for me to enjoy the warm breeze blowing into the house today. I’d best go use it before I plunk myself down in front of the tv later or find myself taking my second nap of the day. I’m pretty sure it will boost my mood. Peace to you today, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peace to you too, and thank you very much!

      Cold/heat/allergies/darkness…

      I experience and hold great distain for all of those too, but if I don’t force my way through them to get on my bike, It means another episode of House Hunters with my mom sitting next to me talking about how our next-door neighbors are killing babies and keeping them in the refrigerator out back. You know, because I think that actually happens…

      Happy Easter, Shannon!

      Liked by 1 person

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