The Value of Ivy

I got in a fight and learned something about myself.

The fight had to do with invasive ivy along my property line. I ripped it out and angered my neighbor. This conflict has upset me.

A lot.

I was talking about this conflict with a coaching colleague of mine. I fear I’ve behaved badly. I’m deeply saddened that I destroyed a good neighbor relationship.

My colleague asked me which of my values are being stepped on by this situation. Values like neighborliness and collaboration and communication flitted dissatisfyingly through my mind.

And then I realized that what was really upsetting me was that I value peace. My value of peace is violated.  That’s what’s upsetting me.

I’ve always thought I’m kind of a wimp since I hate conflict; that I have to brace myself for confrontation. I’ve suspected that I lack backbone. (I think Amazon suspected that, too!) But what I’m beginning to learn through this conversation with my coaching colleague is that I value peace.

Personal peace.

The upset-ness is the price I pay when I violate this value of peace. This pain I feel is the cost of confrontation. If I could do it again, would I pay this price to my personal peace to get rid of a swathe of invasive ivy?

Probably not.