What Happens When We Argue With Our Loved Ones (Burning Man Sculpture) – Personal Excellence


When’s the last time you lost your temper at a loved one? What did you say or do to him/her?

When we get angry with our loved ones, we often say or do things that we later regret. We isolate ourselves from our partner/parent/child/friend, fuming and feeling upset — yet deep down, what we yearn for is to reconnect with him/her.

This sculpture, created by Alexander Milov for the Burning Man Festival 2015, captures just that. Titled “Love,” it features two wire-frame adults after a fight, distanced and sitting with their backs facing each other.

What’s interesting are the two children inside the wire-frames, trying to reach and touch each other — despite their physical bodies facing the other way.

Milov says:

“It demonstrates a conflict between a man and a woman as well as the outer and inner expression of human nature. Their inner selves are executed in the form of transparent children, who are holding out their hands through the grating.

“As it’s getting dark (night falls) the children chart to shine. This shining is a symbol of purity and sincerity that brings people together and gives a chance of making up when the dark time arrives.”[1]

More pictures of the sculpture:

Burning Man Sculpture "Love" - Inner Child Trapped Inside Us, by Alexandr Milov

In many ways, it is true. When we get angry at a loved one, we may seem irate and repelled by them. But deep down we really care. Our love is just not being manifested in a constructive or healthy way. If there is a way for us to reconnect, to be back together in peace, we would want to do that. But first, we have to put aside our adult egos and pain.

Some gentle notes for all of us:

  1. The next time you are angry at someone, focus on the loving spirit of your inner child. Remember that underneath your anger is love for the other person.
  2. Learn to regulate your emotions. If you feel angry or upset, find ways to manage and release these emotions without throwing them at your loved one. Give each other the space to cool down. Leave the room, go for a walk, close your eyes and breathe, or do something else.
  3. Focus on the conflict. What’s causing the conflict? How can you solve it? What help do you need from your loved one? What actions can you take? How can you resolve this together?
  4. Repair. Nobody’s perfect. There will be times when we say or do something we didn’t mean to (such as yelling or sniping at him/her). Focus on repairing the relationship by talking to our loved one after the event: state what happened, why what we did was wrong, and what we’ll do differently next time. Take responsibility for our actions and don’t blame him/her.
  5. When the dust has settled, reinforce your love for each other. Talk with a cooled head and figure out ways to solve the problem and avoid such outbursts next time.

The forgiving, open and free nature of children is your true nature. Inside each angry person is a hurt child trying to connect. Remember that when you are with your loved ones.

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