“Conflict is the beginning of consciousness.” ~M. Esther Harding

May 23rd, 2012

Conflict.  It’s something most of us shy away from.  After all, we paid our dues as teenagers.  Now, as independent adults, we can choose to avoid it, like we now choose whether or not to clean our room or make our bed.

What’s the point of conflict anyway?  Shouldn’t we avoid it…even when it’s unavoidable?  Don’t we want World Peace, starting with “The Man in the Mirror” and all that?  I’m conflicted.  (pun intended…sorry)  When given the choice of “fight or flight”, the latter seems more enjoyable.

Conflict, though, is an opportunity for change.  Most of us resist that as well, only to find that life creates more and more conflict until we are forced to change.  Why not nip it in the bud…cut it off at the pass?  Hey, Change!  I see you comin.’  You’re disguised as Conflict.  You don’t fool me.  I’m not afraid of you.  I’m not going to fight or fly away.  I’m going to embrace you.  I’m going to bend and watch you roll off my back.  And, if you come back for more, I’ll do the same.

It’s not “fight or flight” for me.  It’s “resist or grow.”  What am I seeing about myself in this conflict?  How am I participating?  How am I needing to grow?  Where do I fall short?  I will search for the gap within myself and do my best to close it.  This will be my
“Yes, and…” moment that Jane Lynch talked about in her commencement speech at Smith College.  Yes, to Conflict.  And…
I will see Conflict for what it is: an opportunity for me to be my best self.

Oh, Conflict.  Who knew a silver lining was part of your clever disguise.  You rascal!

“Conflict is the beginning of consciousness.” ~M. Esther Harding

August 18th, 2011

When things aren’t working out the way we want them to because someone is blocking progress or wants things a different way, we curse them, make them wrong.  We avoid them, frustrated, because further discussion only makes it worse.  They won’t budge.

Let’s take a moment to step back from the struggle.  Let’s retreat enough to get an objective view.  And ask these questions:
How am I participating in the deadlock?
How are they unknowingly asking me to grow or change?
How much am I willing to concede?
Have I expressed to them what I’m feeling and why?
How does this remind me of another similar dynamic elsewhere in my life, past or present?
Is there a repeating pattern?
What is the essence of what I fear I will lose?

Let’s remind ourselves that:
I can’t change them, but I can change me.
I can release my end of the pushing against, which feels so good when I do.
I can agape-love them while we disagree.
I can take one baby step towards the center-line of agreement.
I can love myself for standing up to the struggle, but
I can now release and let go, even if only for a moment to see what changes await.
I can look for another path to the center-line.
I can focus on a winning solution for all involved and let that manifest.
I can listen to the quiet voice within for guidance on how I might approach the situation differently, and ask,
How can I resolve this peacefully and equitably, and feel good in the process?
I can choose better-feeling thoughts at any moment about any thing.
I can choose to visualize harmony.