On Conflict and Resolution

Dear quarter lives, 

During our lifetime, we are bound to run into conflicts not only with other people, but particularly with ourselves. In fact, they say often that the conflicts that arise with other people are merely a reflection of the conflicts hidden within us. And so it goes, when we resolve these conflicts within ourselves, our conflicts with others too fade away. For those of us on a conscious journey of coming to peace, this is great news because that means the more we resolve within us, the less conflict we experience with life, and thus the less and less suffering we endure. The reason this is especially great news is because it means we always have the power to resolve conflict, and power is the key ingredient any individual party or person must have to partake in resolution. To truly resolve any conflict, we must come to the resolution from a place of power, and that place of power certainly doesn’t not mean a place of victory, for there is no victory in conflict resolution, there is no defeat either — there is only peace. Peace for all parties is the goal here. And all parties must be conscious of this intention and must want peace. For if one party does not want peace, it will continue to sabotage the peace process.

So when you find yourself constantly self-sabotaging, that is a sign that there is a conflict within yourself that needs addressing. There is one part trying to achieve a certain goal and another part that does everything to destroy any progress towards that goal. When this happens, you must sit with both parties within yourself and listen. First, we must listen to what each part has to say, because every part is justified in its feelings. Every part of us has a reason to why it is acting the way it is acting. And every part wants to be heard and seen by us. Often inner conflict is exacerbated by self-denial and ignoring the relevant part, even when it is screaming at you. It is important when you are sitting with yourself to mediate between these parts. It is important that you listen with compassion, that you bring forth the part of yourself that is non-partisan, that is not judgmental, that is all-loving, which is often referred to as our Higher Self. To heal any conflict, we must first connect to the conflict. We must be in the conflict before we can resolve anything. Presence is what is often needed. Acknowledgement for what has been felt and experienced is needed. And then we can move on and begin to reconcile. Always remember, resolution can only happen if we let go of the need to win. We must completely surrender our notions of victory and defeat. We must want peace! We must want to be in union within ourselves. We must want resolution. This process can be translated to our conflicts with other people. Often what is causing the conflict is both sides refusing to recognise one another. We must acknowledge that for the other party, their pain is valid, even if we believe deep down it is not our responsibility to bear. Acknowledging someone else’s pain has nothing to do with taking responsibility for it. You can witness someone’s grief and not have caused it. And like with the parts within ourselves, we must have compassion for everyone involved. We must want to be at peace with them. We must want our relationship to move forward together.

So when you find yourself in conflict, do not rush to resolve anything before you actually feel all the feelings that have been triggered by being in conflict. And then after you have given yourself ample time to be in conflict, when your feelings have been felt and some distance can now be had from them, only now can you approach other parties to try to seek resolution. Peace is a choice. No one can be forced into peace, and that includes parts of ourselves that don’t want peace. When this happens and there are parties refusing peace, we must listen to why they do not want peace and attempt to approach the disharmony present from there. Until there is harmony in the intention for peace amongst all parties, resolution will never truly arrive. We must be in union with ourselves to come to peace. We must be wanting to be in union with others to come to peace with one another. And throughout this process of coming to peace, be grateful to the conflict for it is the engine driving us forward towards peace. Be sure to remind yourself amidst all the anger and anxiety that surfaces within you during conflict, that it is a good thing this is happening, because it means something within you has finally woken up and seeking to be healed and brought back into union. Without conflict, there wouldn’t be peace. So do not fear the conflict, but certainly be mindful of how you handle the conflict. Be mindful of the harm you inflict on others or on yourself during the process. And be brave enough to apologise when you have made a mistake and inflicted harm on another whether you did so intentionally or not. And most importantly be kind enough to love ALL of yourself through the errors, attempts and failures leading you to peace. 

With love and always for peace, 

S.A.