Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Voice of Conflict

We live in a world of opposites. There is no escape from the diametrically opposed forces that exist in the Universe or in our own lives here on Planet Earth. In Byron Katie's book, "Loving What Is," she exposes the dangers of mental conflict and the insanity we create needing things to be the way we want them to be. We isolate, separate, segregate, and sometimes hate instead of just accepting that not all things are lined up with our own views of the world. The demonstrations being held around the globe demands freedom...freedom to be allowed our own point of view, our own voice. But your song is more than likely sung in a different tone, with a different resonance than the song I sing. Instead of making it wrong, perhaps the symphony depends upon releasing my inner conflict so our notes can blend.

There have been more times than I care to admit when my inner conflict blocked out common sense. Perhaps it was someone else who whispered or yearned for my more practical approach; maybe it was my own inner voice trying to be heard that showed up in the form of a stomach ache or mental anguish as I prepared to do something that would result in the opposite result of what I wanted. If I am honest with myself, there are always signs when I am headed down my conflicted and wrong path. Sometimes conflict shows up when "my important" in our relationship is not "as important" to you. The only path for solution is to call it what it is: conflict. Not right or wrong, just conflict. From this very real starting point, rationale can become the vehicle that takes us into loving and thoughtful solution. Einstein said, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them." Our personal conflicts usually depend upon an illusory foundation: our need to be right.

What I have come to believe to be true about "conflict" is that it exists for me when I am not heard. When my freedoms (or anyone's for that matter) are suppressed and constricted, my voice is being muffled or I am choking back my own wisdom. There are times when my conflict could hurt me and take me away from what is really important. And yes, sometimes I have to squander my precious time exploring that dark and foreboding territory. All I know is that when a hand stretches out to meet me and offers me grace in my craziness, offers me freedom to simply sit with my moment of confusion, then I know I am heard. In that moment I know that someone cares enough to listen and to give me a break for being human. All we need is love, truly, to take the wind out of the sails of conflict. Then, even if we are different from each other, the unique notes we sing can be the song that breathes life back into the way we live.

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