Updated: Dec 18, 2018
Yes, you did read that correctly… even a peaceful person like me has found that there is something beautiful and valuable in the conflicts we face in our life. Conflict, in the right balance, brings interest into our lives. It helps us to appreciate those moments of serenity even more. Those of us in the North realize that our colorful springs and summers would not seem nearly as precious if not contrasted with the whites and grays of winter. And yet the stillness of the winter is so beautiful, almost restful, in comparison to the energy of the warmer months.
Conflict also provides a point of “contrast” as we often hear from Esther Hicks as she channels Abraham, helping us to know, with certainty, what we don’t want, thereby enabling us to focus – definitively – on what we do want.
To make my point further, I offer for your consideration a few scenarios that have been helpful to me at points in my life - in the workplace, with loved ones, and within myself.
Conflict in the Workplace
For much of my adult life, I was employed in a technical management career for a large corporation. Oh my! The opportunities for conflict did abound! But here’s the thing… the conflicting opinions often led to richer collaboration and better solutions and designs. There’s a saying in corporate life… if two people agree on everything, then one of them is redundant! Disagreement is essential to help surface gaps, flaws, and other shortcomings.
In the workplace, there are also interpersonal conflicts. That co-worker who, for whatever reason, is driving you a little crazy. I had one such co-worker. We had a close working relationship that had started to deteriorate. I couldn’t figure out why, but she had become quite an annoyance for me. Then I was shown, in a psychic reading, that Spirit was “holding up a mirror” to me with respect to this conflict. OH SHOOT! Spirit was indeed correct (as always). The very things that were bugging me about this co-worker’s behavior were things I could see I was also doing with others (I’ll say it… I was being a bit too much of a control freak). I throttled back on my control. And even though I really did not see anything significantly change in my co-worker’s behaviors, suddenly she wasn’t a bother to me anymore. And we became close again. I doubt she even knows that she was a momentary aggravation to me.
So, if you’re feeling conflict at work, consider that perhaps there is something you can learn from what’s going on. Maybe the conflict can make you better at what you’re doing. Or drive you to do more of what you really enjoy or are good at. Or perhaps, just maybe, you’ll see a little bit of yourself that is ready for some personal growth.
Conflict with Loved Ones
Having a conflict with a family member or a close friend does not have to mean the relationship is “at risk”. Often it’s just the opposite – that you feel so close to and comfortable with someone, that you are able to fully express yourself and to BE yourself, even if out of alignment with the other person’s beliefs or BE-ing. I offer a couple of personal examples here.
First, my hubby, soulmate, love of my life… and let me start by saying that I love my husband with all of my heart and soul. There is not a smarter, kinder, more generous, or more talented man. He is, without a doubt, the perfect partner for me, and I believe I’m the perfect partner for him. Thirty-one-plus years of togetherness pretty much validates that too. And having said that, somehow we still manage to have a bit of conflict. I won’t get into details… after all, that’s personal. But I will say we have significantly different opinions on some things. I’m kind of a “type A”, and he’s closer to a “type B”. He’s from Mars and I’m from Venus. You get the picture. And no big secret here… this is probably true of most couples to some extent.
But what I gain from our differences – our conflict – is much like that contrast of the seasons I wrote of earlier. I appreciate the little things, and so does he, like a little colorized red rose in the middle of a black-and-white photo. We share the same core values: family first, trusting each other implicitly, being generous especially with those who are doing the best they can for themselves, talking things out, respecting each other. With this foundation, coupled with knowing he will not be a “pushover” on important matters, I know that I can always look to him for solid and meaningful opinions and advice on anything I’m facing, from simple decisions to more significant life planning.
Another example is with another family member whom I hold in very high regard. And whom has polar opposite views from me in a few belief categories. She is intelligent, compassionate, generous, and reasonable… and I would like to think these words describe me as well. I’ll never forget how touched I was the day she told me that, through our conversations, she has come to understand why a “zebra” believes what a “zebra” believes, even though she does not and probably never will agree with “zebra” beliefs. (You can substitute for “zebra” any belief label of your choosing – conservative / liberal, Christian / Wiccan / Buddhist / atheist, assertive person / passive person, etc.).
So recently, when I was having difficulty understanding how some “tiger’s” close to me could possibly hold “tiger” beliefs (tiger… different color stipes than a zebra, but still a beautiful striped animal…). And she passionately shared some views and experiences with me from a “tiger” point of view. I resisted my temptation to argue and debate… I just listened. And I now get it. She views life from a different lens than I do, and that’s fine. And in fact, it leaves the door open for me, that just maybe I’m not 100% correct! Wow! Going a step further… my belief is that from a Divine perspective, there is actually very little “right” and “wrong” here on the human plane, as long as we act from a place of compassion.
So again, I find that conflict helps me to be “better”. To make better decisions, be more appreciative and compassionate, to be open to supporting even those whom we “oppose”, and to feel more supported when the chips are down. I love that my life – and my relationships – have the many flavors that conflict can accent for me.
Ever argue with yourself? I do it often… always have. Sometimes it’s just about what to wear today, and sometimes it’s the larger ethical dilemmas that show up in life. Sometimes it’s a level of regret or guilt for what I did or did not do that I wish I had handled differently. And I have come to realize that this is all part of my growth and life lessons.
When I start feeling conflicted about what to do, I try to go to a place of “a year from now, what will I think about my choice”. Often a good friend or two will see me in conflict and remind me of this too… it’s about our choices and our growth!
Inner conflict is also about being accountable for the choices made, no matter the reasons for making the choice. A friend of mine who is in recovery recently reminded me of this important point. Yes, everything is forgivable, but that does not release you of your accountability for your actions, and the lessons that come with them. I cannot imagine letting someone else have the power over me to give them the credit for “making me” make a choice that I do not agree with. Keep your accountability, and keep your power, even if you are not happy with the choices you made.
If you’re feeling a little sheepish or regretful about choices you have made, or are feeling the weight of decisions ahead of you, remember that you are loved. That you have a Divine spark within you. Lean into that Divine spark and seek wisdom, helping you to see the lessons for you associated with this inner conflict. It takes a bit of practice, but I believe you will start feeling a lot better about the forks in your path!
What have you learned from conflict in your life? How has conflict enriched your life experience? I welcome you to sign in to my website and share your thoughts. Please do so from a place of compassion for yourself and others.