Releasing others who have hurt us.
We are needing to view conflict in a different light. It is very much part of our lives, though for all of us it tends to have negative connotations. It really has not been developed by us into something we feel skilled at, so most times we just want to avoid it at all costs. However, since conflict is in all of us, historically and each new day, we need to start to view it more creatively and to engage with it more constructively as something that can transform us. Continue reading ‘Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.’
Using conflict to bring deeper connection rather than separation.
Though conflict is part of our life journey, most of us don’t welcome it. As the custodians of our growth, we are meant to hold our conflict and to steer it towards life-giving outcomes. Otherwise, we are simply releasing our responsibility for managing it and are choosing to be taken down roads that can have a negative impact on us. Continue reading Steering Conflict The Right Way
Childhood perceptions of conflict affect us all our lives. Reflecting on them without judgement enables us to begin to see conflict as a friend.
All of us have a conflict history. The roots of our conflict come from our own experience of it. They started growing in utero when we sensed our mother’s heartbeat speed up as she faced things she struggled with. This continued into our childhood as we found ourselves wanting to be ‘this’ yet having to be ‘that’. Continue reading Is conflict a friend or foe?
The feelings that formed in us in childhood have shaped our way of being in relationships. Now, as adults, we still carry that initial trigger event. As vulnerable children we’ve all struggled with someone stronger than us. At that stage we didn’t know how to stand our ground against them. Continue reading Self Assertion
Measuring ourselves against others divides us
All of us long to feel that who we are is enough. Yet we live in an adversarial culture where we are constantly measured. What our society values is continually put before us with countless opinions of each and every facet of our lives. We can easily end up defining ourselves by how we match up to these. Continue reading Stages of Loving – Sharing Opinions
Most of us struggle with anger in one way or another. Anger is a force for enormous change and is meant to be a positive tool to help us live fully. We’re born into a world with conflict. Our well-learned patterns of how we respond when we’re angry are deeply rooted in us. It’s these internalized patterns that are the problem. So often, since we dislike these we try to change our behaviour, but find this very difficult to do. For our automatic, visceral reactions come from a place that is not easy to access.
Continue reading Engage with Your Anger
Daring to allow our true selves to emerge
The roots of our conflict lie inside us even though we usually think of them as something external. Actually, if we don’t have this internal conflict it is very difficult for external conflict to draw us in. Naturally conflict happens inside us as we push against things we don’t normally do or say, allowing our God-given urge to life to move us outward. We do risk a lot then, but it makes us feel alive. As adults, it’s so easy to smother this dynamic, withdraw or close down as the threat and fear around destructive conflict situations paralyzes us.
Since we’re all multi-layered beings, our true inner core has to pass through these layers in order to be seen. Our outer most fringe is our ego, our trading or measured self. Next is our story self, our memories of our joys and pains. Deeper in is our survival self that fights for our very right to exist. When we desire to move outward from our core and try to be authentic, the message gets distorted and blurred by these layers. It’s because of these that we feel vulnerable and scared to love, as the self we really are fights with the self we’ve pretended to be. The conflict we witness as a result of this isn’t the real issue, but like the ‘smoke’ that shows us what’s ‘burning’.
Continue reading Choosing to Stand
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
Lyrics from Leonard Cohen in his song, ‘Anthem‘
As children we let our curiosity take us into unknown places to discover more about our world. If we were given freedom to explore, we learnt to take risks, if punished, to stay within known parameters. We also watched our parents make life choices which gave us our own feelings of what was possible or not. These feelings and behaviour patterns remain deeply engrained in us and as adults we are still either more cautious or are risk takers. Continue reading Light through the Cracks
These inner tensions are the tiger within.
Within our fast-paced and pressured lives, we seldom give time for reflection on what’s going on inside us. We go on, presuming we’re fine, till ‘the wheels come off’. Instead of ongoing attentiveness, we often simply ignore issues and race on until we desperately need a therapist. Continue reading Conflictual Landscape
The way we fight today was learnt as a child
All of us are on a journey to become fully ourselves, yet at every step the world pressures us to conform and obey the system. It is here that much struggle inside us happens as we so need to feel we belong. Many simply give themselves over to an institutionalized system, but if we listen, our inner self continues to cry out, ‘No, this isn’t me!’ and resists being squeezed into something it’s not. For too long we’ve not stood our ground and said, ‘Yes’ when we should have said, ‘No’, or ‘No’ when we should have said, ‘Yes’. Our over-compliance to, or reaction against the system, causes conflict within us. Continue reading Patterns of Conflict