February Message of the Month: Solutions and Conflicts

Solutions and Conflicts by Shiela Reed

There is usually a solution to any perceived conflict if we are willing to be open to listening to alternatives.

How do you resolve conflicts? Are you aware of where your mind goes if you feel defensive? To me one of the key things to be aware of is being able to realize and connect to the deeper aspects (usually ego related) that spark an inner defensiveness.

Over the years of learning ways to connect within myself at deeper levels I have been able to find new layers of awareness that have helped me make progress in dealing with conflict. So far this is where I find myself…

First, a level of acknowledgement that I consider something a conflict in the first place and I either want to address it/engage in efforts to resolve it or not.
If I don’t want to work toward a resolution, then I will need to “own the fact” that I will be CHOOSING to participate in and FEED the energy of the conflict in a less productive kind of way.
Even with this, I now realize there are deeper aspects to this too.. i.e. am I wanting to control or ignore something (my own emotions maybe) simply by being what appears to be non-active?
Maybe it is out of fear of having to change a long standing mindset of my own?

The same could be said for if I choose to “work toward a resolution”… what are the reasons behind it? “Selfish” motives, or because I “know best”, or because I truly want an opportunity to collaborate with another soul in an effort for us to learn together and from each other?

Regardless, acknowledgment and awareness of the conflict at least allows us an opportunity to observe another layer in this dynamic which is the next thing to consider and that is the multiple places for asking questions of our inner self…

However, it can get extra sticky if we start thinking too much about others involved in the conflict and we project into the situation, so being aware of this is key too.

Now what happens if another person/party doesn’t want to engage in conflict resolution? Do I drop into fear? Anger? Feeding the conflict.. or make an attempt to find a place of common ground, consider that the “other side” may be functioning out of their own fear. I can hear some now (even my own head goes here) “but wait, if they don’t want to compromise or work it out, then why would I trust them and try to consider them being fearful, thus putting me in a vulnerable position?”

Well, personally, I think this is a very pivotal point to be able to come to in terms of truly making a personal “decision” about a conflict. Are you able to process to this point quick enough all the while listening to your true heart prompting and acknowledging your ego interjections all along the way… to ask, what part of this is “true/safe/right” to ME at that core level? Or do you miss the underlying parts of the ego that are being supported and fall into a looping pattern?

For me, there have been times I have worked through so far and found that there simply is nothing further I personally can do without crossing my own lines of integrity or what my heart already knows is beyond my souls responsibility, or boundaries. For example, NOT continuing to help or own parts of a conflict that really no longer belong to you.
At other times I may realize I am not taking responsibility for my own “part” enough and need to reevaluate why I may be dodging that… (back to some of the above questions)

We can go off in so many directions and learn so many things from a conflict (inner, outer, and all in between) but we tend to either shy away from them or go about resolution in frequently ineffective ways. Likely because conversations are often loaded with ego needs and personal projections. It really seems to boil down to continuing to ask questions of ourselves layer by layer to understand our own deep rooted connection to the conflict topic in the first place and maybe have some very basic respect for where the other side MAY be coming from (without acting like we know them better than they know themselves) and then just trusting that it will turn out how its supposed to in the end.

Overall, the topic of “conflict” is pretty interesting as it can be such a beautiful reflection of reality, whether we choose to see it in all its “glory” or not is the question. A reality of infinite learning opportunities and/or deep rooted divisions and ego needs…

I continue to find that no two conflicts are the same and the ego aspects sparked within me change, but as I learn to acknowledge and ask inner questions, the energy of the conflict itself shifts.

It would be interesting to hear how you view conflicts for yourself and if this concept makes sense to you or not. Whether there have been inner or outer conflicts, there does seem to be some elements that remain the same, acknowledge and question from the inner heart at all times to find the “best” resolution.

Much love and peace as you peel back the layers in the world of “conflicts”.

Shiela