Sunday, January 8, 2017
Living in Conflict
Since we live in conflict, to create peace we need to resolve conflict peacefully. We don't have to begin with international conflicts, as we have little control over that. To create peace in OUR world, our personal world, can eventually make the biggest change in the larger world.
The best place to begin is inside yourself. When you experience inner conflict, torn between two choices of behavior perhaps, stop and ask yourself what your reason is for each possibility. Which will be the most compassionate choice. Yes, be compassionate with yourself. To do that you must be able to identify your feelings and to determine where they come from.
You'll need to know yourself. Many do not. Have you taken some time to explore your feelings? Your values? Your needs and wants? So to begin creating inner peace take time to get to know yourself and to develop a vocabulary of feelings.
Bringing about peaceful change begins with working on our own mindsets. We have absorbed so many beliefs and perspectives from other people in our environment. Have you ever taken time to explore where your own beliefs and values came from and how many still fit who you want to be today?
Some beliefs create in us greed and jealousy. We have been educated to think in terms competition with others, of rewards and punishment. We look at others as being good or bad. We need to learn to define behaviors without judging them as good or evil. All behavior, everything we do is in service of our needs, or at least what we perceive as needs. [Sometimes things we very much want feel like needs until we examine why we want it so badly.] Understanding our needs is half the journey to meeting them.
Many interpersonal conflicts can be resolved by exploring our own feelings, needs and wants. You may determine that you and the other person want or need the same thing! This certainly opens up a channel of communication that makes resolving conflict easier and more peaceful. Peaceful resolution could come about with an attitude of compassion and sharing
It is important to remember that our feelings are not caused by other people's behavior. The are caused by what we think/believe about their behavior. When we can detach from blaming others for our feelings we can approach issues more objectively.
To resolve interpersonal conflict there must be good communication so that each person could share their innermost feelings and explore our needs or wants. Peaceful conflict resolution depends on making personal contact, connection.
O.K. Let's try an exercise. Think of some conflict in your life today - big or small. Once you have identified it ask yourself what want or need isn't being met. What do you feel regarding the the conflict? Is it disturbing? Are you anxious, angry, afraid? What supports that feeling? How important is the issue involved? And what did or could you do to resolve that conflict?
Let me know how the exercise went for you. Did you find any new insight? Change any of your feelings? Is the conflict still there or is it resolved? How was it resolved? Please share what you can in the comments.