Conflict seems to be a common issue for many of us. Perhaps this is true because we have so many relationships and situations in our lives in which they can arise.
Conflicts can occur with those closest to us, such as our family members or dear friends, with our co-workers and even with total strangers. All in all, there is room for conflict everywhere....even with ourselves.
According to the dictionary a definition of conflict is: a fight, battle or struggle, especially a prolonged struggle; strifeWhenever conflict occurs, it doesn't feel good...at least for most of us that is true. Even when we are standing on the side of what is obviously "right" or "good", when we are in battle, there is no evidence of inner peace, and therefore it is uncomfortable, to say the least.
I also contend that when we are in a state of conflict, we lose touch with our most powerful self. I'm not speaking about our ability to have power over someone else by using our sharp tongue, fists or ability to cut some one else off at the knees with a deep frown and accompanying sneer, but about our innate gifts that make us who we are.
I have a friend that who when connected to her true self, embodies peace. She cares deeply about many issues and even more so about the welfare of the human race. What I have observed in her is that when a conflict arises and she gets hooked into anger, her strength of compassion, integrity and clarity are lost. Although the points she makes in her arguments may be true, it is her desire to cut her opponent down, that interferes with her showing up fully in her 'truest' form. Rather than peacefully standing in her truth, she seeks to overpower her opponent with force. This force exhibited in conflict comes through in her voice (both tone and words) as well as in her energy and body language.
When I witness this expression of anger in her attempt to resolve conflict, I actually see her as weak and scared. When she is hooked by fear, she forgets to look for the gifts in her perceived opponent and therefore loses her ability to really listen to their point of view. Her desire to defend her point and all those people she desires to 'fight for' actually lessens the chances of a resolution that would serve them.
My sense about my friend is that perhaps the most important conflict for her that needs attention is the conflict with herself.
I believe if she trusted herself enough to stay true to who she really is, anger would not be the dominant emotion expressed when she is speaking for her cause. If she felt more secure in herself, which would allow her natural gifts of intuition, clarity and resourcefulness to come forth, it seems there would be a better chance for mutual understanding, and therefore be better able to communicate with her opponent in a way they can hear.
With the exception of the daily conflicts and arguments and put-downs we have with ourselves, it takes a minimum of two to have a conflict. If one person chooses not to attack, but truly listen and then calmly speak in return, there would probably be fewer and shorter wars and more peace talks.