The hurtful words spoken hours ago spin seductively like bait through the eerie silence of loneliness. They beg me to bite and be hooked. Conflict is like a fish lure in dark waters. You fear it because it can lead to death. You love it because of its provocative flare. I must remind myself again and again that the only thing that is real and is now, is the cup of steaming tea on the table in front of me. Sometimes it feels like friendship is as fragile as the steam that rises from this cup. It is broken apart by the slightest of breaths.
In a previous blog where I revealed the theme of this year I said, “Let yourself and your life be stripped clean. The theme that is the most dominant this year is purification. This year will be the year for purification on a mental level, on an emotional level and on a physical level. This process that ultimately serves us, can be a very painful process if we have any resistance to being stripped clean of what does not match our essence. Truth will be exposed. All things will be exposed for exactly what they truly are… Including you. 2016 is the year for cleansing. It’s a year for observing and reflecting on the aspects that belong with you and the aspects that don’t. We are going to purge that which is not genuinely in alignment with our self and our truth. We must come to the essence of ourselves in order to allow that essence to fully manifest into this dimension. All things that are subject to the law of attraction are going to be subject to this cleansing process this year. As a living being, you are in the active process of creation. The desires that have been planted within you like a seed and they are growing into physical manifestation like a sprout that has projected forth from that seed. But there comes a point where for the full potential of that seed to grow into the tree it is meant to become, a path must be cleared so that it is not choked out by the weeds in it’s environment. And so, we must essentially weed the garden of ourselves and our lives so that the full potential of that seed can manifest. The downside is that to weed the garden of what does not belong in you or in your space, you must become aware of it. Relationships are no exemption.”
Despite this purification theme, I have been trying to keep a very precious friendship of mine together for nine months. This week all attempts to resolve the conflict made the conflict worse and the friendship ended. Regardless of the more objective truths that say, “no relationship can end because we are all one”, the more subjective experience of my life feels the pain of the loss. Part of me knows this ending is in accordance with the theme of the year and is somehow meant to be. The other part of me has temporarily succumb to a disheartening feeling that if someone like myself (with all the awareness and tools I have at my disposal) can’t resolve a conflict with someone in my own life, there is no hope whatsoever for other people on this earth. It has made war on our planet seem unavoidable. Over the years I have observed that it is the intention with which a conflict is approached that makes all the difference. All too often we have different intentions going into it so we can never find a meeting of minds. In the beginning of my career I used to jump at the opportunity to address people’s grievances about me. I’d try to resolve the issue with people who made up their mind about me, slandered me on the internet or posted disapproving comments about me. Long story short, it was a short-lived endeavor. I discovered the hard way that not everyone enters into a conflict with the desire to re-connect and resolve the conflict.
When the human ego goes into a state of defense, because it perceives you to be a threat, it becomes rigid. Relationships involve the inevitability of rupture and the degree of security and joy felt within a relationship is really about our capability to create repair. People, who cannot repair ruptures in relationships, cannot do so because they feel power and control over others is safety. When conflict arises, their ego (which is in a state of fear) immediately seeks to win or to punish the other. Their ego seeks to stay safe and survive by being right, justified, good, and victorious so that the other person is the one who is wrong, unjustified, bad and loses.
This dynamic is where the game of conflict resolution ends. It ends because the people involved are playing two different games with two entirely different goals. It’s a bit like trying to build a house of cards with someone who is determined to play a game of battleship. And it starts to feel like no matter what you do, you cannot win. There must be vulnerability for there to be conflict resolution. But vulnerability is enemy #1 according to the human ego. Conflict is both the invitation to expand our consciousness and the potential cause of complete destruction. Like a root that can either grow a fragrant flower or a poisonous weed depending on how it is tended. If it is poorly tended, it is the root of the damage that we do to each other on this earth. It is the heart of war. It is the destroyer of connection and as such, it ruptures relationships.
When conflict arises, we are being called to come into greater depths of intimacy and harmony. We are being called to become as aware as possible of ourselves relative to a subject. We can either answer that call or allow the pain involved with conflict to drag us into deeper levels of unconsciousness. We can seek a meeting of minds or we can become reactive and try to end the conflict through power struggle. The struggle for power and control is the enemy of conflict resolution.
If our human society unconsciously prioritizes power over connection, it is easy to see that our society will never be in a state of harmony. We will essentially starve for connection and intimacy and our world will continue to see crime and war and atrocities. So, unless we want to live and raise our children in a world like that, we must end this pattern within ourselves. We must end the conflict within our own life. We do this by learning how to use conflict to become more conscious. We use conflict to awaken. It is not easy, because we have to be willing to become vulnerable, open and soft when everything in us is screaming to close off and become hard and defend ourselves. We must choose love over our own ego’s sense of survival. This year has crystalized a new desire within me. The desire is security of connection. In every relationship I have now or will ever have, I want to feel the security that any rupture will be met immediately with repair. I want to feel the sweet, earthy, depth of un-conditionality in all my connections. I want to feel understood instead of judged. I want to feel seen, heard, felt and known. I want to know that everyone in my life wants to play a game of house of cards.