When I used to think of conflict, I made the leap that it was synonymous with fighting, anger and cruelty. And in some ways, I was right. Conflict just for the sake of conflict has no winners. It is about directing restless energy, confusion and pain outwards, as if these experiences are nothing more than pests to be squashed, controlled or kicked to the curb. When anger alone guides our conflict, it becomes about changing other people or the world to suit our current desire. This is egotistical and fear based, and it kind of sucks.
But I now see the possibility of conflict as an act of love. It can be about caring enough to forge a new way of being rather than taking the easy road of throwing people away into heaps of dislike. It can be about loving ourselves enough to refuse to bury our own suffering to the point of detachment. But it’s not a quick and easy fix. Conflict based in love is about a genuine desire to see healing happen, and it takes effort and courage.
Conflict as an act of love is about making space for our more vulnerable states like sadness, hurt or fear. We don’t need to hide what’s really going on behind the protective fires of anger. These emotions are truthful, and fully acknowledging them is the first step in finding authentic resolutions, instead of anger fueled conflicts that seek only to keep score.
Now stir up some shit. Loving, kind, and truthful shit.