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Conscious Conflict

How many of us can say that we have never ended up hating on someone we are in close relationship with?

Whether it be our parents, partner, best friend, work colleague; it is inevitable that if we care about them enough then they are likely to piss us off at some point.

"One oppresses what one fears" - James Hollis

We often go to long lengths to avoid confrontation, as a deep fear arises of being in a situation that is anything but smooth and rosey. What if I were to tell you that meeting another in confrontation can be a profound opportunity for growth and expansion… A chance to take your relationship to the next level and allow for an even deeper and more honest connection? I know it sounds paradoxical but if we look closely enough we can see that the ones we love are challenging us for all the right reasons. A chance to heal through old patterning such as: defensiveness, needing to control, manipulation, victimhood, neediness, passive aggression, power struggles, stubbornness, pride and so much more.

The first experience we often find ourselves in, is meeting feelings of anger, hatred, frustration and generally being very upset with the other. The narrative around what they have done to us is strong, alive and so very real. As we touch these rather sticky feelings, we often do 1 of 2 things; try and talk ourselves out of being angry and find a place of premature forgiveness/ok-ness. Or we act out our anger in the other’s direction with our words, actions, thoughts.

In my experience of meeting in conflict with dear ones, I have found that we often miss the middle ground. Right between these two modes of behaviour, lies the possibility to fully accept the feelings I feel and allow them without letting them play out. This means admitting to myself that right now I am really angry and harbouring feelings of hatred towards this person that I am supposed to love. From here an acceptance grows, forgiveness for myself arises, and the little voice that says it’s wrong to feel this way gets very quiet. As total permission arises to fully feel, it's worth keeping an eye out for when an investment in the feelings begins to take over. By this I mean we give in to the belief that our feelings are Ultimate Truth and that we have a right to act on that Truth. Allowing this motivation causes a great deal of mess and pain, just because we are angry does not make it ok for our anger to spill out in someone’s lap. But let’s be honest it does happen. A lot.

From my own investigation, the most effective move is to step out of communication, out of that person’s energetic field and get very very quiet. Clear boundaries are needed on both sides. As long as they are in your field, the trigger, causing you to react towards them with blame, is strong and often overwhelming. When the rage is blowing a fire through your system, there is simply nothing to do but turn and go the opposite way. If the argument is slightly milder, it may even be possible to gently express that space is needed to digest before responding.

Being still and quiet with anger is no easy task. The mind races with so much blame, frustration and resentment, while the whole body is often vibrating with an overwhelming force that cannot be tamed. But it is possible. It is up to us to choose to take responsibility in this moment rather than act out. The action of being quiet with our anger is equal to loving these difficult emotions. And when we show up willing to hold ourselves in this way, our nervous system has the chance to relax into that holding. Right here, self trust begins to arise, our capacity grows and our commitment to love ourselves and all that we are, deepens. This simple step is often all that is needed for the angry hard shell of self protection to crack. And right under that hardness and frustration lies a great sadness; a well of loneliness and hopelessness.

For me, the hopelessness holds an alchemical transformational power. As I rest in the fact that maybe I’ll never be understood or feel safe, things will never be fair, maybe I will never really truly connect with this person again…all my hopes and expectations of how things should be, begin to crumble. The hooks, wants, needs and reaching out towards the other, quickly dissolve. And I return back to simply holding myself as I am. Re-establishing the connection and trust that I longed for with the other, but in fact with myself.

A deeper resting into my own human wholeness.

Time and time again when I commit to this process with those dear to me, a whole new level of love and connection grows in our relationship. We end up meeting in our hopelessness and raw vulnerability whilst simply allowing the experience to deeply touch us and crack our hearts wide open in compassion. In this sacred moment, old patterning begins to fall away and healing takes place. A truly magical place to reunite, where all is forgiven, and a refreshed sense of trust and hope arises. Igniting the unfolding of a deeper and more authentic connection.

To me it seems inevitable that if we are to live a conscious life of love and healing, we will simply have to confront each other in our differences/ignorance. In stepping into Conscious relating, we step towards a great possibility of healing so much of our past hurt, even though it is certainly not easy and demands a great deal of patience and humility. But in simply committing to showing up consciously and honestly in conflict, rather than backing away, reacting, avoiding or sweeping things under the carpet, we inevitability welcome a great deal of healing and profound transformation within the unconscious realms. A deeper love is born with every brave step.

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