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What is Conflict?
Conflict can be…
Broadening Your Point of View
When we’re in a conflict, we tend to focus only on our point of view or feelings rather than considering the thoughts or feelings of others involved. We end up saying things we don’t mean, and we seldom understand what others are trying to communicate because we feel correct in our stance. The more intense the conflict or disagreement, the less we’re able to understand the other person.
When we gain insight into our own thoughts and feelings, it becomes easier to gain insight into others’ thoughts and feelings. Insight fosters reflection and forgiveness rather than anger and fear. Forgiveness releases us from being attached to a conflict.
Let’s practice having insight into a conflict. Think of a conflict you’re having or have had in the past. Start with something fairly inconsequential. Perhaps you had a disagreement with a coworker about a small project you’re working on together. Or maybe you had a passive aggressive text exchange with a friend. Choose something that’s been bothering you, but not something that’s created a significant wound. We’re taking small steps right now.
The Neutral Mind
Sit in a quiet place and close or relax your eyes. Allow yourself to step out of the disagreement as if you have the ability to be a spectator instead of a participant. From this position, notice what’s happening without being attached to who might be right or wrong. From this unattached and relaxed place, begin to notice all the things that you were unable to perceive when you were having the disagreement.
As a spectator, notice…
What is the disagreement or conflict about?
What do you (as a participant) want the outcome to be?
What do other(s) involved want the outcome to be?
What’s getting in the way of creating a resolution?
The answers are usually simple but hard to see when emotions are elevated. When we choose to be more aware of ourselves, we discover aspects of ourselves, others, and situations that we couldn’t have before.