Conflict is a natural part of existence. Life is a struggle for survival for every organism at every level. Everyone must “fight” for something at times, although some struggle more than others, and often unnecessarily. Force will sometimes get you through a challenge, but usually not without hurting and depleting yourself in the process. Brute physical, intellectual and emotional conflict often causes a great deal of collateral damage. There are gentler and more graceful ways to interface with natural conflict. As you spiritually mature you will begin to look at conflict in less self-centered ways. You will realize that engagement is an option. There is an enlightened way to flow with, in, and through conflict. Learn to resist but do not be un-moveable in your resistance. Resist like the water. Flow. You don’t have to win. You don’t have to be right. You don’t always have to teach the corrective lesson. Sometimes you can teach the lesson of patience and non-engagement. Be wise. Sometimes it is best to stand back from conflict and allow other elements in someone’s life to do the hard work for you. Time is a masterful teacher. Silence is a masterful teacher. When we want to talk, we can instead listen, and let our attentiveness to another’s need to speak, be our silent statement. But whatever you do, always do it in love and not anger, and in compassion, not contempt.
When someone is vicious toward you they are giving you a glimpse of the pain they carry in themselves. Viciousness is suffering. The way you engage someone’s pain either reinforces their pain or helps to release it. Be gentle when you can. If you are strong and safe within yourself, then be patient and teach your virtues by your calm example. Try to be less reactive. Try to be very kind to yourself and others. Start with one deviation from your negative and reactive habits. Instead of assuming, which creates pain and suffering for everyone, be open, curious and expect cooperation. Learn to be light. Have you ever tried to catch a tiny feather floating in the air? It’s very hard to do. When you try to grab a tiny floating feather, it just flies right around your hand! The more violently you grasp, the faster the wind carries it away. In your heart and disposition, be as light as a feather and when they reach for you — you will blow right by their grip; you will effortlessly float to safety. Be as light as that feather. Have a smile of calm in your heart. Be peaceful. When you walk in peace you will literally see attackers shattering themselves against your inner-calm. They will defeat themselves.
“Pause and remember– Before you react in your typical way; stop yourself. Instead, become calm, centered, clear and thoughtful.”
— Jenni Young McGill