What comes to your mind when we say the word "conflict"?
We often see conflict in a negative light. It has a very unappealing connotation.
Yet, the conflict we have in our life does NOT have to be perceived as wrong. Conflict is helpful, even needed, for our growth.
Initially, conflict might feel like a threat. However, if we can BE with it and BREATH with it, we find that conflict starts to work itself out, naturally, beautifully.
The key is that we're able to stay the course. That we're not pushing away the conflict, but sitting with it, processing it, and working with it.
As it relates to external conflict -- Years ago, I spent some time at an organization where I was getting to map out the perspectives of the executive staff. While sharing how they saw their role with the company, they also were all saying that they enjoyed and valued fighting with each other!
These leaders of the company, a company that provided essential services to hundreds of thousands of people, requiring intense coordination and integration of diverse ideas, all talked about how progress resulted from fierce fighting with each other.
How crazy is that?!
Fighting itself wasn't the problem. What these leaders would do is go at it, embrace all of it, and focus on the breakthroughs that naturally would emerge.
And the result? New business processes, new business partners, new avenues for growth, and wonderfully a new level of connection with each other as human beings.
Another example in my own life:
I often end up with way more than I can process during the day. The demands of getting this organization established, along with the weight of emotions of fear and doubt and the pain of trauma in addressing unreconciled human conflict issues on our planet, result in situations hard to see the next steps out of.
The internal conflict can be massive at times in this work. But to the degree I can BE with that conflict, not react but simply breathe with the conflict, is the degree I naturally discover the next step.
As I'm able to be with the conflict of feeling too much to do, a natural prioritization emerges -- a new workflow, tool, communication, pattern, and perspective emerges.
As I'm able to be with and move through the conflict, I discover a more elegant way to carry my life and work forward in the process.
Conflict is painful. Make no mistake. Conflict might even be the definition of suffering. But our ability to go with the conflict will INEVITABLY result in a creative breakthrough, so long as we can be with it without suppressing it and without getting lost in it.
Our ability to be with conflict inevitably leads to insights and alternatives that we would not be able to see otherwise.
If we can help you find good out of the conflict you're experiencing, please get in touch! Sign up for our membership and join us in the discussion.