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Conflict means an inequity needs to be righted.

Conflict means an inequity needs to be righted.

 
 

A phenomenon I’ve noticed over the last few years is that when a conflict arises and surprises me, there is always some kind of positive change that wants to happen if I just look for it. While going through the conflict may be painful in the moment and even in the aftermath, if I can practice patience, stay with the angst, own the lessons in it and wait for the answer, I will find that it was just the universe wanting to wake me up about something that is out of balance.

It doesn’t mean that the other party in the conflict is right and I am wrong. It doesn’t mean the reverse either. What it feels like is that a much bigger force of nature is at work, prompting me to put something greater into alignment and congruence with what is true and right, beyond the immediate circumstance. The hard part is seeing beyond the pressing urgency of the moment, to discern and wait for the lesson to crystalize. But it always comes. And much quicker these days. 

What it requires is to stop and be still. Patience for the insight. 

Being still requires some grit. But that's exactly what needs to happen for us to see the truth. Whenever a conflict arises, it usually comes from some unexpected source that is out of balance and I’ve been ignoring the situation at my own peril. The pattern for me is an overuse of receptivity. What that tends to manifest in the other person is an expectation that I might settle for a lose-win situation every time. Or, at the least, a less than equitable amount of respect for what I may want to make it win-win. What’s happening is they are finally going a bit too far. And NOW I NOTICE.  The conflict has MADE me notice. And if I can be patient through the crisis part, I will learn that I needed to assert something much sooner. Make a boundary. Clearly, claim a right. Pull up from my workspace and make the effort necessary to negotiate the relationship back to a win-win. I never intended it to be otherwise, but there it is again. I feel misunderstood. Underestimated. But just for a moment. Because now I know I needed to look up and pay attention. Be more alert along the way. Even take responsibility for inviting it to happen - just so I could learn from it. Their lesson is a polar opposite one. They overuse certainty at their own peril. But that's their lesson to learn. 

Here's the brilliance in all this push and pull negotiation. 

I've learned that in these moments, I need to stop and see it as an opportunity. It didn't work out for a reason and maybe I'm not thinking big enough. One of my mentors once said "when something doesn't work out the way you want it to, think bigger!".  And it works! Like a charm. This creative universe wants something more from me. 

So this is really a lesson about patience in the midst of conflict not in order to stop it, but instead to stop and pay attention. I’ve come to welcome it. To look for the brilliant thing that wants to happen. It always seems to serve my better interests in some way. I am guessing it also serves them as well. It builds our muscles at handling the process. So we can get a little better each time. We both missed something and we both need to sync up with creative flow.  

So that next time I can remember "every conflict is just waiting to show us something awesome"! I almost look forward to it now.