9-27-20 Conflict

Conflict

We often seem to receive conflicting messages about what is important.

We are bombarded with media and worldly messages: Work hard to get ahead (ahead of whom or what)?.  Money talks. Get yours first. We’re taught we need to look and act a certain way to be attractive to others. Better him than me. The end justifies the means. We’re encouraged to compete and win. Beat the other guy. Don’t be a loser. Buy this, get that and you’ll be happy. We are taught to identify with a country, a religion, an ethnicity, political beliefs, material possessions. We’re expected to agree with others who hold the same values, and to dismiss or even be against those who disagree with us.

Alternatively, we are instructed to love thy neighbor as thyself, to see the good in everyone, to let go of resentments and love each other. To work for the betterment of all people, for inner peace and world peace. To think of others first, to not be materialistic, that it’s the journey, not the destination. To love ourselves just as we are, and others as well.

We seem to come into conflict with the worldly and the spiritual.

There is nothing wrong with taking care of our worldly concerns. Actually it is vital that we do. We cannot expect to dismiss worldly things and only be spiritual. The essence of the higher realm, spirituality, is expressed in the every-day natural world. We need to diligently take care of the things in this world, dress in clean clothes, eat good food, associate with healthy people, live in a place that shelters us and is clean, be kind to others and to ourselves. To devote time to spiritual practice and to enjoyment.  

There’s also nothing wrong with striving to accomplish something, or making friends, or loving your spouse and children. Non-attachment does not require extreme asceticism or shunning human contact. Non-attachment comes from the wisdom that nothing is truly separate.

However, the ego needs to be in conflict with something or someone. The ego needs to judge, oppose and resist, to make the separateness that we think defines Us as “right” and Them as “wrong.” We have to look at our intentions; do they separate us from and put us in conflict with what is, or bring everything together? It is not the outer objects that entangle us. It is the inner clinging that entangles us. Our thoughts are powerful because we believe them.

How much conflict do we find within ourselves? We seek peace and joy, but we can’t tolerate them for very long because we are addicted to conflict. Instead of appreciating what we do have, we feel the need/craving for more. More romance, money, sex, esteem, career, knowledge, spirituality, entertainment. We may see others as useful means to attain what we want, or as objects to demean and abuse. The root of these struggles it is the feeling of being Separate from and Different than. 

With regard to my addiction, using people to get what I wanted or being unavailable were my chief faults. Acting in this way made me spiritually void, and in terrible conflict with others and my own true nature. Today I can engage in these same harmful actions on a smaller scale…one which is often promoted and sanctioned by society. I need to have an awareness of my conflicts, and act so as not to validate or engage in them.  

As we begin to train the mind and we find the space between our thoughts, we start to act more from our hearts. We cultivate an awareness of our actions. We see our cravings and conflicts, accept them as just thoughts, and let them subside. The sunlight of the spirit will then naturally begin to shine through the spaces we have made in the storm of clouds. We will feel the unity of all living things and of how to act in accordance with the natural and spiritual laws that do not divide, but that unify. We’ll find we’ve started considering others and that we have the desire to work with what is truly best for all, not just best for us. 

The Xhosa tribe in Africa has a saying — “I am — because we are.”

We can and need to respect others who differ from us and our beliefs. Do you ever find yourself needing to convince another YOU are right, or feeling yourself dismissing another because they see something differently. Do you need to hammer YOUR point across? You are then closed up, in conflict with reality, and promoting a small personal opinion as if it were the ultimate truth. The body is made up of numerous different parts that need to work together to ensure life. To antagonize or dismiss others because they think differently will bring conflict, a smallness and stupidity into our hearts. A one color experience with no appreciation of the rainbow that is actually there. This is the stuff prejudice, violence, war and genocide are born of.

It can be difficult to drop our prejudices and act from a place of peace. Our assumptions and preconceptions are juicy and the ego eggs us on to great heights of self-righteousness. We MUST use our intelligence and heart to deny our harmful responses and open our hearts. That is true courage. Anyone can find fault. It takes a strength to find peace.

It is actually a bit humorous, when we are able to let go of an attachment, a craving. We see that there was so much of really nothing there, that it was so important, that we were so intent on holding onto a concept that wasn’t real, and only brought conflict and suffering. 

Do you feel you are not worthy of a peaceful life…that you don’t deserve it? Wrong. You do deserve it, and can begin NOW to believe in yourself. Drop the past conflicts and judgments and get on with it. Believe in yourself, and feel your connection to all else.

Be still, let the cloudy waters clear, and enjoy a clarity and peace, in all things.

When there is conflict, let go, quit fighting, the war will then be over.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.
Heart Of Recovery web site  —  fcheartofrecovery.com


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