Conflict Management on the Spiritual Path


Change How You View Conflict 

This is a KEY to effective conflict management on your spiritual path and throughout your life.  The presence of conflict is designed to get your attention.  It means a change is needed. 

Without a strong signal to get our attention, we would just keep on acting and reacting in the same ways, solidifying momentums that don’t serve us or others.  The real reason you are here in Earth’s schoolroom is to experience the changes that are necessary to become who you really are—a spiritual being becoming more capable of being God’s heart, head and hands in action each day. 


 The only person you can be certain of changing is yourself….If your attitude is that everything would be fine if other people changed, you are in a weak, dependent position.

-Thomas Crum, Aikido Master and Author of “The Magic of Conflict”


Why Are We Here?

We are here to learn, change, and transform as we move through the process of life.  This process is one of expanding consciousness.  Spiritually, it can be spoken of in terms of the Golden Rule—which means to treat others the way you want to be treated.  It’s an ethical or behavioral code that is considered to be the essence of all spiritual teaching.  It has been the basis for morality among mankind and has been found in ancient wisdom texts and stories from many societies.  It has its own form of expression in nearly all the world’s religious traditions.

Spiritual leaders throughout the ages have encouraged reconciliation which includes the essential qualities of being in accord, compromise, agreement, settlement, resolution and harmony.  Our Universe is filled with contrasts.  It is normal; it is natural.  We even experience tension in musical compositions that purposefully contain dissonance of sound and then resolve to unison or harmony.


 The problem is not that there are problems.  The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.

-Theodore Rubin

 

Conflict Is Nature's Primary Motivator for Change   

When you observe nature’s wonders, do you ever think about how those magnificent mountain ranges with jagged peaks, steep walls, waterfalls and deep lakes were formed?  They were formed by the elements of earth upheavals, wind, and rain coming together in conflict—and sometimes violent encounters that changed things forever, with beautiful and undreamed of results!  It was all part of the purification process for the earth itself.

The conflicts, changes and processes of life you go through with others are also forms of purification.  They are the cotton, wool or silk you weave into your relationships.  They become the yarn you use for fashioning the garment of your unique mission and path.  The substance of your yarn is also woven into the lives of others because you walked with them for a while.


Change Is a Choice

If we choose not to change, people and circumstances will not just stay the same, they will likely seem worse.  The universe will send us stronger and stronger wake up calls until we realize the necessity of personal transformation.  Change is inevitable.  Either we learn to desire change or see it as an opportunity to create something new, or we will find ourselves in enough pain that we experience no other choice but to change.  It is the expansion of choice, the opportunity to decide that motivates people to go beyond feeling powerless into the expanded awareness of competence, confidence and achievement.  We realize that our willingness to change is a form of mind-renewal that is really a spiritual change in how the mind assesses and values things.  It is our opportunity to overcome our past and become our reason for being.


Seek Reconciliation

Being on a spiritual path is a great blessing in the process of reconciliation—which is another way of saying effectively managing conflict.  Jesus thought it was so important that he placed it before worship, saying: 

 

Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

-Matt. 5:23-24


Make Yourself Ready

We must choose to make ourselves ready for worship, ready to present ourselves as co-creators with God through invocation, prayer, meditation, fasting—all forms of purification, transmutation and transformation.  We seek reconciliation with all the dissonances we have in our life so that we might receive the Holy Spirit.   The dissonances may be with other people and they are most certainly within ourselves—contained in our thoughts, feelings, memories and emotions. 

Each of us have jagged forms of resentment, prejudice, hatred, memories of injury and injustice and all forms of selfishness that prevent or delay reconciliation between us.  The net result is that this lack of reconciliation prevents the giving of your Real Self upon the altar of Life and Service.  It prevents the flow of the Holy Spirit and interferes with your joint service with angels, elementals and men.    

One of the greatest gifts of the spiritual path for effectively managing conflict is the knowledge of the Violet Flame—what it is—how it works—and how to invoke and apply it in your life.  Learn more here.



Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

-Mahatma Gandhi


Forgiveness Is Enlightened Self-Interest

No discussion of managing conflict would be complete without considering forgiveness.  And it’s natural for us to associate the act of forgiveness with our spirituality or our religion.  In a truly conscious world, if one of us has harmed another, we have all been harmed.  If one of us heals another, we can all be healed.  Forgiveness is one way to survive and live together in a way that acknowledges our connectedness.  It has the potential to transform our future.

There are many books written on this topic for our study.  One of the most important principles to consider is that forgiving is an act of the will.  First you must choose to forgive and then you must choose your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to support and remind you of your choice to forgive.


Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all.

-Thomas à Kempis

 

Empower Yourself and Others

To more effectively manage conflict in a way that can empower you to create something new and better, choose to change your view of conflict.  See it as an opportunity.  Understand that you cannot change others, and that you CAN choose to change yourself.  Renew and strengthen your spiritual connection to your Higher Self and seek guidance.  Communicate, listen, forgive and seek forgiveness.  Consciously choose to learn the lesson before you in a conflict.  And then learn and choose how to think, feel and behave differently.   Set yourself and others free from revolving cherished beliefs that no longer serve you, old hurts and wounds that impede your spiritual progression, and see yourself spiraling upward in the Light!  BE a Light unto the world!

 

The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.

-Frederick Buechner

 

 Submitted by Alberta Fredricksen.  Used by permission.