WHY ARE WE UNABLE TO RESOLVE CONFLICT IN ITS ENTIRETY?
All of us are living in conflict all the time. In families, at work, everywhere else, there’s nothing but conflict. Throughout our lives, we keep trying to resolve it and keep failing at it. We talk about communication, boundary-setting, negotiations, adjustments, and whatnot. In truth? Well, any attempt to resolve conflict, only breeds resentment. It only begets more conflict. Also, while the scope of conflict may change, but the fragmentation of self from others, doesn’t go away. So, the conflict remains! In reality, all this is because we fail to understand the true nature of 'conflict'.
How can we truly resolve conflict when we do not even fully understand it? You see, the root of the conflict is actually quite simple – We want something, we want to live a certain way, we want to do a certain thing. However, the reality is different. This GAP is where the conflict is rooted.
1. There’s a reality.
2. It makes you unhappy.
3. You can’t confront or pinpoint the unhappiness.
4. The mind, as programmed, tries to escape it by creating an opposite view.
5. As a result, we create outward projections.
6. Then, there is the struggle to achieve and accomplish these projections.
Only once we understand the nature of the conflict, can we understand how to resolve it, or what conflict-resolution may be. The need to become something comes from the desire to escape reality and to become what might be better. At least, something that is CONSIDERED better, by our peers, our parents, our teachers, mentors, and everyone else. So, the human mind then tries to constantly achieve the opposite of the reality, rather than creating something new.
The whole orientation of mind becomes this time-bound activity, which is somewhere in the future where life will be better IF one can get there. There is this psychological concept of time, sometime in future, when things will be better. That time, in reality, never comes!
As cliché as it sounds, that time is in the now, and the here. The minute you create an imaginary future, you are no longer dealing with reality. You are no longer dealing with the conflict in this moment. You are in fact, creating a very division in your own self (your present self and your future self). This division is a conflict again.
How can we even imagine solving conflict, through conflict? Isn’t the whole idea ridiculous?
On top of that, our traditional conflict-resolving methods do not really empower us. They are not rooted in freedom. Instead, they are rooted in some or the other emotion from the past. So, say you want that next revenue breakthrough. So do other businesses. However, at the root of this breakthrough desire, there is either:
Fear – What if we do not make it? What if we can’t even hold on to the current status quo? What if the previous generation of the business leaders (my father, my mother, my boss) doesn’t like this?
Or, Greed or Desire – We want more revenue, better people, let’s poach talent, let’s see if we can simply cheat someone out of their Intellectual Property Rights. Or else, Anger and Rebellion – They think we’re poor? Let’s prove them wrong!
All these approaches of resolving conflict (closing the gap of what ‘is’ and what is ‘desired’) are again tools to cause more conflict because the mind is simply busy creating opposites. As a result, we’re trying to resolve conflict through conflict. How efficient!
Then, what’s the way out? Perhaps the way out is in understanding what conflict really is, in accepting it for what it is, for things as they are. In that acceptance, there is a lot of freedom from the incessant mental activity that wants to resolve the so-called conflict. That freedom in turn empowers you to create value which eventually will probably solve the conflict as well.
So, what do you want to create? More conflict? Or freedom and value?