A habit that I have made for myself is to explore the meaning of simple often used words. I do this to learn something new that might enhance my understanding of a point of view, a literary writing or a passage from scripture.
This practice is always intriguing and never more so than in a recent conversation about conflict. As the conversation went on, I explored the meaning of conflict. After moving past the mundane understanding of dispute, disagreement, and clash, I came to the definitions of contrast, to vary. Well there you are! When I am in a life experience, I seek contrast to my place of comfort. I seek varying perspectives to my point of view. This is a good thing, a very good thing. I sat and wondered why the idea of conflict stirs so much emotion in me and many others.
As the universe would have its way with me, the very next morning I read this passage from "The Book of Awakening" by Mark Nepo.
"No matter what path we choose to honor, there will always be conflict to negotiate.
If we choose to avoid all conflict with others, we will eventually breed a poisonous conflict within ourselves. Likewise, if we manage to attend our inner lives, who we are will- sooner or later- create some discord with those who would rather us be something else."
What fabulous incentive this evokes for living authentically, for not copping out or giving into a sour disposition. Rather, this calls us to live the goodness that is embedded in our DNA as humans expressing here and now as Divine Mind. I remember my sacred ancestry as spoken in the beginning (Genesis): "God looked at all that had been made and called it good, very good." What esteemed pedigree we are decedents of. How regal the blood that flows through our veins and what esteemed pedigree is born in us.
How dare I deny living that which is true for me. How dare I live in a way that is pleasing to the world, yet out of harmony with the God's will. Thus, I yield to the idea that yes, conflict and friction will rise as a natural part of my alive-ness AND when it does, I move with the divine love within. I speak words of compassion. I move from a space of loving kindness. I draw upon my ability to forgive that is equal to my ability to love. When I live congruent to my life intention and in integrity with the divine blueprint of my soul, I move peacefully through moments of conflict. I realize the precious gem that is possible whenever two or more are gathered. When I live in this very human world, calling upon my divine abilities and gifts, conflict and friction become nothing to fear. Instead, friction works as the sand in the oyster shell that produces the beautiful pearl. Just like the pearl harvesters, when we gently, carefully remove the pearl, the oyster remains unharmed.
What a powerful lesson for me to know that conflict (contrast, and to vary) are a power for good in my life. I remain mindful and present to the raw feelings that may arise and I gingerly harvest the pearl, taking great care to do no harm. I call upon my ability to be present to my own feelings, always acknowledging and receiving great wisdom from then. I call upon the power of divine love to see others as the perfect expressions of Divine Mind that they are. I practice this again and again at every opportunity. In time I shall have harvested great wisdom of life from the beauty of each pearl.