Conflict is, simply said, an incompatibility between the interest of two parties. Conflicts come in different grades of intensity and the majority of people tend to avoid conflicts and even to judge who doesn't do their best to avoid conflict: 'there must be another way'!
Well, I came to appreciate the potential of a well-handled conflict and seen that conflicts cannot really be avoided, I share gladly some findings to help you widen your toolkit to solve conflicts in a creative and growth-oriented way.
Conflicts we have with others mirrors something happening inside of ourselves, an inner conflict. Inner conflict is a struggle we are not aware of between two parts of us that have conflicting interests.
When we experience a conflict with a person or situation we often lose sight of what is going on inside, how we feel, and what we need.
However, all modern conflict resolution theory indicates that is in de investigation of the feelings and the needs that the parties in conflicts bring to the table, that the best and most creative and effective solutions are found. When conflict is approached like this, it becomes a moment of growth, to strengthen the relationships and to know themselves better.
In essence, what this is showing, is that the solution to the conflict in the outside world is found in the exploration of our own inner world. The journey that each of the parties does inside themselves is what makes the real issue visible and makes the problem solvable.
Self-knowledge and self-awareness are important in this process because we need to know our vulnerability and our strengths to be able to step into the arena and be present and available to honest communication.
This is the starting point of changing the game within the relationship where the conflict lives and being able to create sustainable alternatives.
The importance of being in contact with our desires is greatly under-evaluated. Often seen as a luxury than you need to earn, desires are experienced as frivolous, decorative, unimportant and irrelevant.
My claim is that desires are a doorway to our deepest essence and potential and as such deserve attention, care and the opportunity to develop and grow.
The perspective I'm offering here looks at desires as a way to manifest your power, to assert what you want and embrace your potential to realize it.
Desire is not just frivolous pleasure, the desire to have a child, to meet your soul mate, to earn your living putting your talent to good use, are examples of desires many have and struggle with.
The reason we struggle is that we don't have the realization of desire in our life, but the real reason we struggle is that we cannot let go of the desire. The reason we cannot let go of our deepest desires is that they are merely a manifestation of our deepest nature and most precious essence.
In light of this, you cannot consider desires as frivolous and unimportant, now you know why you desire and why it is so important for you to do so with more and more passion and energy.
What you may have notice relating to your desires is that they tend to get blocked. The most common misunderstandings about what blocks our capability to realize our desires is that the blocks are outside of us and therefore out of our control.
What is absolutely true is that what is outside of ourselves is out of our control and difficult to impossible to change. What is also true is that the real blocks to the development of our desires are inside of us. When I talk about blocks inside of us I'm talking about the way we think, what we believe and how this makes us feel, the person that we become because of what we believe.
You can say that what you believe about what is possible, reasonable, within your reach, determines what you achieve, what you manage to create in your life.
The first important step is acknowledging that the reality we are living now has been created by what we currently believe.
You may react negatively to this statement, I understand, so did I when I first heard it. At the time, I was thinking: 'this is not what I want, so it cannot be created by me'.
Only later I realized that I was creating my current situation not only with what I wanted but mainly with what I believed was possible for me, within my reach.
It was painful at first realizing that I didn't really believe to deserve much, then I started to forgive myself for the painful believes that had grown in my mind and by accepting what was I could start to heal.
This is so incredibly important and often overlooked. The first step is acknowledging what is, right now. Especially if it stinks, is important to see it clearly and call it with its name. It is the same as doing a diagnosis to be then able to start a cure.
What is required of you is to become intimate with yourself, accepting and embracing everything that you will find in the process.
The price at the end of this difficult journey is reconnecting with your most pure essence and creative power. Accessing the pleasure of life at its finest
The short answer to the question: How do you create in your life what you desire?
Making intimate contact with your inner power, exploring the extension of what is possible and massage the boundaries of what you believe is normal and possible moving gradually towards what is believable, acceptable to finally reach the radical and the unthinkable.
Knowing what a problem really is about is the only way to possibly solve it. it is perfectly normal to feel like you already know what the problem is about, it is your problem after all, however, the experience teaches us that there is much more to a problem than that is visible on the surface.
There are also a lot of misconceptions about what a problem is and what its function is. The discomfort surrounding the idea of having a problem is so charged with negativity that in some environment it is consciously chosen not to even use the word 'problem' and to use instead of the word 'challenge'.
The truth of the matter is that the etymology of the word problem reveals that the real meaning of the word is: launch forward. This is the same origin as the word 'project' that surely has a much more positive reputation. You can conclude that a problem is nothing more than a project, a journey of discovery, a plan that waits to be executed. One of my favorite quote about this is:
"Every problem is an opportunity in disguise"
Why we end up experiencing a situation as a problem? The pragmatic Dutch writer Berthold Gunster defines a problem as followed: "A problem is a contradiction between a fact and an expectation."
Then he adds that this makes problems complex and at the same time offers an incredible opportunity.
Understanding what is the fact that is challenging you with regards to your problem and considering carefully how much your expectation is realistic, can bring you right to the core of the problem of the problem or said differently, can help you grasp why the problem you are experiencing is a problem for you.
What you may have noticed reflecting on your problem is how solving a problem is actually a way to discover yourself, what is important for you, what do you really want and what is the essence for you of the current situation and of your desired outcome.
There are so many ways to look at a problem in a different way to discover all the opportunities behind it, all the hidden desires and the potential to get closer to the essence of what you are trying to create in your life.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to solve a problem when everything else's in your life is going really well?
There are exceptions, of course, for instance when the one problem you have has a strong influence on many other areas of your life, or if you, unfortunately, have more than one problem.
Whatever your situation is, keep reading.
The point I want to make is that a problem is not an island.
There is enormous value in considering our life as a whole when solving a problem. Our life has many aspects and many areas in it. Every area has unique resources in it for you and also its unique history, opportunity, and challenges.
Think about your health, your career, your romantic relationship, and your personal development just to mentions some of the areas of your life.
In each of those areas, there is a micro-universe of information about you, who you are and who you want to become, what you already have and what you want to create in your life.
Imagine making a map of your life, of all areas that you feel belong to your life and using it to navigate your way to the solution of the problem you are confronted with currently.
Can you see it in front of you?
For each area of your life you can summarize the role that area has with regards to your problem. It doesn't matter if it is an area where the problem is most felt or if it just the opposite, an area where you find resources to solve the problem.
What you are achieving is collecting useful and relevant information that will enable you to make informed decisions about your next step.
When you approach a problem in this way, you take your problem out of isolation and you integrate it into your life.
This is an excellent way to identify risks that you may have previously underestimated, related to your problem, that you can now address properly.
On the other hand, in your life there are also many resources that can help you tackle and solve your problem. A holistic look at your life allows you to see those too, much more clearly.
In conclusion, it doesn't matter if your problem is small and nicely confined to one area of your life, or if it is taking over your all life, looking at the bigger picture will create more space for a creative solution and for a better understanding of the essence of the problem.