I have been in many situations where conflict is either avoided, swept under the rug and sugar coated , or becomes explosive and painful. Conflict and hostility are not synonymous! Learning to welcome healthy conflict helps us to experience it as a doorway to transformation, and to do so with compassion, tenderness and wonder. This quote from author, teacher and activist Sobonfu Some’ really captures it for me:
Conflict grows out of the challenges that are presented by spirit. It is a gift, meant to help move us forward. It is through conflict that we gain knowledge of ourselves and learn new situations for using our own gifts. Conflict is a wakeup call sent by spirit to remind us of the purpose we are to fulfill. In an indigenous context it is seen as a blessing. It should be nurtured, it should be listened to, and proper steps should be taken to address the spirit behind the conflict.
Think of how many wars, divorces and traumas could be avoided if we had more healthy tools and resources available to work with and through conflict in life-giving ways.
Dusty words lying under carpets
Seldom heard well must you keep your secrets
Locked inside hidden safe from view
Well,is it all that hard
Is it all that tough
Well,I’ve shown you all my cards now isn’t that enough
You can hide your hurt
But there’s something you can do
–Lyrics from “Talk to Me” by Stevie Nicks