Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Psychology, Relationships, Thought | Posted on 06-28-2016
Tags: 3 Principles, Forgiveness, Love, Surrender, Transformation
[Jill’s Note: If you prefer to listen rather than read, please scroll to the bottom of this post for the audio version.]
Have you ever noticed how so much of our day is spent being up in arms about something? (Usually lots of things.)
A friend or lover or stranger says or does something and immediately we jump to the conclusion that it was mean. Or hurtful. Or bad. Or rude. We spend hours, days and weeks (and sadly even years) ruminating on and discussing how awful certain people in our lives are. “How could do they do that?” “How could they say that?” “What is wrong with them?”
And when we’re not bashing those close to us, we branch out to those we don’t even know but just happen to see in the distance. They dress funny. They look funny. They smell funny. They laugh funny. They’re obviously not like us, so quite frankly, they must be just plain weird.
And let’s not forget those who have different political views. Or religious ones. Or a different skin color. Or tattoos. (They’re the worst! 😉 ) We want to keep them out of our lives and sometimes even out of our country.
When we really stop to think about it–and I encourage you to do so for yourself–much of our time here on Earth seems to involve conflict of one sort or another. Our minds always seem ready to spring into action at the tiniest of perceived injustices.
But why? Why do we fight so much?
I’ve been pondering this for awhile because it’s counter-intuitive to what we claim we want. If we’re constantly striving for peace in our lives (and we definitely are), then why are we also continuously judging and fighting with one another?
It’s a crazy paradox, isn’t it?
It’s easy to see the conflict within the world itself. And it’s also kind of easy to see the conflict within other people. But we don’t always notice our own relationship with conflict. If you’re shaking your head thinking that you don’t personally indulge in fighting or conflict, then I ask you to honestly take another look. Seriously. Stop and think about random moments in your day. How many are negative, bordering on fights of some sort? How much of what goes on in your head is judgment and/or anger at someone or something?
Until you purposely start paying attention to it throughout your day, you may not even notice. For me, once I did start noticing, I learned that there was a lot more of it going on in my life than I ever realized.
But why is this so? Why is conflict so prevalent in our lives?
While I can’t say that I know the exact answer (and I’m sure it’s more complicated then this). I do have a theory on why we humans fight so much.
Are you ready?
If life here on Earth is a game (and I’m 99.99% sure it is) then the fighting actually makes sense.
Games–the good ones at least–always involve some sort of conflict. Even with games that aren’t directly aggressive, the competition itself is conflict-ridden. There’s even some internal conflict involved in solitary games. We might be trying to beat our high score, or fight to get to the next level, or solve the puzzle, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying competition is bad. It’s usually where the fun lies. We love a good challenge as it’s the reason we play games in the first place. If there was no conflict or challenge to a game and it is easily solvable, it wouldn’t be worth playing. Pretty sure we’d be bored to tears fairly quickly.
And so it is with life.
While we enjoy living in peace and harmony as much as possible, we seem to need some challenges to keep it interesting and fun. This is why even the best of relationships have their “quarterly fight.” And it’s why we spend so much time trashing and bashing others.
We create our own competition within which we get to (ideally) be right and ultimately “win.”
Sadly, however, nobody really wins these petty games of life. Feeling superior to others because we’re right and they’re wrong does nothing but feed our silly little egos.
So what’s the answer?
Does our competitive spirit mean we are doomed to fighting and conflict as a way of life?
While it may seem so, there is another way.
What would happen if we didn’t have to be right? What if we simply let others say and do the stuff that they do no matter how ridiculous or dumb or wrong we think it is? And what if once we did all that, we didn’t have to talk about it with others, or even give it another thought in our own minds?
In other words, what if we just let it go?
It seems to me that if we were able to do this, it would certainly put an end to conflict within our own lives. And if/when others joined in and did the same, it would start to spread. It’s difficult to imagine, but what might happen if everyone in the whole world did this?
There would be no place for conflict. It simply couldn’t exist.
So now, you’re probably thinking that if my premise of life being a game and us needing conflict to make it worth playing is correct, then wouldn’t life lose it’s fun edge without the conflict?
Perhaps. But what if we make letting everything go, our new challenge?
Trust me, it’s a lot harder than it sounds.
Letting go of our need to be right and make everyone else wrong would make this game of life much more challenging, fun and rewarding if we have the courage and fortitude to give it a try.
If you’re a long-time reader of this blog you know that I’ve been attempting to do this myself as much as possible. And yes, it’s difficult. For now it often creates conflict within myself. But once I’m able to drop that (which I’m getting better at) situations change. There’s nothing for me to butt into, or make better, or correct.
Things manage to resolve themselves on their own.
What about you, are you up for the challenge? Can you let your disagreements and grievances go? Can you let go of your need to be right? Can you let go of your need to discuss your rightness (and their wrongness)?
Let me know in the comments or via email. I’d love to hear how it goes for you.
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