Befriending Conflict

"You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good..." These are Joseph's words to his brothers who had deserted him and left him to suffer. (Genesis 50:20)

In order for us to remain in the I of the Storm, that place of wholeness and wellbeing, we must decontextualize those events from the human default perspective which instinctively concludes that somebody or something is against us.

There is an ancient Chinese saying-"embrace tiger/return to mountain" (from the martial art tai chi chuan) that encourages a welcoming approach to conflict in which the higher spiritual purpose of our lives can be realized. The tiger represents those situations or people who seem to threaten our wellbeing, and the mountain is the inner refuge of peace and wholeness of our spiritual nature.

Most of us are all too familiar with the tendency to shun conflict, to run from it, to assiduously avoid it, to become defensive and self-righteous. The idea of "embracing or befriending conflict" seems so far from our instinctual response-ability that we might dismiss it as an unrealistic ideal, a Sisyphean task. And yet, we are coming to realize that these are learned responses, conditioned reactions, that we have up until now accepted as the best we can do. But we are awakening to a deeper sense of Being, tapping into an awareness of our whole Selves, the spiritual essence of us that has never been conditioned or limited in any way. As this sense of Wholeness is coaxed forward through our intention to realize and express who we have come here to be, we discover that its purpose would have us heal our woundedness and grow in the face of challenges. As we ride the wave of this transformative energy, we see how embracing conflict is no less than our true divine path and purpose.

This is the subject of the 3rd and 4th chapters of the I of the Storm text we are using in our Sunday series. Join us* this Sunday as we look at the master's methods for embracing conflict and "using it for good."