How to Transform and Survive the Worst Conflict

I’ve been immersed in conflict. It’s part of life, but for some people more than others. I even got trained as a conflict mediator, which was one of the biggest investments I’ve ever made, to try and deal with powerless situations, and so many of them seem to be created out of nothing. I’ve lost so much, and I can’t believe what kind of person I am coming out of this. Battle scarred, given a 2nd chance.

And with new people giving me real opportunities to lead community events on play and healing trauma. And one damn good friend working on a secret project with me that could make a radical impact on the world. An employment counseling program that saved my life, with new friends who are completely authentic and appreciate my authenticity. I’ve been shrouded and nearly suffocating in the worst horror while dragging myself up to the light of miracles I never would have imagined or believed.

Everything is so fragile and vulnerable. This is what I’ve learned in dealing with conflict, and I’m telling you it’s not small, it’s HELL. It’s brutal and I feel so deprived of real friendship despite all the ways I invested in people around me. It was the wrong people, and it can be extremely hard to identify when a person is ready. Who the right people are. I’ve been put through the fire and maybe I came out with some phoenix qualities. Here’s my list to get through conflict and come out of it transformed:

1. Environment: Get out of the environment and put yourself in safer, healthier, quiet places. I don’t mean run away (unless your life is in danger). I mean take breaks. The environment becomes you. And, you must learn how to deal with conflict and suffering.

2. Nature: Be around trees/forests, birds, cats & dogs, and lots of water (oceans, lakes, rivers). In quiet, alone or with the most comfortable people/animals to keep the peace. You can feel miserable while doing this, just DO IT.
3. Silence: Be alone in quiet/silence often, at least once a day. If you go crazy doing this, take baby steps. 5 min a day is a miracle.
4. Communicate: respond to the conflict quickly. Listen first. Speak simple and short. Make honest, observational statements about actions taken and events. End with what you need or everyone needs, a need can be said in 1-2 words: safety, respect, empathy, listening.
5. Honesty vs. Truth: Being honest is always a choice, but aiming for the truth is a process of discovery.
6. Let Go: of everyone and everything else beyond your choices. People are suffering, you can’t save them and they often don’t want to be saved. Sometimes they look like they “need help” to the outsider but aren’t actually suffering or don’t need your help. Let people be as they are.
7. Self-Protect: Keep yourself safe and protect your life. Sometimes YOU will be made the scapegoat, a story altered or created to make you a monster. You can’t stop people from doing this, and sometimes it’s completely unpredictable coming from the least expected person. Be honest, aim for the truth, and get out of there to take care of your own life.
8. Stop Causing Harm; Do Nothing: Sometimes there is nothing you can do to heal or improve. There is just natural loss. Sometimes the miracle is to stop causing harm and do nothing. Doing nothing is always a moral safe zone, because it’s your choice and it doesn’t contribute to the situation. If most people followed this alone, the world would be dramatically different and conflicts 100 times smaller.

 

In the long run, pay attention to what led you to those people and created that environment. Pay attention to what creates better actions and environments. Everyone has needs and all needs are universal. The strategies to meet those needs vary infinitely, some are more effective than others.

Taking care of yourself and creating quality, responsible habits is 80% of the substance in creating healing, transformative change in the world. It’s a path in becoming selfish effectively, and letting go of the toxic myth of selflessness. The deepest change is within the individual and only they have power over their own path. People without shame will be much more stable, less vindictive, and not get hooked by the shenpa of revenge or degrading others, regardless of fault.

Don’t let others drag you into their hell and become them. Ego-corruption is a potential within YOU, and at a certain point, nobody else can be responsible for that. It’s in your hands to pursue liberation.

 

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