How many of us can openly admit we have hated on someone we are in close relationship with? Whether it be our parents, partner, best friend, work colleague; it is inevitable that if we care about them enough then they are likely to piss us off at some point. We often go to long lengths to avoid confrontation, as a deep fear arises of being in a situation that is anything but smooth and rosey, and instead finding ourselves challenged, feeling wrong/wronged, righteous, frustrated and a whole other heap of feelings that come under the 'uncomfortable' list. "One oppresses what one fears" - James Hollis What I've come to learn over the years is that discomfort = growth. The very fabric of feeling that invites us to expand outside the limitations of what is comfortable, familiar and safe. But let's be honest, it's rare we wake up in the morning and consciously choose to enter into discomfort. Thus the beauty of relating plays a significant part in opening these unconscious doorways. So what if meeting another in confrontation can be a profound opportunity for growth and expansion… A chance to take your relationship to the next level and allow for an even deeper and more honest connection? Not only with each other but in fact most importantly with yourself. I know it sounds paradoxical but if we look closely enough we can see that the ones we love are challenging us for all the right reasons. A very tangiable manifestation of the inner conflict we struggle to become honest with. Which otherwise remains hidden under many developed protection mechanisms that fears the power of rage as a transmuting force. It's really always about us. Not them. Even though for a moment 'they' look like the problem. In staying present within a moment of outer conflict we firstly open to healing old patterning that has kept us protected from true intimacy within ourselves, such as: defensiveness, needing to control, co-dependancy, manipulation, victimhood, neediness, passive aggression, power struggles, stubbornness, pride and so much more. All these patterns are an external manifestation of the disconnection that exists internally. Firstly we have to acknowledge our initial experience of anger, hatred, frustration and the general feeling of being very upset with the other. The narrative around what they have done to us is strong, alive and so very real. As we touch these rather sticky feelings, we often do 1 of 2 things; try and talk ourselves out of being angry and find a place of premature forgiveness/ok-ness. (Suppress the feelings). Or act out our anger/passive aggression in the other’s direction with our words, actions, thoughts. (Project our feelings). In my experience of meeting in conflict with dear ones, I discovered we often miss the middle ground. Right between these two modes of behaviour, lies the possibility to fully accept the feelings arising and allow them without surpressing or letting them play out. The abscence of loving feelings towards the other is often a sign that love is being called for within. A need to turn in and tend to what is agitated, uncomfortable, and inflammed. From here an acceptance grows, forgiveness for ourself arises, and the little voice that says it’s wrong to feel this way quietens down. What we begin to see as our presence sinks inside the moment, is that the inner unfolding actually has nothing to do with the other. They are simply the trigger to turn our focus in on ourselves to uncover wounding or trauma that has always been there; awaiting our arrival. As total permission arises to fully feel, needless to say the entry point into anger, hatred or aggression can often have an overwhelming power that makes it incredibly difficult to own the experience quietly. So when rage is blowing a fire through our system, there is simply nothing to do but turn and go the opposite way. From my own investigation, the most effective move is to step out of communication, out of that person’s energetic field and do whatever is necessary to support taking responsibility and turning in quietly. Clear boundaries are needed on both sides. As long as there is close contact, the trigger which causes an outer reaction towards them with blame, can easily overwhelm us, and simply act as a distraction from what the moment is TRULY asking of us. Being still and quiet with anger is no easy task. The mind races with so much blame, frustration and resentment, while the whole body is often vibrating with an untamed overwhelming force. But it is possible. We have a choice. To take responsibility in this moment rather than act out. The willingness to hold our anger in acceptance is the self love that is being asked of us. And when we show up willing to hold ourselves in this way, our nervous system has the chance to relax into that holding. Right here, self trust begins to arise, our capacity to provide safe passage for every guest in our house grows, and our commitment to love ourselves all the way to the bottom, deepens. And if we fuck up for a moment, once again choosing acceptance over the hard self-hate-stick is key; we are bound to make mistakes as we learn to navigate this unknown territory. This step in self-compassion is the silent and all mighty force that has the power to crack the angry hard shell of self protection. And right under that hardness and frustration lies a great sadness; a well of loneliness or hopelessness. For me, the hopelessness holds an alchemical transformational power. Through lovingly holding the momentary beliefs such as: 'I’ll never be understood, feel safe with another, things will never be fair, maybe I will never really truly connect with this person again'…all hopes and expectations of how things should be, begin to crumble. The hooks, wants, needs and reaching/projecting out towards the other, quickly dissolve. And we return back to simply holding our delicate sense of self exactly as we are. Re-establishing the connection and trust that we longed for with the other, but in fact within ourself. A significant rebalancing. And deeper rest into human wholeness and self intimacy. Time and time again when I commit to this process with those dear to me, a whole new level of love and connection grows in our relationship. The raw honesty of our meeting invites for a new level of nakedness and intimacy, allowing the experience to deeply touch us and crack our hearts wide open in compassion. Firstly for ourselves then the other. In this sacred moment, old patterning begins to fall away and healing takes place. A truly magical place to reunite, where all is forgiven, and a refreshed sense of trust arises. Igniting the unfolding of a deeper and more authentic connection. It seems inevitable that if we are to live a conscious life of love and healing, we will HAVE to confront each other in our differences/ignorance. In stepping into Conscious relating, we step towards a great possibility of healing so much of our past hurt. In truth it is not easy and demands a great deal of patience and humility. But through committing to show up consciously and honestly in conflict, rather than backing away, reacting, avoiding or sweeping things under the carpet, we inevitability open to a profound transformation within the unconscious realms. A deeper love is born with every brave step. And quite honestly we/this planet deserves it.
How do you deal with conflict in your life? I'd love to hear your experience..
We will be exploring this topic further in the upcoming Beltane Sacred Marriage Ceremony - Online Retreat Day.
This is delicate and tender terrain to navigate through, so if the need for support along the way is ever required, welcome to get in touch to discuss 1:1 support.
Deep love Naseem
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