Beauty in conflict
Too many times, we are faced with either saying what we believe, or avoiding conflict.
Most of us, if we want to be liked, will opt for avoiding conflict; simple nod of the head in understanding, and using our poker face.
And the truth is, we know at least one person who never holds back, and we feel they kind of should. We know everyone else hates them.
I have a couple people in my life that say what they mean - and mean what they say. I know there are people that genuinely despise these people because they are so blunt. Those that dislike them will claim they have no tact for saying the things they do, and that that's the reason they don't like them.
But I don't think there exists a tact that will make people receptive to hearing a truth that they disagree with, or that critiques their way of life or thinking.
I must confess: the people I speak of - those that wear their heart (and their criticism) on their sleeve - are my greatest teachers.
I am not much different from many of you. I want to be liked. I want to get along. And I hold strong opinions. But the one thing I know for sure is that I don't know it all, and that has been my greatest most liberating revelation! An incredible amount of weight is lifted when you know you might not have all the answers.
Now, there is a certain unknown, right, because, inevitably, I continue to have ideas and opinions, and well, if I am open to being wrong about them, then perhaps my entire worldview is at risk of being pulled from under me, right?
Yet - it is because of this way of thinking that I believe, I am on a trek towards truly understanding the Truth and open to the real meaning behind loving your neighbor - because I must learn, I must decide what I believe at any moment, and I must continue to learn and seek with an open heart and mind. Not a gullible, or ignorant mind - an educated, discerning - open mind...
And that is the beauty I see in conflict.
I have a a lot of friends that think quite differently from me, but only a couple that will actually engage with me, in a civil, yet lively debate. We discuss, assess, and solve all kinds of world problems and ideas. And oftentimes, we leave unchanged in our way of thought - but with a greater appreciation for the counter argument - for the mind that thinks up the counter argument.
Now, I know some people who disagree with me, might not have great counter arguments, as there are people that agree with me that have weak arguments for their opinions.
But wow, is it invigorating to talk with those that can be both compassionate, yet so compelling in their way of thinking, that for a moment, you think you might have to change something about your own way of thinking!
And that has happened to me. And I am thankful and so blessed to have those people in my life. The ones that challenge me, but in a great way, so that I can see the greatness in them, and in myself as I experience what might even be referred to as spiritual growth.
So next time someone you love says or does something you are just not that on board with, how about you say as much? And if you know that person couldn't tolerate it, I encourage you to find people that would. Those are rare and few these days.
Because they stir something in others that rings so true, it is too painful to watch. No real achievement has come about without resistance from those sitting comfortably in their personal opinion chair.
So set your intention to achieve an open mind and to help others be more open as well - it truly is A beautiful thing.