Conflict in relationship can be permanently resolved, no matter how difficult things have been, and how long it’s been going on for. In this article, we’ll explore practical and effective ways of permanently resolving conflict in relationship.
The price of holding onto pain, misunderstandings, painful memories, and limiting beliefs
If you’ve been struggling with conflict for a while in your relationships and life, there could be many different reasons for that. Maybe, there is a lot accumulated pain that has not yet been resolved, Maybe, you’ve recorded misunderstandings about each other’s words and actions throughout most of your relationships. Maybe, you’ve been holding onto painful memories that you haven’t yet felt safe letting go. Maybe, you’ve been looking at yourself, your partner, others, and your relationships through the lens of beliefs about what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s good and bad, what’s true and false, etc. And, maybe those limiting beliefs have created glass ceilings on your capacity to grow, both personally and in your relationships. Maybe, it’s all of the above. None of that is a problem.
Pain gives us direct feedback as to what’s useful and what isn’t
Over time, as we grow personally and in our relationships, we learn through life’s feedback – i.e. the pain that we feel – what is useful and what isn’t. Do we need to know everything right now? Do we need to be ‘perfect’ right now? Parts of us would like that. They would feel safer if they had all the perfect answers right now. Those parts aren’t helping. Those parts are operating from limiting beliefs and fear. And those parts are not conscious, wise, discerning, loving, and all-knowing. They’re just parts. Those parts are at the root of the conflict and pain we experience in our relationships and life. They have fears, beliefs, expectations, attachments, aversions, judgments, and they want to control – us and others. They’re child parts.
Our ego is not helping us with our goal of resolving conflict
If we choose to release those parts, our relationships and life get much better fast. Our process of evolution is designed to eventually free us from all parts. This is the process of deconstructing our ego. Deconstructing our ego is a good thing. It supports the release of all our fears, beliefs, expectations, attachments, aversions, judgments, and the need to control. Deconstructing our ego means releasing the parts of ourselves that are not helping us. It means letting go of parts that limit us, create blind spots, curtail our growth, create separation in relationships, and slow down our evolution. Deconstructing your ego doesn’t have to be a painful process. While it can be uncomfortable at times, especially if you’ve been using distraction and pain avoidance strategies in order not to feel pain, in the long run it leads to the permanent resolution of conflict and pain. Deconstructing your ego and releasing the parts of you that keep self sabotaging you, leads to more inner peace, joy, happiness, love, acceptance, equanimity, more meaningful relationships, goal achievement, deep fulfillment, and alignment with God.
Deconstructing the ego is a lifelong process that leads to resolving all conflict
Deconstructing the ego is a lifelong process. It’s not something to dread, or to be intimidated by. It’s something to embrace and feel grateful for. Deconstructing your ego translates into living a conflict-free life. That is something to rejoice about. In order to make the journey more peaceful, it’s useful to acquire and apply new perspectives and tools that allow you to experience more joy, more love, more inner peace, more happiness, and more fulfillment, even in the midst of your personal and relationship challenges. If you feel stuck right now, unable to resolve conflict in your life, here are a few suggestions of changes in mindset, perspectives, and some useful tools that can help you achieve your goal of living without conflict more consciously and faster.
1. Release all expectations of self and others
Expectations create unnecessary pressure in our process of personal and interpersonal evolution. Having any expectation of ourselves and others can only lead to unnecessary judgment, punishment, control strategies, anger, resentment, hatred, etc. All expectations are simply a disappointment waiting to happen.
2. Release any fear or apprehension of conflict
If you are averse to conflict, you will tend to try to avoid it. That overt focus on avoiding conflict – sometimes at all cost – will obscure your consciousness and your capacity to navigate complicated situations that may require some degree confrontation. Conflict is not bad, wrong, or a reflection of you and that you’ve done anything wrong. It is part of the process of learning more about our pain through external feedback.
3. Cultivate patience and recognize that progress occurs over time
Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you, or someone you are in conflict with, have accumulated a lot of misunderstandings, painful memories, misinterpretations, and limiting beliefs, it can take some time to heal and resolve all those and start over with a clean slate.
4. Celebrate your progress
Take account of the smallest constructive changes. Every single change, no matter how small it may seem, matters. ‘If you move a grain of sand, the world will never be the same.’ Every one of your thoughts, words, and actions make a difference. Celebrate all the constructive changes and progress with feelings of gratitude, intentionality, and faith.
5. Master the skill of conscious listening
Conscious listening means listening to understand, not to reply. Conscious listening means keeping your intention – of resolving conflict and healing your relationships – at the forefront of your consciousness all the time. Conscious listening means choosing to listen, no matter how triggered you, or your partner, feel. It’s one of the most powerful and rewarding thing you’ll ever do in your relationships and life.
6. Commit 100% to resolving conflict in your relationships
Your commitment to resolving conflict will support you through the challenging and triggered times. This might mean feeling a little uncomfortable at times, while you look deeply at your own personal pain and resolve it, instead of trying to find a way out of it. Over time, this approach will translate into less conflict and pain.
7. Become aware of aversion to pain
Becoming aware of your own reactive process as it relates to your personal pain, and how it gets triggered, during conflict will give you a map to permanently resolving conflict. If you know your triggers, and you resolve them at the root, your pain will get resolved, and there’ll be no more conflict.
8. Choose to no longer react to your pain
When you replace your ‘fight and flight’ instinct with a conscious, wise, and discerning response any time you get triggered in pain, you stop pilling pain on top of your existing pain. Now, you have time to focus on the original pain, instead of getting lost on the outward layers of reactive pain.
9. Cultivate unconditional love and acceptance of yourself and others
If you respond to all conflict with unconditional love and acceptance, conflict cannot survive. It’s that simple.
10. Keep emptying your bucket
Our personal and relationship buckets are filled with unresolved pain from the past. From the moment we are born and until the day we die, we accumulate pain. If we don’t clear our pain bucket, we keep pulling from that bucket and reacting to it, over and over and over again. Empty your personal and relationship buckets from all pain by continually choosing to forgive yourself and others every single day.
11. Be willing to question all your beliefs
Beliefs are static recordings of interpretations of experiences that don’t help us navigate life with conscious wisdom and discernment. Question any belief you have. They won’t help you. Be open to recognize and release all prior misunderstandings about yourself, others, and your relationships. It will free your mind, lighten your heart, and eliminate conflict over time.
12. Learn to embrace your ‘differences’
We often feel threatened by our differences. Release that fear, it’s just a fear. Recognize the value of being different and how, while it can at times be challenging, it supports your personal and relationship growth.
13. Allow yourself to be vulnerable
There can be no meaningful and truthful relationship without some degree of vulnerability. Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, it’s a proof of strength, self love, conscious wisdom, and discernment. Learn to love being vulnerable and enjoy the quality of connection and intimacy that you derive from it.
14. Remain present at all times
Everything that has happened in the past has lead to what’s occurring now. And what might happen in the future, you have no certainty about. So why ever dwell outside the present moment? It really is of no use. Release the tendency to project from the past and into the future. This will create a lot of space and bandwidth for you to be more present, aware, and conscious.
15. Take things one moment at a time
It doesn’t matter what happened a second ago. What matters is what you do right now. That’s true in every new moment. In every moment, you get to refine your process and make more conscious choices.
16. Stay focused on your intentions
Keep your deepest intentions for your relationships and life at the forefront of your consciousness at all times. Being intentional will motivate all your words and actions, instead of passively reacting from pain and fear.
17. Let go of control
Release the need to control your partner out of their pain, and their reaction to their pain, in order to feel love, inner peace, and joy on a consistent basis. If your behavior depends on theirs, it’s going to be very challenging for you to get out of conflict as you’ll keep getting pulled into pain reaction cycles.
18. Refine your process of conflict resolution
Your process of resolving conflict will continue to evolve over time until all pain and fear are resolved. Continue growing in awareness and understanding about the root causes of conflict so that you can achieve your intentions and goals in your relationships and life.
You can be free of conflict now while others are still in it
If you do of all these things consistently, by applying your personal power and will, conscious wisdom and discernment, you will be free of conflict. Being free of conflict, and in a state of complete inner peace, and even equanimity, is possible. You don’t have to wait for anybody else to stop triggering your pain for you to start resolving your own pain, and thus no longer getting triggered by it. You have the capacity to live a life free of conflict – both internal and external, no matter what others around you are doing. Being free of conflict doesn’t mean that people around you will stop arguing, fighting, or trying to control you. It means that you will have no averse reaction to their attempts to pull you into conflict, if and when they do. If you don’t have aversions or attachments to what others do, you will be at peace no matter what they do. You will not react in pain to their pain reaction. And you will experience a sense of equanimity no matter what is happening around you. They may be in conflict. You won’t. When you stop trying to control others out of their pain reaction and conflict, you can never be in conflict. You have free will, and you can choose what you do with it. You can choose to live without conflict. This is a renewed choice that you make every moment. Your life matters. Your happiness matters. Your fulfillment in life matters. For more on conflict resolution, read this article: Conflict Management.