Am I addicted to conflicts or can I free myself from them?
ISABEL HERNÁNDEZ NEGRÍN
Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain.
We all feel internal conflicts and we accept them as part of our human normality. Many of us become addicted to conflict, because it provides us with a feeling of vitality, because conflict means our adrenaline flows and gives us enormous energy. Who does not like the feeling of coming out victorious in a discussion and that our idea being accepted in preference to someone else’s? The effort involved in the battle makes us feel alive and, in the absence of anything better, we remain with that satisfaction.
But – what is a conflict or contradiction? When does a contradiction arise in us? Is it when we firmly adopt an idea against which other ideas emerge that contradict it? Our survival instinct leads us to seek something secure, immutable, even if it is an idea, with which we feel comfortable, satisfied and safe. However, ideas are incidents that occur in our minds and are not the truth at all. Perhaps you feel that your ideas really are true and that other people’s are wrong? Bearing in mind that others think the same as us, it seems that our position is a bit shaky. Ideas are just hypotheses, theories and not reality, but we treat them as things that are true, because this gives us peace of mind, which fundamentally is the only thing we seek.
When we have a fixed idea, an ideal we want to attain or to be something we long for, there are many other ideas or emotions that run counter to it. That constant struggle is the seed of conflict. If we are young, we want to become adults, if we are older, we want to be young, if we are employees, we want a better job to be happy, if we regard ourselves as ugly, we want to be pretty, if we are thin, we want to be strong, if we are fat, we want to be thin, or we may want to become rich, admired, respected, etc.
That fixed idea of being something that fundamentally we are not, leaves no room for peace of mind and that lack of tranquillity makes us continue to seek out, desire and exacerbate the conflict. Do you recognise that in your life?
It is not essential nor important that you agree with this. The only valid thing is for you to observe how this vicious cycle operates in you. And you will only be free of these conflicts, when you observe them without censure and you understand their roots. Freeing yourself from these conflicts requires your intention and calm, honest observation, that is the secret prescription!
Just observe, as a neutral witness, that vicious cycle and enjoy without chasing after anything.