Does understanding my conflicts free me from them?

Contribution from Isabel Hernández Negrin in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.


We all feel internal conflicts and accept them as part of our normal human condition. What’s more, we all become addicts to contradiction, because it offers a sensation of vitality. This implicates our thoughts and emotions, which means a rush of adrenaline giving us a jolt of energy. We all like the sensation of leaving a discussion as the victor, having another accept our idea above their own. The force of the blow makes us feel alive and, in the absence of something better, we stick with this satisfaction. But, what is a conflict, a contradiction? When does a contradiction arise within us? When we adopt one idea or desire as fixed in the face of other ideas and desires that arise and contradict it? Our survival instinct leads us to search for something secure, immutable, even just an idea, with which we can feel comfortable, satisfied, and secure. However, ideas are events that appear in our minds – not truth, by any means. Perhaps seem to you like your ideas are true and others’ ideas are false? Keeping in mind that others think the same thing about us, it appears we’re in a fragile state. Ideas are merely hypotheses and not reality but we treat them as true elements; this calms us, which is, at bottom, the only thing we seek.

When we have a fixed idea, an ideal towards which we are striving, it ends up being something that we yearn for; there are many other ideas or emotions that enter in opposition to it. This constant struggle is the seed of conflict. When we’re young, we want to be adults; when we’re old, we wish we were younger; as workers, we want a better job; as students, we want to be teachers; if we’re ugly, we want to be beautiful; if we’re fat, we want to be skinny, etc. That fixed idea of arriving at something that I’m not, in the background, doesn’t leave space for peace; and that unease makes us continue searching and desiring and intensifying the conflict.

Have you noticed this in your life? It’s neither necessary nor important that you agree with it.
The important thing is that you are able to observe how this vicious circle functions and what it produces in yourself.

And you will only be free from these conflicts when you observe them without judgement, when you understand them at your core. There is no place to arrive, no position outside of yourself.

This is no easy task: it requires your intention and your honest, serene observation, but it is what will free you from conflict. Simply observe, as a neutral witness, that vicious circle, and enjoy without pursuing anything.

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