“Conflict transformation is to envision and to respond to the ebb and flow of social conflict as life-giving opportunities for creating constructive change processes that reduce violence, increase justice in direct interaction and social structures, and respond to real-life problems in human relationships.”
-John Paul Lederach
Conflict can be a catalyst to growth and evolution. Often we live our lives avoiding conflict in order to keep a facade of peace and harmony. What if we used conflict, which is inevitable in our lives, to work towards real lasting peace in ourselves, and the world around us? We can work to draw out latent hurts and tensions and bring them to light in spaces where they can be seen and explored, not always comfortably, but safely with consciousness and attention
Often conflict is symptomatic of old unhealed hurts lingering in ourselves, and those we are in relationship with. The circumstances surrounding these old hurts are often intertwined with intersecting oppressions and can be very difficult to sort through and find ourselves amongst. The result of these hurts is that pieces of ourselves get lost, and with them our power, our presence, our health and many other things that make us who we are.
Conflict is usually thought of as necessarily between two or more people. I believe that the most important conflicts we are asked to confront in our lives are the conflicts within ourselves. They are the conflicts to regain lost parts of ourselves, and to confront and challenge the parts of ourselves that have been corrupted by a materialistic culture laden with oppression and inequity.
When we come into a holistic state of being, when we have healed and seen and loved ourselves for who we truly are, we are able to be with other people in an authentic way, to deepen into intimacy and relationship, to build loving community, and to know and fulfill our life’s purpose.
“Conflict is only dangerous when we try to get away from it.”-Dominic Barter