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Take a moment and ponder this word.  What are your thoughts and beliefs about it? What comes up for you when see and put your attention towards it?  

Perhaps say it aloud.  Conflict.  

Any body sensations? How do you feel when you think of or hear this word?  

It’s a word often having a negative connotation.  We talk of military altercations or full out wars as “conflicts”.  Perhaps to lessen the perception of severity of the situation. 

We live in an age where conflict is all around us.  Not that there is necessarily more conflict now but the access that we have to and the dissemination of information reveals to us it’s ever presence.  Turn on the news.  (Actually, don’t turn on the news).  You don’t have to look far to witness conflict.  

Conflict is bad, right?

Okay, let’s bring this closer to home.  I sometimes feel conflict-ed.  Actually, I OFTEN feel conflicted.  Sometimes the conflict within me feels very binary.  Do this.  Or, do that?  “Should” usually enters the picture here and picks a side.  Sometimes, it feels more like a wave.  Undulating up and down.  Sometimes smoothly and sometimes more jaggedly.  I can get “tossed about” or ride the wave.  Either is available to me and the choice is mine.  

If you’re at all like me and finding yourself getting tossed about by the conflict happening “out there” or by that which resides within, try this exercise out.  (By the way, anyone who’s experienced surfing knows that whether you’re getting tossed about or riding the wave, each takes some effort.) 

Write a list of the things you feel conflicted about.  Go ahead…jot it down.  Maybe your list is 1 item long.  Good for you.  Maybe you can’t come up with one thing.   Hmmmm.  A-ight then.  

Now, close your eyes and call to mind a river.  Picture it winding it’s way through a beautiful landscape.  See the lush banks with plants and vegetation on the side of the river blowing in a soft breeze.  Take notice of the current moving swiftly in one direction.  The way rivers do.  

Now, refer to your list.  Picture yourself entering the river.  Perhaps you’ll need to call upon that Warrior part of yourself because the river may be cold and there just might be some alligators you’ll need to ward off and the direction you may need to swim may be upstream and it won’t be easy.  

Where do you need to go?  Maybe it’s downstream.  Have you tried that before?  With this particular conflict?  Sometimes, that’s the more difficult journey.  

If you’re still with me and your stuck in the river clinging to a rock  – unsure of what to do and where to go, call on that Sovereign energy that also resides within you.  What is your vision as it relates to this situation in your life?  Look beyond the rock your clinging to, the limbs of trees rushing by and the bend in the river just up ahead.  Picture the great, still, open body of water beyond where the river opens up at the destination you’ll eventually reach.  

Is this destination upstream or downstream?  Either way, you’ll have to let go of the rock you’re clinging to in order to find out. And….either way, the beautiful, still, open body of water narrows on the other side forming another river with rocks, limbs, twists and turns.  

Perhaps, I’ll see you along the way.  Moving in direction.  Floating downstream with our fingers clasped behind our heads staring up at the stars.  Or, eyes affixed forward, paddling with all our might in the direction of another dream.    

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