Q. What do we do with the love we feel for those we have had to shed from our lives because they choose not to live in integrity or who have shed us because they cannot stand being around such light?
A. If you take a look at the merciful laws which have come into place since August 2006, both materially and energetically, we no longer need to be in the space of these individuals (in fact, we shouldn’t be) in order to give the highest form of compassion. Yet, now opposite love (frequency) and light ARE attracting, so loving them from a distance is far more effective. It goes straight to where it is needed, more so than actually being physically present, which actually creates an irritated feeling in them that wants to repel us. If we are not in their presence, our love can be around them and the minute they are ready for it, they can access it. This is now the highest form of compassion between those of opposite energy and matter.
Q. Is it selfishness or highest wisdom to help yourself before helping others?
A. The highest service we can render to mankind is our ability to be happy. All of humankind is connected, not only to one another, but to all creatures through unified fields. The greater gifts we give to others are not through what we do, but by how and what we are. Through our attitudes and feelings we can beneficially affect the interconnectedness of all life. Deeds effect but a few. That is why it has been said that five seconds of unconditional love is worth more than providing a thousand bowls of food for the hungry.
A child acts first from the position of asking for what he or she needs; fulfilling their own needs first, they give love unconditionally. It is only when they are older that social conditioning programs them to think that fulfilling their own needs first is selfish. It is also then that giving to others becomes more calculated, more withholding and less spontaneous. What makes the difference? The child, having asked for his own needs first, gives from a place of fullness. If he does not have what he needs, the child will make quite sure his displeasure is honestly expressed.
The adult or adolescent, on the other hand, having been conditioned to abandon his own needs in favor of another, pushes them to the background. From this imbalanced self-abandonment, hollow gifts are given. The human psyche consists of sub-personalities: the inner child, the inner nurturer and the inner sage and inner warrior. The biggest impediment to spiritual growth is when a truth-seeker becomes so overly focused on growth that the inner family is neglected. When their needs are not met, personal agendas can taint the purity of the master at the exact moment that he or she is ready to make the leap to freedom from ego-identification. Nothing keeps us in identity consciousness longer, than the unmet needs of the inner child. The need for approval and attention, due to years of abandonment, will create neediness where there should be surrender; popular belief systems that find approval from others, where there should be a courageous expansion of mortal boundaries.
It is through our hearts that we are connected to Source. It is therefore through the promptings of our heart that we are guided into our highest truth. A relationship of trust needs to be established with these gentle whisperings of our heart. One cannot on one hand deny its desires as unworthy, while on the other, seek their counsel. Philosophers and sages alike have through the ages said that the world around us is our mirror. To quote Shakespeare: “I your looking glass shall be and will reveal to you things you yourself know not of.” If we therefore wish to manifest a life of fulfillment, benefitting all we are associated with, the fulfillment must begin within. It is our highest calling to be true to ourselves; to follow a path of the heart even if we follow it alone. For one cannot be alone, if one is at home for oneself. To forfeit the approval of another, but gain the empowerment of self, is a small price to pay.
“To thine own self be true, and it must needs follow as night the day, that thou canst not be false to another.” ~ Shakespeare
Q. What are some key components in conflict resolution? I want to learn what skills are necessary.
A. Learn how to identify what should be tolerated and what should not be tolerated, how to express yourself in a confrontation and how to deal with a rageful partner, explore anger management techniques and the four stages of conflict resolution. In the issue of conflict, the first thing to realize is to not take anything at face value. The second thing to realize is that we have co-created this situation with the parties involved. And that is very important realization because then it starts to thin in areas of where there is guilt and innocence. We look at karma; karma in the past has played a very great role in why certain things were done “to us.” And sometimes, those people have agreed to do those things that we might get perception.
It is now time to take a look at the words of the beautiful poem on guilt and innocence out of the book The Prophet by the Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran. A portion reads…
“The murdered is not unaccountable of his own murder.
And the robber is not blameless in being robbed.
The righteous is not innocent of the deeds of the wicked,
And the white-handed is not clean in the doings of the felon.”
In other words, he is saying everything is interconnected. And it is that we are co-creators for the events of our life.
Q. So we have to have humility, is that right?
A. One of the cornerstones of conflict resolution is humility. Humility is the only way to a successful relationship. We have to acknowledge that we cannot possibly know most of existence from the vantage point we have. The other half of humility is that we realize that in the beautiful weaving, the tapestry of life, no life is more important than another. He who mirrors what the Infinite is not is as important as the one who lives what the Infinite is.
Q. What preliminary steps do we need to take to determine whether a conflict exists? How do we determine if it is a battle worth fighting?
A. If one is walking a path of impeccability, it is imperative to suspend judgment when some kind of disagreement occurs until we have obtained clarity. For example, some acquaintance hurts our feelings, but we realize that words can mislead. We therefore ask, “What did you mean when you said…?” or Why do you say..?” This is not asking with judgment, for no conclusion has been reached, but rather with an attitude of neutrality. When we have ascertained the true meaning of what was said through feeling the intent behind the word and getting as much clarity as possible, we can proceed. Does it still bring our hackles up or create a reaction? If it does, we need to ask whether it should be resolved with the other person or is it merely one of our buttons that was pushed for us to examine a portion of our own life waiting to yield its insights and power. We are co-creators of the event. If there are some blind spots, some occlusion in our vision, we are going to deliberately pull those people into our life.
Q. What if we clearly feel our boundaries have been disrespected?
A. Then it needs to be addressed. Some guidelines on how to decide whether it is important enough to merit a confrontation would include where there is hurtful intent or destructiveness. Also, when there is injury to the inner child, disrespect to the sacred aspect of the inner sage, or a belittling of the nurturer. Other important issues are: when it violates our sacred space, when it violates our mutual agreement or trust or there is dishonesty in any way. We also need to take a stand when a situation suppresses our individuality or causes us to have to be less than we are, when it attempts to manipulate, control or dominate us and when it criticizes or accuses us.
Q. If it fits into one of these scenarios, what approach should be used?
A. First of all, some basic rules need to be agreed on or perhaps even written. Within relationships, all feelings are valid. That means we don’t criticize someone for feeling in a certain way. All emotions should find a safe place for expression. Phrases such as, “You always…”, “You never…”, and “Why do you…” when the question is not a question, but a disguised accusation, should be prohibited. When someone is in the grip of uncontrollable rage, there should be pre-existing coping mechanisms established. They could wash their hands and face and engage in strenuous activity, such as riding an exercise bike, jogging, etc. This helps to organize thoughts before expressing them. Writing letters that force us to organize our thoughts is also a productive way of communicating where there are rage issues.
Q. How do we express our feelings and propose a solution?
A. This may have to be done a few times before achieving results, but the following is best: “When you do this, I feel this…”, “Is it possible in the future to…”
Q. What would be the appropriate way for the other person to respond?
A. Feelings must be expressed and a solution proposed by the confronting person. This may have to be done a few times, but the appropriate way for the other person to respond is to first make sure that they understand. “Are you saying…?” If they acknowledge the change in behaviour as appropriate, it’s advisable to create a back-up plan since deep-seated habits are hard to break. “Can we have a secret hand gesture or phrase to remind you of old habits creeping in?” or “Could I pull you aside and remind you?”
Q. What if the other person gets angry?
A. If the other person starts venting, sit absolutely still and let the tirade run its course until it is vented. Then, repeat what you said, always bringing back the conversation to the relevant point. If this does not work, write it out and request a written response within a few days. If this does not resolve the issue, we go through four steps of conflict resolution.
Q. What are they?
A. Probably the first thing is to evaluate what you have in common and whether the relationship adds sufficiently to your life, for you to put up with the differences. If the differences are very significant, either sever the relationship or prepare for more discomfort.
Q. Will it be a good idea to make a chart of the pros and cons? If the cons outweigh the pros, that is something one wants to know. Is that the sort of evaluation you are referring to?
A. That is absolutely correct. Find a way to flow around the obstacles; if the relationship has been determined to be worth saving, be creative. Does your spouse embarrass you in public? Create a private world for your interactions and make as many public appearances as possible alone. It’s never a good idea to force a round peg into square hole.
Q. So many relationships go awry due to one of the parties trying to control the other. Freedom is the foundation of any living being and at some point rebellion will come, whether subversively or openly. Are there other strategies.
A. The third technique may be the most difficult, and that is to change your attitude. Even if both parties agree to do the damage control, there are still going to be odd times when offensive behaviour will happen. Lift yourself above the situation like the eagle that flies above the world. Envision yourself sitting in an insulating bubble of pinkish purple light, holding your inner child and talking to it during the occurrence.
Q. It’s never to the benefit of in-dwelling life to accept the unacceptable. It is also eroding to have many little occurrences happen day in and day out, like water on a stone. When is enough enough?
A. Evaluate how diligently is the person working on improving himself or herself. All these factors must be taken into consideration in coming to a final conclusion. Another helpful tool is to picture enduring this behaviour for the next 10 years and weighing the positive and negative aspects of the relationship over the long haul.
Q. What about conflict resolution in business settings?
A. Let’s take a look at the four formal steps of conflict resolution. The first step is to find your common ground. Unless this is first identified, it cannot be properly determined which parts need to be resolved in the following stages. Failure to determine what we have in common with the opposition, robs us of the priceless gift of becoming more knowledgeable by learning new aspects and viewpoints. Too often, people prematurely focus on the differences during this first stage, instead of simply assimilating all commonalities so that these initial gifts of insight can be received.
Q. What you’re saying is to first look for sameness.
A. In stage two, we closely look at what is the same and what is different. The differences must be examined in-depth, rather than taking them at face value to further extract common elements. It is necessary to examine these details in the context of the larger picture, although there may be superficial differences. Are we exploring a similar pattern? Are the core values the same even though our method of dealing with them may be different? And this way, the true differences to be resolved are isolated from the commonalities.
Q. And the third step?
A. The last step is to creatively externalize the differences. Design a case scenario in which you can objectively examine the issues as though they are happening to someone else. Reverse roles and honestly imagine what it is like to be in the other person’s shoes. So step three in conflict resolution, requires that we abandon our preoccupation with our viewpoint and genuinely try to understand the opposition. True listening has to take place. The need now arises to create a situation to test the validity of the opposing viewpoint. It might just be that we have never considered it, or that social conditioning has made our view too narrow to see and understand it better by observing it in action. Where the stakes are high, testing can be done in smaller control settings. It needs to have damage control in other words.
Q. Can you give us an example where this can apply?
A. Your teenager wants to date. You feel she is too young. She feels you are ruining her life because all of her friends date. After completing the previous steps, create one or two controlled situations. She can be dropped off and later picked up by you and has to call you if she changes locations. This option, as opposed to one where an absolute yes or no from one party leaves the other feeling unheard, can allow conclusions to be drawn that are supported.
Q. What is stage four?
A. In stage four we have identified what is the same and what is different. This is where we agree to disagree. The level of interaction is determined by what can be assimilated without being destructive and growth-repressive. The key element of the success at this stage is to keep the supporting areas of common ground. Examples of determining degree of interaction that could be allowed might be: the in-laws don’t like you, but they love your wife. Because they show their dislike when around you, you need not be in their presence often, but nevertheless support your spouse being with them as she chooses.
Q. So don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. When wouldn’t interaction with them be advisable?
A. If their intent is destructive, so as to break up the marriage, this needs to be clearly identified and the interaction must then be very minimal or terminated depending on the accompanying level of risk.
Q. The goal is unity within diversity, isn’t it?
A. If the differences are only superficial, but the common goals and philosophies are strong, you can probably live closely together or work together while honoring unity within diversity.
Q. Lightworkers have traditionally put up with that which is unacceptable, with that which does not produce growth, but discomfort, haven’t they?
A. Yes, discomfort occurs is when the gap is too large, as the differences are too big. That is the time others have to go their way, and you have to go your way because you have the right to follow a path that makes your heart sing.
Q. What about being a peacemaker?
A. Light promoters frequently see physical concerns through rose-colored glasses from a spiritual vantage point, but then they treat them as though they are in fact spiritual rather than physical. Some examples would be: Bill loves his brother Sam, but his childhood experiences have made him inclined to find security in wealth. Through benign manipulation, Bill cheats Sam out of his share of inheritance. Because Sam can see how Bill has suffered and how much money means to him, because he always knows that deep down Bill loves him, he lets him get away with it. Sam believes he is acting magnanimously, but in fact he is injuring Bill. Bill can now keep his blindness in calling theft, cleverness and this incident has allowed him to create karma that will draw similar situations to himself. In the beautiful work of Khalil Gibran: “That the robber is not guiltless, when he himself is robbed.” If Bill does not see clearly when he reaps this karma, it will have to happen again and again. And Sam has forgone this opportunity, lovingly and firmly to let Bill know that his conduct is unfair and unacceptable.
Mary’s eldest daughter, as a second scenario, seems to be floundering in all areas of her life. She keeps saving her daughter and finds that she has to do without in order to manage her budget as a result. Is this really being a peacemaker? Seeing the cause of someone’s shortcomings doesn’t excuse them. We may have compassionate understanding for the cause of their behavior. Yet, to indulge the behavior itself keeps them locked into that position.