It has come to my attention that the post I wrote for Saturday, Minister Fired For Questioning Hell, has stirred up some emotions for a few people, and I would like to address that. This has happened on more than one occasion, and I thought there could even be more than I do not know about. Hence, I want to reach out to you and bring understanding and insight to the situation. I am referring to conflict that arises between people, and how they behave when their thoughts about a specific subject or a belief system have been challenged. These specific events have taken place because belief systems about religion or God have come into question. However, you change the dynamics and it is just conflict, and these insights hold true for any type of conflict. For some reason, it seems that when religion gets involved, the situation even appears to be more heated, more passionate or something like that.
Here are the events that took place. I posted the article on Saturday. People shared it through other social media sites. Their friends, co-workers and acquaintances saw the repost, and conflict began. What I said challenged people in what they had been taught, and what they believed, etc. There were warnings to avoid people like me and what people like me say. Scriptures were used to support their stance and their beliefs; Bible verses began to fly. Before anything got out of hand, I was asked “What do I do now? I don’t want to fight, but I am lost; I don’t know how to respond.” I am grateful that there was enough awareness to reach out and ask for help.
Before I go any further, I do want to mention again; conflict is conflict, no matter what the subject happens to be. Therefore, what I am about to share is supportive for any conflict resolution.
The first thing to understand is that all problems and all conflicts are born in the mind and come out of the mind. The mind, or more specifically the ego, functions in all kinds of power and control games. Some of those power and control games are even wrapped up in ‘I care for you and do not want to see you get hurt.’ Or, in this specific situation, ‘I want to see you in heaven’ and/or ‘I want to make sure that your soul is going to be okay!’
As someone approaches you with these ideas on their mind, you need to understand that it is normal and natural for it to aggravate you, or more specifically, your own mind. At that point, it is very easy to flip into defense mode or even attack back. Even though it is normal for the mind for that to occur, reaction and defensiveness are only going to spread the fire. Your answer to the call of the moment is to respond to the situation at hand, and respond from a place of Awareness, Consciousness and Love.
Hear them out. Sometimes it helps to let them speak their piece. While they are speaking their piece, watch your own mind, and what it is saying. Watch the thoughts that you are having, and how the mind wants to flip into defense mode. But if you are going to take the time to listen, really listen! You may want to show that you have ‘heard them’ by thanking them for their ‘concern’ or empathizing with them. This does not alter or change your viewpoints or perspectives; it just shows that you heard them and their concerns.
They may attempt to continue with further efforts to enlighten you on their viewpoints. Continue to observe what is happening inside of you and your mind. Remember, response is still the best approach.
It will also help to realize that their perspective is based upon some sort of judgment about the situation at hand. However, you judging them for judging you is just more judgment. Judgment is not Awareness, Consciousness, or Love. It is natural for the mind to judge, but you are not the mind and you do not have to participate with the judgment; you can just observe the judgment occurring inside the mind!
In these situations where someone is concerned about ‘your salvation,’ realize that from their perspective, something big has infiltrated their belief systems. The other person may even think that their religion is being challenged, questioned, or dismissed. Ultimately it will help you through the process to realize that it is not their religion that is being challenged, but their belief systems about their religion. They are just using that subject matter at that time.
While this is going on, you have to continue to look at yourself. Do you want to become reactionary? Do you have a sense of being attacked? What is happening inside of you relating to this event? Is your past flooding into the present moment, etc? If it is, realize it, and KNOW that you do not have to react from that place; you can respond from your NOW!
When conflict arises it boils down to this: conflict is born out of the ego and ego would like more company to come out and play with it. Ego wants more ego and the conflict expands until Awareness neutralizes it. If you have the desire to be the best you that you can be, you have to be the one to allow the Awareness to arise inside of you and be expressed through you. When you remain in your head about the situation, when you remain in the mind, when you are being defensive or you’re adding to the reaction; you do not allow the Awareness to emerge up and out of you. Love can be a bridge to allow the Awareness to come and be expressed.
Conflict resolution is an incredibly beneficial tool while playing on Planet Earth. It helps to know a few facts that are taking place during those times of conflict. Some I have already gone over in this article and other points I want to mention are below, in this condensed awareness about conflict, and how to respond to conflict.
1) All conflict arises from the mind or more specifically the ego.
2) Something in the ego has been challenged or questioned.
3) Conflict comes from believing that the subject matter in question is a serious matter and is being treated with seriousness. Be sincere in your response but drop the seriousness. There is enough seriousness already added to the pot of ‘conflict soup.’
4) Conflict is based in unconsciousness and Consciousness is the key.
5) Conflict is based in lack of awareness and Awareness will transform everything.
6) Conflict often brings about, or attempts, or leads to reaction.
7) Reaction spawns more reaction.
8) One or both parties want to be heard.
9) Listen in love and with love.
10)Just for a moment, put yourself in their shoes. Empathy and understanding is different than agreement. You do not have to agree, just truly listen. And you may ‘learn’ something about yourself in the process.
11)Answering the call of the moment is always going to be the best approach. Being reactionary is not part of answering the call of the moment.
12)Agree to disagree if that is the case, but watch how judgment will try to creep into the situation.
13)Constantly, continuously, watch yourself, the mind, and the thoughts that the mind is having.
14)Be aware of how your mind and your ego will attempt to defend, judge and blame. That is normal for the mind and ego, but you do not have to participate! You are NOT the mind. You do not have to jump on the train that is leaving the depot of “Judgment” and soon to arrive at “Bitch Please!”
15)If their conflict is upsetting you, there could be something in there for you to look at about yourself.
16)No matter what the mind is saying, you can still let the Awareness and Consciousness move through you and be expressed by you.
17)Love and acceptance will support and help the process move through, with more grace and ease than you ever imagined.
Now back to the original topic; the topic of conflict because of differences in spiritual perspectives. Many of you do not know what you think or believe around the concepts of spirituality. Many of you cannot express what you think or believe. To add to the mix, many of you are not very rooted in Awareness, and you do become reactionary. This is the reason why I ask you to become so rooted in Awareness, and your knowingness about what makes you tick, your spirituality, and the relationship that you have with your higher power, that it does not matter what someone else thinks about you. I know that it may sound very self centered, and it is! Be so centered in Self, The Higher Self, or whatever you call it, that you are proud to express your completeness, your totality, your authenticity and your love!
I really hope that this helps. Try it on for size and watch what happens to the so-called conflict.