Why is life such a struggle? It seems like conflicts are a constant part of life – the inner conflict resolving the different parts of yourself, conflicts in your family and relationships, political conflict, war, and the conflict between how you wish the world was, and the way it actually is. But in the end all conflict arises from a misperception of the nature of things. Underneath there is rarely if ever a true conflict – only that we do not understand what we are arguing about. The Atheist and the Christian argue about whether or not God exists, but underneath both of them know that what is important is love, and how we can live in a truly loving way, and any conflict about God is largely about understanding what we mean by that concept – is it universal consciousness? An old man in the sky? There is not really a conflict. 2 children fight over a ball – ‘It’s mine’, ‘No it’s mine’ – but what they really want is to play with it, and a ball is perfect to play with together. Is there any conflict – not really. 2 countries fight over the territory, but what do they really want? Is it security, or wealth, or a sense of greatness? Whatever it is, underneath there is no real conflict. Conflict is only a lack of understanding. In a couple they fight, about the different movies they want to watch, or how to communicate with each other, but in the end all they both want is love and connection – they just don’t know how to achieve it.
What is real is challenge. Constantly life throws us new challenges – new things for us to learn, new ways for us to grow, and if we imagine that the other is against us maybe we will interpret that as conflict, but if we realise that we are all in this together then we can find the ability to grow and overcome, to turn challenges into opportunities, and to celebrate life and the growth that it encourages in us. Do you want to live in a world where we are all divided one against the other, or where we all work together as one? I know which one I would choose.