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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thank You for the Battle Royale!

If a workplace conflict has ever controlled you, you’ll relate with this article. At times like these the conflict seems to hover over all your thoughts and weigh strongly over your heart. It’s all you can think of. It consumes you, daily, moment by moment.

We all have battles and some indeed, like the one presenting above, are of the “royal” variety.

We have now, however, the opportunity to hold simultaneously two separate realities; these seem opposed but together they collude in support of our overall wellbeing:

  1. Accorded to Shamanism is the role of the warrior to expect struggle. Life is not about wins or losses; it’s simply about struggle. This realises acceptance of the fact. To struggle, and to not expect anything else, is a vast paradoxically hopeful humility. It’s a spiritual gift. Live it even for a few moments and you’ll see. You’ll be a convert because it’s simply a better way!
  2. The battle royale which seems gargantuan is, in fact, a very small part of reality. Just because it’s a large part of your reality right now doesn’t change this fact. The opportunity for us is to get into the habit of routinely rejecting this narrow and harmful worldview constrained to and by our oppressors. We instead routinely seek to see the world others have created for us; the larger, truer worldview.

Both the foregoing need to be simultaneously placed together, side by side. They’re achieved both in tension and in unison with one another. Is that hard to grasp? On one hand we have an acceptance of what is i.e. our present reality of struggle, and on the other we’re choosing to see what we ordinarily would not see—the world at large as it is for others (and indeed ourselves if we weren’t so hemmed in with the present fight).

The very best and most accomplished sportspeople—in other words, the true champions—learn to embrace the battle, loving the tension and nerves and adrenalin that come their way in the heat of battle. This is not a negative thing, but a positive thing.

We too can approach our problems with a positive attitude; all it needs from us is courage. When we’re tested our opportunities at courage come forth. It’s moving forward despite the fear we (or anyone would) feel.

Got an overly analytical mind?

Another method springs forth if we simply cannot let go of the issue within our minds:

Like a piece of gristle you can healthily chew over the issue in your mind and heart, like a piece of tasty seasoned biltong, if:

  1. You can do it without malice. We prepare our hearts, chewing on the issue in prayerful/thoughtful wisdom. If malice gets the better of us, however, we need to rethink our strategy.
  2. You can bear the fear that comes. As we “roll” the thoughts and feelings of the conflict through our being, seasoning them, one of two things happens. We either stew more and more, and therefore becoming stressed-out wrecks, or we think constructively about the issue, even educating ourselves through it. This is brought about by learning more about our own responses, reading and learning about conflict, or thinking about how the other person is going; seeking to empathise, however hard that is. Of itself this requires courage.

If nothing else, the calm and assertive stance we’re taking is helping us. Also, one real benefit of the troubling situation is we know how not to treat others i.e. treat them not how we are presently being treated. I think most of all we can be truly thankful for these battles; they help us know how better to relate with, and feel for, people.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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