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  • Writer's pictureBess de Boer

What happens to us in the midst of conflict?

Situations of conflict activate a kind of REVERSAL of focus and behavior in us.

We place our focus squarely on the other, rather than on ourselves:

What THEY did;

What THEY didn't do;

How THEY failed us.

How THEY are presenting.

We disassociate from our own behavior and reactions.

Perhaps, most tragically we fail to look at the WHY in the situation.

We look to assign blame and in doing so we turn our gaze on the other, with an immovable certainty about them… about their intent – their culpability.

We don’t stop to ask this most significant question:


Why is the human on the other side of our conflict presenting as they are?

Why are they seeking to hurt us?

Why do they strive to overpower us?

Why are they not listening... why are they not understanding our side of the story?

The answer to each of these questions is buried in the question itself.

The way the other is presenting in our conflict is a reflection of their reality.

They are seeking to hurt us, because they’re hurting.

They’re striving to overpower us, because they feel small. Overpowered.

They aren't able to listen, because they don’t feel heard.

They don’t want to understand, because they don’t feel understood.

Most of us can only give back what we have first received.

Conflict is a mirror.

Our authentic being suddenly hides in the shadows out of fear. What we present is a reflection of what we perceive the other to be giving us.

We MIRROR them.

When we can understand and truly own this truth, we are able to shift the conflict dynamic. We can loosen even the tightest knot in the conflict situation we are facing.

We come to the realization that we need to brave BEING AND GIVING FIRST, the very thing we long to receive from the other. The person we want the other to be.

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