If we perceive conflict and uncertainty as a threat to our personal or collective survival and well-being, we are priming our bodies to be always ready to attack, be on guard, or hide.
It is not sustainable to live this way ongoingly without paying the price. Even more significantly, when this happens, our faculties of critical thinking, intuition, creativity, and compassion often go right out the window. These are capacities we dearly need during conflict or uncertainty.
Instead of living from and expressing the qualities of our higher nature, we are more likely to express our lower nature's qualities.
To live from what is best in us when it is hardest to do so, we must practice this way of being every day. Then, responding to apparent threats with skill and compassion becomes our default response to life’s difficulties.
Ironically, if we want to embody what is best, we must also be aware of and skillfully relate to what is worst. In other words, we must be willing to look at our fears, doubts, grievances, aggression, desire for security, etc.
We can do this. What else could be more important?
Current happenings in our world certainly give us plenty of opportunities to become aware of what lies in our shadow.
We can choose to welcome the conflict and uncertainty of our time as a challenge. We can declare ourselves up for whatever this brings to our door.
Then, we can lean into what life is presenting to us personally and collectively.
We have the courage, strength, and determination to persevere. We only need to affirm this to be true, because it is.
When challenging moments present themselves, my partner and I like to remind one another that “We can do hard things.”
There is great power in this simple shift in perspective because it taps into ancient physiological mechanisms, and inherent spiritual truth.
We can acknowledge our resolve: “I am here, and I am willing to meet this challenge head-on." This stand moves us from being involuntarily drafted soldiers in a fox hole fearfully fighting for our lives to warriors who have been preparing their whole lives for just this moment.
This moment is calling on all of us to show up as our best selves. Let’s rise to the challenge!
Once we have awakened the courage to welcome challenges, we may be ready to revive our capacity to envision new possibilities for ourselves and everyone in our circle of influence.
When we are called to engage with life as a beautiful game, we can use everything for good.
In the relative world of circumstances, we can play our part to make things as good as we can dare to make them in our own lives and in the lives of others whom we influence.
Perhaps the opportunity that shines the brightest for lovers of truth is to use every appearance of threat as an opportunity to do the sacred work of forgiveness, understanding, and surrender.
In this, we return again and again to the unconditional, to what really matters, to the mystery of our very existence.
We are wired to err on the side of perceiving people, things and events as threats, even where there are none. However, we can choose to shift our perspective to see these same happenings as a challenge we are fully capable of meeting, and even as an opportunity that serves the realization of what matters most to us.