Conflict is, to choose a simile, like sex. Victorians saw sex as something we must tolerate, learn to live with, but not enjoy. Most persons voice the same negative mindset toward conflict.
Like sex, conflict should happen between persons committed to be present with continuity, occur with appropriate frequency, be mutually exciting to both, activate both parties equally to contribute their best selves, and be prolonged until mutually satisfying climax is possible for each.
When it is over, both should feel better as a result. And its energy should then empower other areas of life with vitality and creativity. Like sex, conflict is a source of joy, fulfilment, empowerment and celebration.
– David Ausberger in ‘Conflict Mediation Across Cultures: Pathways and Patterns’, p.66
The more we run from conflict
the more it masters us;
the more we try to avoid it,
the more it controls us.
The less we fear of conflict,
the less it confuses us;
the less we deny our differences,
the less they divide us.
Thanks to Talitha Fraser from Seeds Footscray for passing this on from a workshop she did with Mark and Mary Hurst from the AAANZ (Anabaptist Association of Australia & New Zealand). Mark and Mary will be guest contributors at our upcoming Seeds Network Retreat in August.