A Day in a Life: Bearing The Tension On The Battlefield Of Conflict Resolution

Standing on a narrow ledge between worlds... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Standing on a narrow ledge between worlds…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

All night I dream different versions of the same dream. I am standing on a narrow road dividing two worlds. In the beginning of the night I am between Heaven and Earth, between water and land, between psyche and soma. At one point I am on a narrow line between my past and my future. At another time I am between my two selves, the human self and the spiritual self. By the end of the night I end up in the deep South, in Georgia during the Civil War. I stand on a narrow strip of road between the two warring sides, the Confederates to my south and the Union soldiers to my north.

I tell them they have to stop fighting. I tell them that they each had some things right and they each had some things wrong, but I am not taking sides. There is nothing to fight about any longer, I tell them. I know you both fully and equally well. No one is more powerful than the other; no one is more influential that the other. No one is the good guy and no one is the bad guy. Having learned all this, a new me is in charge now and no one is going to get the upper hand.

I stand in the tension between the warring sides, waiting for them to lay down their arms and come out to greet each other as equals, to declare that they are each equally responsible for all that once was and all that is to be, as am I too. I declare that since we are fully known to each other all conflicts that arise in the future will be sorted out in similar mature fashion with equal honesty and clarity, all sides present and participating.

I patiently wait for them to make admissions and amends as I have done. I am solidly calm in my stance. I will not budge, but neither will I let either of them declare victory. The war is over; no one is the winner; no one is the loser; all sides have revealed their weaknesses and their strengths. It’s time to accept the position we are in and move on from stubborn self-righteousness into a new world where everything is acceptable and everyone is honest about who and what they are.

In the morning, I read of astrological aspects that signify taking a careful and balanced look at many conflictual situations, old and new. For myself, an old conflict had arisen the day before. I got caught in an old thought. I didn’t run from it but sat in the tension of it. It was unpleasant and a bit challenging but it was also necessary. I did the inner work by remaining mature, balanced, and aware, being totally honest with myself. It seems that my dreaming self finished the job nicely, showing me how multileveled our conflictual self really is, spanning all aspects of life and awareness, conscious and otherwise, and how strong and capable of gentle resolution we really are once maturity, honesty, and calmness step in.

Attending to the busy work of the psyche brings release... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Attending to the busy work of the psyche brings release…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

By the time I woke up I felt quite peaceful and rested, in spite of the difficult situations I found myself in during the night. There was tension to withstand and yet I knew that only by standing in the tension and facing everything would the conflicts fully resolve so that no residual issues remained.

Recapitulation teaches us that once we’ve faced our inner conflicts and resolved them they no longer appear to grab our attention as they once did. On the rare occasion that they do appear, like my own old thought pattern, we are readily aware that they have come to teach us or remind us of something. In addition they point out the reality of now and how far we have actually come.

In balanced self we can firmly let those old issues know that they are no longer part of our life, but we must also attend to the lessons they have come back to teach us. This is standing on the line drawn down the center of the battlefield, bearing the tension of the conflict that needs resolution. Once we have achieved mature mutual agreement our conflicts dissolve and we can move on.

All things in the universe are bound to change. It’s the cyclic nature of reality; the stars moving and aligning, the moon waxing and waning, the sun rising and setting, the tides ebbing and flowing, the constantly changing days and seasons. We too are as cyclic as nature and so we must remember that inner conflicts will naturally arise and recede. But we also learn that they reappear over and over again, coming back to haunt us, presenting a narrow band of tension, a strip of fear and uncomfortability that we will live with for most of our lives if we don’t face our issues. Just like the returning seasons those issues come to stir us to action, often screwing things up for us until we finally make the decision to deal with them, to face them head-on by standing on our own battlefield of conflict resolution.

After recapitulation our own nature is finally freed to enjoy life in a new way... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
After recapitulation our own nature is finally freed to enjoy life in a new way…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Nature regularly plows things under, never to be seen again, but unlike nature we have consciousness and a psyche that keep us company and keep us on the straight and narrow road of life, asking us constantly to face what comes to greet us in our daily lives or suffer the consequences of failing to do so. With the proper ground upon which to do our most challenging inner work, we can volitionally counteract the cyclic forces of nature. By taking on what the psyche presents, we can consciously change ourselves with intent. And then the resolution is long-lasting, sending us one step further along on our true journey.

Facing what nature brings,

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