It doesn't matter if you hate it or love it - Conflict will find you. If it doesn't find you directly, it will find you indirectly. It will involve you to extents that you should not be involved. It will hold you accountable and it will bring up your deepest insecurities, fears, unopened wounds, regrets, and scars. Most people want peace in their war-torn countries, or even world peace. Everyone is for peace - but they are not for peace in their heart - in their soul - in their closest battlefields - with their spouses, siblings, best friends. Don't be for peace if you are not a peacemaker. Don't be for harmony if you are always the cause of dissent. The world can see what is authentic, and it will spit you out if you think you can stand for truth and justice when you can't get along with those around you.

Everyone wants to remain in the driver's seat. Everyone wants to be justified. Everyone just wants to know that they are right where they are supposed to be. In conflict, our entire worldview changes because we irrationally puff out our chest in hopes of self-preservation. Conflict clouds the truth very well. It becomes about bargaining with ourselves and the person we are at odds with, to see who is more right. Love seems to be outside of conflict, but the hope of love is what can change the very way we engage with conflict.

It is so interesting how the dynamics of your conflict can change when you are free from trying preserve yourself. If you believe that you won't be cheated by allowing the other person to be correct, you will experience a breakthrough in conflict. Most people think that if they "give in," they will be losing. But love is more important than truth. It is more important for someone to feel loved by you, than to hand truth to them. Truth is something that will find them through love. Someone can know you are right, but if they don't feel heard or understood, your truth becomes invalid. They will not be changed by whatever you have to say.

The fundamental problem is we hate to be cheated. We hate to get the short end of the stick. We refuse to be "manipulated" into being the wrong one in the situation. We think that if the other person thinks they are right, they have won - they will never learn - they will never change. We make it our mission to change them, or make them understand how much they have hurt us or done us wrong.

In my short life, I have realized that people don't change in conflict based on how much truth or knowledge you gave them. This never does anything - it may make you feel good, but it doesn't do much for them. This doesn't devalue truth - it just puts truth in perspective. Love trumps truth - in all situations - yes, love looks different - love doesn't mean you have to smile and be passive/aggressive like a lame duck. But our mindset has to be love before our agenda. When we have to preserve our own life, we are not living right. Something is off. I never want to have friends or a community that don't preserve me - that is the essence of loyalty. Loyal people have you in mind. They don't place their agenda before their allegiance to you. This is an endangered way of living, and most of you reading this may deem it unrealistic - but welcome to the 1% club - those of us who expect and think differently.

Next time you are in conflict, don't preserve yourself. Have swagger. Be confident enough to not think of yourself. Be fresh enough to be present to the other person. Remember: YOU WILL NOT BE CHEATED. YOU WILL NOT BE THE ONE WHO LOSES. Peace, and much love to you! --Jeevo, I mean G-Vo...for now.


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