Your conflicts are killing you. The typical way we deal with conflicts is killing us. We typically deny them, run from them, escape them, ignore them, pretend they don't exist, and create conflicts trying to get away from our conflicts. Conflicts multiply that way. Pot and alcohol are making things worse by helping us feel better. Feeling better is not getting better. How long has it been since you were conflict free? Dead is conflict free. Life, not so much. Managing our conflicts means reducing our conflicts to a manageable level. Means saying "No!" Means drawing lines. Oh, but "No!" and drawing lines create such internal conflicts for us! We have to deliberately create conflict to reduce conflict. We cannot run/hide/escape from conflict and reduce conflict. This is the first law of conflict reduction. The first step in reducing conflict is to take the first law of conflict reduction to heart. Grasp what it means, and get to work. Getting to work means sitting still, being quiet. Inviting all of your conflicts into your awareness. You might want to make a list. An actual list. What are the sources of conflict in your life? Keep the list going over time. Invite conflicts to present themselves to you throughout your day, Through your dreams at night (They have been doing this for years, but now you are going to start paying attention to your dreams and mining them for the conflicts they reveal). Catalog your conflicts. Notice how one creates a multitude of others. Notice how denying/hiding/escaping create conflicts by the score. Search for your easiest conflicts to resolve. Start with them. Use them as practice. Your goal is to reduce the number of conflicts in your life. That means not adding any new ones, and resolving current ones. It won't take long to realize that this means changing your behavior. More specifically, it means transforming your relationship with yourself, your life, other people, particularly family members. You might need a therapist or a truly good friend to help you with this (Most "friends" are only interested in using their relationship with you to escape/avoid their own conflicts, and are definitely not interested in facing up to any of them, which means they cannot help you face up to yours). It takes courage, "true grit," and determination to see this through. But it is the necessary first step in reclaiming your life and living it over what remains for the time left for that kind of thing. Your basic strategy is the "What needs to be done?" approach. Here's the conflict, what needs to be done? Sit with the conflict and the question in mind. Do. Not. Try. To think your way to a solution! Just with the conflict and the question, and wait "for the mud to settle and the water to clear." You may have to get up and go on with your life, but keep the conflict and the question with you at all times. Walk two paths at once. Tend your business in "the world," and your business with the conflict and the question, at the same time. You are looking for realization to occur of its own accord. For something to stir to life, arise, emerge, appear, as if by magic. For a door to open where there was no door, a path to appear where there was no path. It may ask hard things of you. Hard things are your new favorite thing. Do what needs to be done. Forever.
Carl Jung said, “There is no balance, no system of self-regulation, without opposition. The psyche is just such a self-regulating system” I view the Psyche as an aspect of Mind. And may constitute the whole of Mind, so that Mind and Psyche are One. It may also be that the old Chinese concept Tao is one with Mind and with Psyche, so that all three terms "mean" the same "thing." I say "may" here because I cannot find a place to draw lines between Tao and Mind and Psyche, and all three terms seem to me to be designations for our experience with something other than ourselves-- something other than our ego-self. And this "otherness" needs to be explored, because I think it connects us with "all that has gone before." And suggests a connection, perhaps through DNA channels, with instincts/intuition/knowing that have a life of their own, and is there for us all to partner with in living our life aligned with, in accord with, The Way of the Whole. Perhaps, there are no lines separating any of this, and the Buddhists are right about all being One, with us awash in a great swirl of oneness, where Psyche/Mind/Tao are experiencing physical existence through us, and are calling us to consciously/intentionally place ourselves in accord with it/them for the true good of the whole. The Psyche/Mind/Tao are self-regulating systems for producing in/through us balance and harmony, spirit, energy, vitality-- and it is our work to submit to the work of wholeness in living lives of balance and harmony, spirit, energy, vitality, in and around, above and beyond, what we do day-to-day, moment-by-moment. Trusting ourselves to what we do not know, for the lack of anything better to do-- and we have to wonder what could possibly be better than this, or more on the order of a Great Adventure of a Lifetime? We have to learn the Way of Alignment, and find our way to the Beam of Life, and stay on it (in it) forever no matter what!
My next-oldest sister, Diane, died yesterday. Went to take a shower, died in the bathroom, probably from an aneurysm, but that is to be determined. There were five siblings, three sisters and two brothers. Now there are four living siblings. I think that if we took a vote among us, Diane would be a unanimous choice for the hands-down hero among us. Her heroism comes from doing the most against the greatest odds any of us had to work with and against. Diane was my own personal wonder at what can be done with practically nothing in the way of external resources. She called it all up from within. We all started out with a father who made it difficult. Soft and gentle, kind and caring, are not terms we would use in talking about him. Emotionally (and occasionally physically) abusive would be the relevant phrase. None of us had an ideal beginning, and we all did what we could with it. Diane produced a life that was admirable by any standard, with little help to speak of. Only Helen Keller did more with less in my mind. So I lift this day to her memory-- as I will with all days following this one-- with respect and honor for her and the life she lived, and deep regret and sorrow regarding the un-lived life she might have had with a father worthy of her.