As humans, most of our daily decision-making is patterned and predictable.
However, if we could zoom in on those instances where we stop and consciously think through our decisions, we might see our minds attempting to answer a single question: Who am I?
In order to answer that question, our mind has to integrate the many competing self-beliefs into one. These are just some of the self-beliefs the mind might wrestle with:
- I am a good person
- I am leading this group
- I want everyone to be happy
- I value other people’s input
- I want to do the right thing
- I am a supportive person
- I am a team player
This inner conflict is good for us. That’s right — conflict is good for us!
It can create an opportunity to connect and grow with others, if we allow it to.
This is the most profound learning that came out of the Diamond Jubilee Alliances Conference for me.
Over the past two and half days, I witnessed individuals setting aside the need to “keep it together” to open up and share the inner conflict they are facing in their lives. I feel honored to have been on the receiving end of such genuine authenticity. This was the intention I held in my heart: I’m here, I see you, I feel your pain, you’re not alone, thank you for sharing.
Here’s what I learned: when we share our inner conflict, we liberate ourselves and our communities from the shackles of pretentious identities.
When I find myself at crossroads with inner conflict, I consult the timeless wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita:
“But wise is he who acteth otherwise, and who performeth well his work of the world, providing, that he be unattached to the fruits thereof and that he be always centered in the knowledge of the Real Self. For such an one concerneth not himself regarding what is being done in the world, nor what is being left undone; in all created things, there is no one thing upon which he needs lean, or in which he need place dependence for his being.
Partaking of all, and acting in all – according to the dictates of Duty – he never depends upon any external thing; his trust, and hope and knowledge are fixed upon the Imperishable – the only sure dependence.”
I remind myself that I am only accountable to the Absolute.
And I recall who I really am…
I am of the one Light, and my identity is the tool through which I must play my part in the physical world. This little reminder helps me work through the inner conflict and choose the best path forward.
A strong community validates and challenges our identities and therefore, true community engagement naturally serves to polish who we really are.