Your Internal Conflict Is the Creative Force of Your Life.

by | Mar 20, 2017 | Dharma: Life Purpose + Sacred Work, Walk the Path of Your Soul

Today is the Spring Equinox, the first of two days of the year in which the hours of daylight equal the hours of darkness, but I’m not thinking about or experiencing balance. I’m thinking about (and experiencing) tension, specifically the kind of tension that arises from internal conflict.

As ironic as it sounds, tension is inherent in balance. In fact, it creates balance. Hidden inside balance are two opposing, equally strong forces at play. Without them, there is no balance. The scale tips to one side.

It’s the perfect ironic metaphor for life. I am witnessing in my own experience at this Spring Equinox as much dying as creating, and what is dying lies very close to the heart of my internal conflict.

That conflict is this: I live perpetually in two worlds: left-brain and right-brain; lawyer and artist; strategist and intuitive; verbal and visual.

It has always been this way (with culture placing its finger on the scale of its favor). It has caused a great deal of pain, confusion and consternation, not to mention a persistent dissatisfaction. I have wanted it gone, done, resolved, figured-the-hell-out. Until very recently.

As the Equinox approached, I was reminded of what astrologer Karen Hawkwood told me last year about my birth chart: this tension is in you; it is you.

And I finally began asking: If this conflict is inherent to me, how is it a gift? How is it helpful? How can I use it?

I have lived the answer to that question. I’ve been using it all along. It has created my work. It has caused me to ask the questions and seek the answers of my path. It has provided sufficient dissatisfaction and desire and curiosity to seek and to create and to fail and to get back up and to do it all over again (and again and again).

I have always assumed that the point of internal conflict is to integrate the conflicting parts and resolve the conflict, but now I believe it is to dance the dance between the poles of our own tension, without expectation of integration or resolution, to dance where it leads us because the dance is the point. The dance is the creative force.

It is the tension of our internal conflict that forges our life, our work, our path. It takes that amount of force to create

Think about it like a simple science experiment: What is required for a substance to change form? A force: pressure, heat, agitation. Why? They create tension, and tension transforms. It is the same for you.

(And in yoga, we have a name for it: tapas. The practices of yoga create the heat of transformation, tapas. We think of these practices as a means to reduce tension, but {lightbulb moment} they actually create sufficient internal tension to transform our perception and our experience.)

So I ask you, on this Equinox: What is your internal conflict? How can you look to it and use it as the creative force of your life and your work?

And I invite you into this undertaking with me: Do not reject it. Do not seek to integrate or resolve it underground or out of existence. Turn toward it. Only then, after we’ve used it for all of its creative force and it’s burned itself out, will there be any meaningful integration or resolution. Embrace the conflict within you. Follow it. Listen to what it has to say. See what it has to show you. Let it be your greatest teacher. 

If you want witness and wisdom in turning your conflict into your creative force, I’m here, and I’d love to work with you in the Spring Equinox Energy Attunement or a private Practical Alchemy Session.

Also published on Medium.

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