mindful in conflict

Is it all the time a good thing to be mindful? Especially in the situation of conflict. We are afraid of mindfully facing all the terrible disputes that are happening? Should we be mindful or mindless to let go of things? More clarification on “mindful or mindless” and best strategies to get you out.

The person I hate is always on my mind

Sounds familiar? I doubt it! That’s the tricky thing when we are in conflict.

The more we hate the person, the more this person accompanies us in our thoughts all day. For instance, many people who have separated found out that their ex-partners were with them more than ever. Even they were not anymore in the same house!

What’s more, we were sometimes caught by what is called “ruminating thoughts“. After a conflict, did you ever spend two hours, even two days, rethinking about a word you shouldn’t have said? Well, it seems to happen to all of us. And these are not very comforting neither pleasant feelings.

The best would be to completely forget this person you hate! But how?

Is mindlessness a good thing?

Firstly, what is mindlessness?

Well, let me give you an example. Have you ever been driving and then realizing that you’ve made part of the trip on automatic pilot? That’s it. Mindlessness is an inactive state of mind that is characterized by reliance on distinctions drawn in the past.

Another example of mindlessness is when you learn something by practicing it so well. It then becomes like second nature to you. For instance, reading. If you started to learn to read again, like my 7-year-old daughter, you’d see it. Tell me, are you reading my lines now? And do you even think about how each word should spell? That’s mindlessness.

So, it doesn’t sound too bad in many circumstances, right?

You would say that it’s even good for a conflict. Because, we hope, that mindlessness helps us overcome the pain and suffering. Why? Because we don’t even notice it.

Well, indeed, things seem to be the contrary, I must tell you.

Will being mindful or mindless helps forget our conflict?

Here is the problem of mindlessness. If we are mindless in any circumstance, it won’t occur to us to think about it, even when it would be to our advantage to do so.

An example? In a conflict, you’ll continue to speak, and react the same way, even when the behavior or reaction of others has changed. Simply because you continue your past thinking patterns. By doing this, your relationship will never have a positive move.

Being mindful, on the contrary, helps you first be aware of your thoughts and feelings. Consequently, it brings you the capability to change those intentionally. Secondly, if you practice long enough, you can change your whole thought patterns. And finally, the best is here. At certain moments in time, you’ll move to a stage where you consider others out of the equation of your problems.

How come? Let’s dig deeper into these. I want to show you how you can best “forget” the person you hate!

mindful walking with dog
Image by schroederhund from Pixabay

3 ways being mindful helps you out of the conflicts

#1. Mindfulness helps forget about conflict, by focusing on the present moment

I went back to my home town for the New Year’s holiday. We had a big dispute with our family. Two days after we left, my sister texted me. She asked for advice on how to explain to others that she was right. She wanted to justify herself. I told her: “I spent my whole day watching the sea waves. Now all of these stories have been already out of my mind. I don’t care anymore if people think I’m wrong”

A friend of mine

That was how my friend forgot about her conflict. She came back to her breath. Her ears listened mindfully to the sound of sea waves. She felt the sand under her feet. Her face received the generous sun rays. One second seemed to be an eternity. Within that second, the conflict was out of her mind.

But you will argue, ‘Is it good to avoid facing reality?’ Well, I will tell you. We don’t really avoid it. By focusing on the present moment, we change our reality. Here is how.

#2. ‘The more we think about it, the more it is attracted to us’

I believe in this. Don’t you? That’s the powerful law of attraction. When we enhance our capacity to change our thoughts, we can change our reality. Little by little, you will see that only nice things are attracted to you. You don’t seek to “forget” someone you hate. You seek to “find someone you like”, by your own thoughts. And your mind simply does not have a place for both.

The only way to “forget” a thing, is to think of something else. When we are aware of our thoughts, we can deliberately move our thoughts. That’s how mindfulness helps.

Come back to our breath, slow down, focus on the present moment… Being mindful, we can build better relationships. Because we are aware of our unhelpful thought patterns. So we can move out of them. We attract fewer and fewer conflicts by focusing on our positive thoughts. And we can really forgive. So if you ask whether being mindful or mindless helps with conflict? I’d definitely say “mindful”!

#3. Mindful, we don’t expect the relations to be better because of others

But of ourselves. And that’s the fundamental changes that will help you out of any conflict.

Most of us think we depend on the external world for our relations. We hope to have joy, plenitude, and happiness thanks for something or someone else outside us. This brings us inevitably to deception. What’s more, we continue to stick to our relations for our affective security.

When we train ourselves with mindfulness, we first realize that our body is a miracle. With each breath, we know being on Earth is a miracle. We have profound joy and plenitude from being ourselves, on our own.

One day, you’ll simply find that there’s no one you hate anymore. Sounds incredible?

If you throw a handful of salt in a glass of water, it becomes undrinkable. But if you pour this salt in a river, the water remains pure. The river is immense. She can receive, embrace, and transform. When our heart is as big as a river, we can accept and tolerate our own and others’ imperfection.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Hang on, one last thing

There is the last thing I want to warn you about. You might not be able to immediately change the conflict when you are already in it. We should indeed practice mindful breathing when everything is going on well. It’s a long practice. You enlarge our heart. Your heart becomes a river. So, when we a difficult moment, it will embrace and transform. All people around us will feel this energy when it’s truly in you. They will in their turn, transform.

Make your heart a river, as from today

Many of us wonder whether being mindful or mindless better in conflict. We hope that being mindless can help us let go. We can forget the situation or the person we hate. But the more we hate the person, the more this person accompanies us in our thoughts all day.

Being mindful is a better remedy. When we train ourselves with mindfulness, we focus on the present moment. We are aware of our unhelpful thought patterns. So we can move out of them. Breathe mindfully, we have profound joy and plenitude from being ourselves, on our own. Likewise, we attract fewer and fewer conflicts by focusing on our positive thoughts. Enlarging our heart, we make it becomes a river. And this river of love and compassion will transform our relationship.

One day, you’ll surprise to see that you hate no one anymore. Don’t believe it? Try and see!

Read more

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