De-Escalating the Inner Power StruggleBy Phyllis
October 14, 2008
Are you stuck in resistance? Maybe you need to open to compassion for both sides of the inner power struggle.
Many people are aware of an intense inner power struggle, two inner voices locking in conflict: "You will" vs. "I won't." Often the one who says "You will" appears to be the one who is on the right track. "You will clean the house." "You will stop drinking." "You will accomplish everything on the ToDo list." The one who says "I won't" seems to be the problem, the "resistance." Actually, taking sides this way never changes anything.
Can you imagine that these are two children fighting? Maybe you have children who fight or maybe you fought with a sibling. Now, however, you are the parent and you are trying to deal with this situation. This is actually what is going on at the inner level.
How do most parents deal with two children who are fighting? In general, their primary intention is to just get them to stop fighting, hopefully forever. So the primary motive is to have control over them. How well does that work? How well is that working on the inner level?
Parents usually bring angry or anxious energy to the fight. They get in the middle. This energy actually feeds the situation. Often, parents try to determine who is "right." Who started it? Who is innocent? They stand up for the one that they have judged to be right and shame the one whom they have judged to be wrong. We do the same thing to our inner children. Actually, both children are "right" because each has really good reasons for their actions and determining who is "right" does nothing to end the fighting or address what is really going on.
So what would happen if a spiritually-connected loving adult showed up instead? First, the energy would be completely different. Instead of pouring gasoline onto the flames, the loving adult would bring calm, caring energy to the situation, literally giving a beautiful gift to the fighting children. In the same way, just moving out of the conflict into your loving adult does this for your wounded kids inside. For an example of what this calm energy can do, I strongly recommend watching Cesar Milan (The Dog Whisperer) on TV or on the web.
Also, the loving adult would not take sides at all. He or she would see that both children have very good reasons to feel that they are "right" and that each is completely, unconditionally lovable. There is no bad one, no good one. This is what we mean when we say that we need to embrace the resistance, but actually we need to embrace both sides of the conflict. More than that, the loving adult clearly understands that the reason for the fight is that neither child feels safe and loved and that neither one has someone they can trust to help them. Thus, the question is no longer "How can I have control over the fighting and make it stop?" but rather "What do these children need that they are not getting and how can I learn to bring it to them?"
So, notice when there is an internal power struggle. Know that neither one, not even the one that seems to be trying to get you to do the correct thing, is your loving adult, that both are wounded children. Stop and move out of the conflict. Come back to the warring children with an energy of calm and caring. Tell each by your actions that there is no judgment, that you want to learn how to help them each feel safe, heard, loved, supported, whatever it is that they are not getting now. Embrace both sides and watch things change.
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Think of a short prayer that you would like to say throughout the day. It can be a prayer of gratitude, a prayer asking for willingness, or for grace, a prayer to be an instrument of love, peace and joy. Then focus on saying this prayer as often as you can and notice the difference it makes!
By Dr. Margaret Paul