Conflict is all around us, every day it seems to encroach on our territory. Some people seem to invite conflict, consciously or unconsciously, because they are defensive. If they’re constantly trying to defend their territory – and it takes two to tango! Someone will come along to criticize of antagonize them to enable their need to defend. Somewhere in the cosmic computer, they’re put together as the perfect match, and a conflict arises.
My personal life is pretty calm and drama-free. I am active in the metaphysical community, surprising many when they learn that I’m an attorney. (Yeah, sometimes I’m surprised, too. I never really wanted to be a lawyer, but it just sort of worked out that way.) In my work I meet many wonderful people on both sides of the issues. I’m placed squarely into conflict every day. Some are big, some are small, but they all involve someone who is hurting and someone whom they believe to be responsible. There’s usually misunderstanding and truth found on both sides of the issue, making the resolution a delicate matter.
That’s where I enter the picture. I’m the finder of fact
and the finder of law, rather similar to an administrative law judge. I’m not a litigator; I work in the public interest field to enforce the regulations in an objective manner. That involves conflict in some form or another, every day in every way. I don’t really want to discuss my job, though; I want to talk about the approach to conflict generally. Since it’s a large part of my waking life, I think about it a lot. (See my previous post: Counselor at Law, Not a Lawyer.) I have to say that I am not a fan of needless conflict. The trick is to know when a conflict moves a larger area of change forward.
Many people in the spiritual community believe that conflict is not peaceful and to be avoided. There’s a stereotype that spiritual people are forever at peace, exude love when they walk into the room, and spend all day in a prayerful state. There are many that do this, and they support the world around them in a wonderful way. I admire them, but have to face the fact that I might be another kind of spiritual person. There are the change agents, found wherever conflict thrives.
The ancient Druids were known as the spiritual leaders of their time as well as their cultural anchors as bards and poets. They served as judges to resolve conflict and gave counsel to the leaders of their time. Yes, they were priests and judges, a combination of spiritual and legal leadership which I find intriguing. They used their spiritual base to resolve conflicts large and small.
Fast-forward to the modern era. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King was both a minister and change agent. Mahatma Gandhi was a lawyer who affected great cultural and political change in a peaceful manner. These men seem so alike to me, affecting great positive change within their nations. They did not tap into their spiritual nature to ruminate and pray all day. They inspired many to evoke change for the oppressed.
I see our spiritual community as a springboard for positive change. We never would have seen the recent change in financial laws and accountability if there hadn’t been a group willing to advocate a perspective that profit isn’t the only thing that matters. Ditto for the environmental conservation movement. It has been inspired by people who feel a driving, spiritual need to take care of the planet and all its inhabitants. We’ve moved from seeing animals as mere livestock and food sources to embracing them as valued family members. (See my previous post: Better than Katrina.)
I’m still trying to figure out where I am called to contribute in my seemingly disparate areas of interest. I’ve been given an odd talent pool and am trying to find my place as a teacher, healer, leader, and lawyer. I’m active in all these areas, and wonder how they are all going to merge someday. I feel the balance moving away from law and into areas of greater passion.
If you are in the Denver metropolitan area, I invite you to join me as I give a talk on the Spiritual Path of Animals, September 4, 2013. (http://www.meetup.com/Denver-Parapsychic-Student-Group/events/135151742/) There is a lot more to our companion animals than meets the eye, and I want to get a conversation started about their spiritual gifts and activities!