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How to deal with inner conflicts

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Today I want to write about how to deal with inner conflicts since I'm currently noticing conflicts within myself. A suitable moment to reflect and remind that these are the moments bearing the possibility to grow and to train yourself to be aware, avoiding mind steered reactions.

Example I'm experiencing right now.

When I started my journey to Crete 2 weeks ago, I bought myself nicotine patches to quit smoking. I started smoking when I was 11 years old. Just to say that, smoking represents a huge chunk of my "identity", since I can't remember how it was not smoking. There are still some of the daily cigarettes I'm enjoying. But most are just disgusting and noticeable only triggered by addiction and boredom with no form of rewarding satisfaction.

The part in me that want's to quit and to let go is becoming more dominant as I walk the path of living in this present moment. While this part in me grows, the part who owns and directs the identity, is building more and more resistance to "save" me from "loosing myself". And this is my mind.

The only 3 options we all have, no matter the situation we're in:
  1. Can I change something myself?

  2. Can I step out of it, leaving the situation?

  3. Can I accept it the way it is?

Can I change something myself?

Yes, I can decide to continue smoking or to stop smoking, or to only smoke those that I really enjoy. But right now I'm not able to.

Can I step out of it?

Perhaps, stop smoking in this case could be the same as stepping out. But I consider it as a change process, requiring "time" to fulfil. Stepping out or leaving, personally, I consider it an option to leaving a place or conversation I don't feel comfortable to which I'm able to have an immediate impact. Probably, it's the conflict itself that hides the "stepping out" option to me.

Can I accept the situation as it is?

After asking myself this question, I know for sure that I have a conflict. I can't decide to let go, to just continue, nor am I able to reduce smoking to the cigarettes I really enjoy either.

So what am I going to do now?

I will go with option number 3 since I'm not able to do anything with 1 and 2 right now. While writing this, I started the process of acceptance. Accepting the conflict as it is right now in this moment. The situation I'm in is exactly how it is. But be careful, there's a caveat to pay attention to. Accepting the conflict means accepting that this conflict currently exists. That this "disagreement" within you happens right now. It does not mean accepting the conflict itself. Accepting a situation in which we don't feel "Ok", accepting that we don't feel Ok, will lead eventually to physical or mental diseases like depression, cancer and so on.

Our mind hates this option. Because it "seems" to lead nowhere. Our mind requires the past and the future to exist. Option number 3, does not set a goal, or an immediate action on the subject itself either. It only creates awareness of what is in this present moment, free from judgement.

As a side note: I'm using my example of conflict I currently have with smoking. Often, we notice that something's wrong, or feels wrong. But we cannot name it. We are not conscious about what it is. Here, option 3 will be the only option. Since we cannot change something we're not aware of, nor can we step out of the unknown either.

Remember that this present moment doesn't have the notion of time. There's no past, no future, only this eternal present moment that goes on and on, no beginning, no end. Bruce Lee for instance, said: "Be like water". We could also say: "Dance with life". Life is full of happenings that we learned to categorize as "good ones" and "bad ones". Every emotion, state, or whatever wants to be lived and experienced. Accept that it is the way it is and it will transform. Do not push it away from you because it feels "bad". And "then" you'll be able to, or you'll "find" a solution to whatever problem you're facing automatically. But don't search for it. Searching equals to expecting a reward in the future, whenever I will find. Everything will happen, will change and will disappear again. This is life. It's up to us if we want to build resistance and suffer or not. It's difficult to get it since we have conditioned our mind since thousands of years. Again, time is a measurement created by the mind of humanity. And nothing is further away from life than time.

Quit smoking is one of my biggest challenges as it represents my "past" life to me. My so believed "identity" that I obviously am not yet ready to let go.

I'll keep you posted.

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