A Natural State Conflict
We are both in the right and the wrong at the same time.
I believe in taking accountability for my actions. Which means I can freely admit what I’ve done, and accept the consequences and repercussions as well.
I’m not blind or bias to my own involvement in a conflict situation. And I’m not so weak that I waste time pretending I don’t know the part I play in reducing or stoking the furnace of tension.
I like to be honest about the things I do. I like to tell people about myself.
Maybe it’s a side effect of earlier life trauma that I hold some polluted notion that honesty should, somehow, always absolve me. Or maybe it’s just a fundamental part of my astrological make up. (Aquarius Suns tend to be an overall truthful sign.) Another idea is that I like to tell my own stories so that no one can ever hold a thing over my head later.
You know how people are.
Either way, anyone I’ve ever had a conflict with (they are many, and surely they still really, really, really don’t like me) knows that I always admit to my part in it. Even when I truly don’t know where the friction started, I can always own to up to what I’ve done to escalate it, brining things to a head.
Another part of conflict that I have no problem with is apologizing. I’m not too proud to say sorry whenever I inadvertently hurt, insult, betray, or disappoint someone by my words or actions. And if I’ve hurt a person on purpose I’ll still acknowledge that too, though my apology usually begins and ends with “I’m sorry it got to this point.”
I think a lot of interpersonal conflict could be avoided if people felt safe enough in themselves to be honest all the time. That safety is a kind of confidence that come naturally to some, and takes work in others. It’s hard and can be exhausting and terrifying.
Humans tend to hide our feelings. We hide our motivations, and intentions. We hide our deepest desires. Even though I believe our deepest and most shared need is to be seen, we’re still afraid of the exposure. Ultimately, the inherent fear is that self-revelation – displaying the truths inside our hearts, however fleeting and fluid they are at times – will cause others to distance themselves from us.
We are afraid to feel abandoned, to be alone.
That fear is at the core of group-think, complicity, silence in situations that call for the courage to act – often in the most basic of moral capacities. The risk of doing the right thing in conditioned society that promotes the surrender of right and wrong to external authority is too high for some people to bare.
I am not afraid to be alone. I prefer it.
I’m more afraid to attach to people. One of my biggest fears – aside from death – is not being able to get distance from people. I hesitate to make friends and spend too much time, because I worry about expectations developing – from either myself or other people.
I don’t mind revealing myself and being abandoned, mocked, or socially exiled. It’s happened often enough now that I’ve simply learned how people operate. And I don’t care for the majority of them.
So I hesitate to engage with people on deeper levels which are likely to yield conflict. But if one pops up I won’t avoid it. And I won’t deny anything I’ve done.
When conflict arises and my bolder nature works to alienate others, I feel more free. Now I don’t have to engage in any of the game play. I don’t have to give over any of my energy into making others feel safe, happy, entertained, or whatever it is which initially attracts other people to me – be they friends of lovers.
Perhaps it’s the element of danger – slight as it may be (because I’m not actually scary) – that makes people want to know me. The idea of knowing a person who and does, more often than not, whatever she feels. I imagine this is quite alluring to people who are more reserved, composed, timid, calculating or manipulative.
It must be fun hear my stories, and be in my presence when I’m being enthusiastic AF – something like visiting the circus. But the circus is my life, and it’s constant.
There is always going to be a misfire or two, a roller coaster car gone off its track. Ringside seats are exclusive for those who don’t try to control or direct the show. And as far as my own activities inside the fracas, I have nothing to hide.
I doubt I will ever be easy for other people.
I don’t easily conform. I don’t see the world as it is as and accept its banal mediocrity or downright evil bullshit. I reject all of it, and I speak up.
In that way I will always pose a threat to people who cannot, have not yet figured out how to be honest. In that way, my very existence – my liberal speech and expression, my willingness to fall, fumble, mess up, shrug it off and continue on – will always put me in conflict with those who are frightened of exposure, of failure, of being alone, or doing without.
I can not apologize for fears I did not give to other people, regardless of whether I amplify them or not. I cannot apologize for being myself. That’s absurd.
And I refuse to alter, disguise, or manipulate my identity out of others’ fear of conflict, or my own fear of being misunderstood. When you operate on an alternate wavelength being misunderstood is par for the course.
To change who I am just to appease others would be dishonest. For me to be quieter, tamer, more level-headed, reasonable, calculating, or secretive would be to live a lie. I’ll keep messing up for sure. I’ll run into conflict and move on.
I embrace this pattern for the material it inevitably provides me.