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  • Writer's pictureGaelle Bretin-Tokpo

How to End Inner Conflict and Enter a Peaceful State

In my post "how to go with the flow " I talked about the inner civil war I was experiencing. And so today, I would like to elaborate on the topic of inner conflict.

In order to talk about inner conflict, I would like to first introduce the concept that, in life, and even thought we may not realise it at first, we apparently always get what we want. But what we want seems to be a mix of various and often contradictory desires that are for some part conscious and for some others subconscious. So because some of our desires are subconscious we don’t even know we have them. Though, they express themselves into our lives. Carl Jung famously said: « Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate ». Therefore that is by looking at our lives that we can know what it is that we actually desire. If there are things in our reality that seem to be unwanted, it means that we may not be conscious of some desires. So this is precisely the source of inner conflict: different parts of ourselves want different contradictory things and so they are fighting with each other in order to get what they personally want. And all that mostly subconsciously, behind the scene, in the back of the conscious awareness. For example if I say that I want a romantic partner but have been single for five years, then it is a great sign of contradictory desires. And when I fight around against the circumstances that keep me single because I don't like their outcome, I, the conscious part of me that wants to find a partner, is actually declaring war to another part of myself, a subconscious one, that wants to be single in an attempt to be protected from what it perceives as a threat in the idea of being in a couple. This perception and the defence mechanism it leads to are more than likely to trace back to childhood and are more irrational and emotional-based than analytical or logical. The reason is that in childhood we don’t have the same capacity of reasoning than we now have as adults. Indeed, as children we see the world through emotions and feelings instead of logic and reasoning, and so we actually feel our reality more than we think it. As children, we also don't have the same capacity of protecting ourselves than we have now, and we don't have the same threats either. For instance, today, if our parents don't love us, we are not going to die, but back then, it was certainly a threat because we were dependable on them to feed us, give us a roof, clothes and protection. So the threats we identified in our childhood and the solutions we found to protect ourselves from potential uncomfortable or dangerous outcomes were totally valid at the time. Some of them are honestly still be valid, however, since we have now grown up a bunch of the decisions we made at the time are definitely not suitable anymore. But since they had been stored as emotional and somatic patterns we now see them as dysfunctional patterns because they are what causes us to subconsciously desire things that we consciously see as unwanted in our current lives. So now, we have within ourselves all sort of contradictory inputs, a mix of childhood fears and adulthood growth desires that play out simultaneously and that give us the impulse to behave and ultimately create the reality we live in. And so if I am single although I want a partner, for sure, there is within me an unseen, unheard, unacknowledged, not understood, invalidated, unnurtured little girl whose desire to protect herself from a threat related to love and men is bigger than my conscious adult's desire to be in a romantic relationship. And that's because her desire is bigger than my conscious one that my reality is the way it is. Of course, fighting this little girl will give no good results. I would just hurt myself, because she is me. And I would hurt myself twice because the adult within me who wants the relationship would not be getting it anyway. And this hurts. So instead of fighting, ignore or push this inner child away, the solution would be to turn myself toward her and, for the first time, to see, hear, acknowledge, understand, validate and nurture her. I’d need to see, to realise, that she is not an enemy and that she actually wants to protect herself and therefore to protect me from being hurt and from loosing or not getting something essential. If I listen and hear what she says, I'll notice that behind the fear she is holding something I want and desire too. For example, let’s take someone who procrastinates in starting up their business. We may think that they are just lazy. But actually if they listen to the message their fear is carrying, they may find out that they are procrastinating not because of laziness but because some hidden part of themselves is seing that the business they are trying to build is just going to enslave them. Instead of being their boss’s slave they will be their own slave, their own business’s slave, maybe their clients’ slave, while the very reason why they wanted to start this business in the first place was to access freedom. So in those circumstances, it’s actually good to listen to our fears and to ask ourselves how we can build a business that is set up for freedom rather than for creating new chains to replace previous ones. Once we find a way to do so there will be no more procrastination. By listening to our fears and to the priceless message they are trying to deliver about our deepest hidden desires, that is what will end inner conflict within ourselves and bring us to a state of inner peace and fulfilment.

Much love to you. And peace. And fulfilment.

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