Conflict is never just that. There’s always a nugget of gold, a gift buried inside. I’ve been saying it for years, experiencing it personally over and over again as this 2013 post suggests:


Sometimes someone else says it so well, the best you can do is pass it on. This month I’m sharing a post from Katherine Eitel Belt, a communication expert and coach ( Read it, absorb it and save it. You’ll appreciate the “gift.”

The Gift of Conflict

Every time we face conflict… it’s a generous gift. No exceptions. You may not accept the gift, but it is there for the taking, nonetheless. There is growth here for us that is available no other way but through conflict. In addition, every time we approach conflict from a bigger perspective … we model a better way … as a reminder to ourselves and as an example of a better alternative to the world.

Conflict arises as our ego and intellect try to protect us. Without that need, there is not conflict. Conflict can only exist when two people resist the other’s point of view, argue their truths, are attached to a particular outcome or process, and assume the ill-intent of others.

The trick to uncovering the gift of conflict is to recognize this and, upon sensing it, shift into the alternative awareness and the higher frequency of our bigger self. The self that:

  • doesn’t try to defend, only learn
  • doesn’t accuse, only tries to understand
  • starts from the assumption that everyone is good at their core and believes we all really want the same things
  • isn’t attached to one particular outcome but is always open to a broader, more creative and mutually-satisfying solution, if possible

Conflict is the stage on which we can practice these skills and learn to tap into our bigger selves more quickly and sure-footedly with each episode. It reminds us that love really is the “Universal Solvent” and forgiveness (of others and ourselves) really is the medicine that cures.

The next time you find yourself in conflict: Breathe, find your center, see and speak only to the goodness in others, resolve to remain open, listen only to seek true understanding, speak your truth with compassion.

One by one we can make our world a better place…. One conflict at a time.

Note: Perhaps a fine point because lawyers can’t help themselves: I believe it’s important to think about whether “ego” is used in the Freudian sense rather than the Ekhard Tolle sense in this phrase: “Conflict arises as our ego and intellect try to protect us. Without that need, there is not conflict.”  Sometimes conflict arises because my legitimate, whole-person needs (not just the ego’s) are different than your legitimate, whole-person needs. Then it’s a matter of applying all the wonderful suggestions in Katherine’s post to determine how those can co-exist–and sometimes they just can’t. Then separation or divorce is sometimes the only response that legitimately respects both person’s needs. How a divorce happens is influenced by how well each is able to employ these conflict resolution practices.

Wishing you wisdom,

Deborah Bennet Berecz


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