In a time when conflict abounds, surrounds, & confounds us, we must remain resolute. We have the power to choose chaos or peace. Freud described conflicting internal forces-which were later labeled as “Eros versus Thanatos” or “life versus death”- as innate life instincts. Eros leads us to procreate, survive, and focus on continuing life whereas Thanatos is self-destructive and potentially life-threatening. The biblical explanation of these internal conflicts takes us to the very beginning of sin with Adam & Eve – a.k.a.”sin nature.” Ask yourself a simple question,
“How are people born?.” It’s not so simple. You need to understand your view of this question to better understand what you believe about people in general. Are we capable of change? Doomed in our sin? Forgiven? What is evil? How do we live-up to our own potential? Will the world ever have peace?
You see, simple answers are not always available. A person has to do a lot of internal work to find peace and resolve complex issues. We have strong internal urges and equally strong (if not stronger) external temptations. The balance of the mind, body, and spirit is ongoing. What tools can we use to resolve conflict? Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) offers a focus on here-and-now issues with an emphasis on actions to change your future.
Think about one of your most challenging conflicts (family, work, friends, kids, or marriage.) Now, focus on only one; it’s hard, I know! If you woke-up tomorrow and that conflict was resolved -not gone, as if your Thanatos instinct took over- what would be different? Hmm. Give yourself a moment to really imagine and feel the change which took place. Is there peace? Do you feel calmer? What looks different in your life? Was it you that changed or someone else?
This is called the “miracle question” in SFBT. One thing I have learned as a counselor is that most people come to counseling wanting to change someone else, the world, or the way others think or believe. I cannot change these things nor help you change these things. Spending your time, energy, and sanity on changing these things will make you sick. We must re-direct our energy and change what we can – ourselves and our reactions to chaos.
I want to leave you with the grand-scale miracle question…If you awoke to a world filled with peace, love, and no conflict…what would you see, feel, and be doing? What actions would you do to continue the change you see and feel? What would your goals become? Can you live in this “ideal world” without the world changing around you? “Can you be the change?”…-M. Ghandi
To learn more about SFBT counseling and ways to resolve your own internal conflict, visit: SFBT Info