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The World's Greatest Battle!
The Battle With Self-Conflict
The word conflict implies there are two
opposing sides set against each other. War is conflict. In truth, each
conflict that we have with another is like a mini-war. At times, a
conflict may grow into a major battle. Other times, it stays in the
realm of an ongoing minor skirmish.
The definition of Conflict that we will use is this:
CONFLICT is the outcome of the improper use of genuine character strength to the extent that harm, insult, or injury occurs toward another or toward your own self.
So then, what is personal conflict? Personal conflict is when one
is at war with their own self. That sounds a bit severe, does it not? It is
to be at war with your own self! To be in a war against your own self is not
necessarily a bad thing. However, the worst loss in the war against your own
self is suicide. Yet, self-conflict often results in victories ...not defeats!
Every human being has at least some level of self-conflict.
E G White, a 19th century author, once wrote:
The warfare against self is the greatest battle
Moreover, Aristotle, who is considered to be the world's greatest thinker
Have you ever heard it said, "A person conforms to the
dictates of their own conscience?" It is sort of fancy way of saying that
a person is simply following his or her own conscience.
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his
enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.
So then, what is a conscience? Officially,
it is "the sense or consciousness
of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's own conduct, intentions,
or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or
Having said that, let's simply say that our conscience
is the little voice inside our head telling us to do right and not
to do wrong. So then, self-conflict is when we are struggling to do
the right things and not to do the wrong things.
If suicide is the worst loss in the war of self-conflict, then what is
the best victory?
That is a good question! The best victory in the war
of self-conflict is when we make our next choice correctly. We win our
best victories just one good choice at a time. When one good choice is
followed by another ...and then another, we are forming our own character. The
best time to begin this pattern of character growth is now!
For now, the choices that we are talking
about are those things that involve just our own selves. These choices are what we choose for
ourselves when no one else is looking. They are the things we choose for
ourselves when we do not think we have to be accountable for our actions.
They are all those things that we choose for ourselves when we think it
is nobody's business but our own!
What do you do when nobody is looking? What do you do when you do not think
anybody important in your life will find out? In private, do you act the
same as your friends and family think you do? Perhaps you have some secrets
that no one knows about except you. Or, perhaps you have become bold and
do not care anymore who is watching you or what they think about it.
It would be very easy to come up with a list of
examples of many types of self-conflict. However, a problem may occur
if you did not see your particular self-conflict on the list. You might
talk yourself into thinking you are off the hook.
We all like to justify our actions
as not being as bad as others.
We talk ourselves into thinking
we are much better than we really are because we imagine that other
people are so much worse!
Of course, your own self-conflicts and self-justifications are
not nearly as bad as the following examples ...ah, or perhaps yours
are even worse!
- The one who over-eats may be thankful that they are not as
bad as a smoker is.
- The one who is a smoker may be thankful they
are not as bad as an alcoholic is.
- The alcoholic may be thankful they are not as
bad as a marijuana user is.
- The marijuana user may be thankful they are not
as bad as an amphetamine user.
- The amphetamine user may be thankful they are
not as bad as a heroin addict is.
- The heroin addict may be thankful they are not
as bad as one who would betray a friend
is ...and so on!
At Solving Conflicts,
self-justifying does not fit into our system. It does not matter if
someone else has worse self-conflicts than you do. It does not matter
who else shares the blame.
This is a place where you will learn about
you. This is a place where you will discover your need for mercy
is far greater than your need to be merciful. This is a place where
you will see what character traits influence you in the choices you
The good news for
you is that no one else will ever know your self-conflicts. They will
never know specifically what they are or whether you are making progress
in overcoming them.
The bad news for you is that no one else
will ever know your self-conflicts. They will never know specifically what
they are or whether you are making progress in overcoming them.
both the good news and the bad news!
You see, you can fool most everyone in your
life if you really want to. You an isolate yourself, and no one will
ever know. The issue is not whether others know or not. The issue
is the fact that you already know! You already
know what those self-conflicts are. The fact that you already know
means you have already been caught!
Are you ready to be honest with your own self about
them? Are you ready to win the war of self-conflict? The choice is
yours to make. Remember, the only choice you need to worry about is
the choice you make next. So far, your next choice is the only one
Solving Conflicts is
a system for you to keep track of your own self in a very private
way. You will be able to take a close look at yourself. We will
help you to uncover your true character strengths. We will provide
suggestions concerning how to make improvements ...one
good choice at a time!
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