Ethics and Self-Conflict: It’s Your Problem

Conflict: a well known term nowadays. We have conflict between political parties, family members, health issues and more. But what about self-conflict? To be able to have healthy arguments and disagreements that don’t end in hatred, we first have to have the ability to deal with conflicts within self.

We need to cultivate an awareness of intention, presence, and focus. Attention at the quiet and still levels of the mind cultivates an inner perceptual awareness and enhances relaxed focus and sensorial listening. Through increased self-knowledge, we attain a greater understanding of intuitive signals when ethical conflicts arise and throughout the resolution process. Knowledge of self results in an increased ability to be able to handle the conflicts that the world so randomly throws at us.

What is conflict?

You would think, based off of today’s happenings, that conflict could directly translate to most things social media: public shaming, cancel culture, unfriending and unfollowing people. But conflict, especially self-conflict is a bit more complicated than that, and our hope is that once we grasp the idea of where the conflict is coming from, then we can do the work from the inside out to change that conflict to a dispute, and maybe even from there, to a compromise resulting in an agreement.

Some dictionary definitions for conflict include:

  • discord of action, feeling, or effect; antagonism or opposition, as of interests or principles
  • incompatibility or interference, as of one idea, desire, event, or activity with another
  • a mental struggle arising from opposing demands or impulses, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands
  • a fight, battle, or struggle
  • a controversy
  • strong disagreement between people, groups, etc.

Now imagine these definitions as self-conflict and not a conflict against something or someone else. A bit more intense, right? I mean, how do you fight against yourself? How do you know who wins? Well, when you do the work, you win! And when you win, we all win.

What’s the difference between a conflict and a dispute?

Before we get to the actual doing the work part of understanding self-conflict, we need to have a working understanding of the difference between a conflict and a dispute. Very simply put, “A dispute is a short-term disagreement that can result in the disputants reaching some sort of resolution; it involves issues that are negotiable. Conflict, in contrast, is long-term with deeply rooted issues that are seen as “non-negotiable” (John Burton, 1990).

Using these definitions, there’s an inherent understanding that a dispute can be solved or at the very least, within a dispute we have the ability to recognize differing opinions. And just the mention of conflict elicits feelings of stress, injustice and war, to name a few.

Words are Powerful

Should these words be more fluid? Are our ideas, values, morals negotiable from within? Should these be negotiable? Are we hard-wired to be who we are? Or can we change? Can we take our internal conflicts – things that are generally seen as non-negotiable – and bring them together to create an agreement?

Tough questions, we hope you join the full conversation about self-conflict and how to create action within yourself through Integrated Natural Health’s Ethics: Conflict Resolution Course.

In the meantime, let’s keep talking here. Words are just words, right? True; they really have no power…until we give them that power! And as a society, we have definitely given words power. They can imply and manipulate. They can lead you towards the good and terrorize you into the bad. They can both inspire you and shut you down in an instant.

Words have impact. Choose them wisely, especially when talking to yourself. Because ultimately, everything, yes, even conflict, starts from within.

Trust your Struggle sign

It’s your reaction that counts.

It’s really about you; you have the problem.

What’s your initial reaction to that statement? It’s a tough one to swallow, right. Yet it’s true. Whether or not you’re dealing with a conflict, a dispute, a celebration, a reflection, a sadness, anything…your reactions belong to you and you alone.

I get it; easier said than done. We need tools to help us with our reactions when conflict or disputes arise. If our inner fire burns without control, we’ve burned the bridge, and bridges aren’t easy to build back up. If we want to have any chance of bridging this very wide gap in our world today, we have to stop burning bridges. We have to learn, first and foremost, how to control our self.

How do you transform your reaction?

Awareness of the qualities of contact, presence, mindfulness, and self-awareness leads to transformation within self.

Mindfulness tools such as meditation, breath awareness, and somatic (conscious) movement have been shown to positively effect autonomic physiological processes. You know, the ones we think we can’t control? Such as our quick response to anger with heavy breathing, quicker heart rate, and increased tension and adrenaline.

theresa meditation on a boat at Alcova

Mindfulness can keep us in control, and that increased engagement with the present moment benefits you and the people around you.

But mindfulness doesn’t just happen because you want it to. Just like anything else worth attaining, you have to do the work. You have to train your mind to react the way you want it to. You have to create a space within yourself that allows you to have an inner conversation before your all-too-powerful words and actions come spewing out without any reasoning or thought or discipline behind them. We train our bodies so that they support us; we need to do the same for our minds.

So, in the end – ethics and self-conflict – yep, it’s really all about you.

Don’t let this be the end of the road. Sign up now for Ethics: Conflict Resolution, where you’ll learn more about your self and how to handle inner conflict so that you can better handle the outer world. 

LEARNING OUTCOMES AND OBJECTIVES for Ethics: Conflict Resolution

  • Improve listening and communication skills
  • Cultivate an awareness of their personal virtues and values through quiet reflection
  • Demonstrate mindfulness practices to positively effect autonomic physiological processes as a tool to calmly identify potential ethical dilemmas
  • Cultivate life skills to enhance self-control, critical thinking, conflict resolution and compassionate action
  • Demonstrate the use of mindfulness tools to reduce reactivity
  • Incorporate the use of mindfulness communication practices as a tool when hands-on techniques elicit emotional responses from care receives
CE credits available

If you or your company are interested in hiring INH to teach your ethics class either as a business or personal development course or for specific continuing education needs, see below for more detailed information, and email Theresa Macy, Education Guru and Ethics Educator directly at

She will provide you with an Ethics Course that meets your requirements, yet one that you have never experienced prior. Her style will keep you engaged, invigorated and excited about this much needed topic in today’s heated, digital, one-sided world. You need her insight.

Fireside Ethics Listening around the fire
Fireside Ethics Class – Theresa will make the class work for you.

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