The trouble with inner conflicts is that we often don’t even know we have them. Here’s an example: When I was young, my parents allowed my older sister to abuse me – verbally, physically and emotionally. They did nothing to stop her, and they did nothing to protect me. They allowed and enabled her treatment of me and, in fact, they (perhaps unknowingly) rewarded it. The physical abuse ended when I finally got old enough or angry enough or fed up enough to stand up for myself, and the verbal and emotional abuse stopped only when my sister died. That’s a story for another day though.
You might be wondering what all this has to do with inner conflict. Well, the unequal treatment created an inner conflict for me. It taught me that I was somehow less worthy than my sister, and therefore probably everybody else. It also taught me that:
- it was me against the world – because obviously I wasn’t worthy of being protected
- my parents loved me less than my sister
- it was pointless to seek help
And here’s the inner conflict: I believed that my sister was worthy of help and support, yet I was not. What made her any more worthy than me? Or what made me any less worthy than she? I tried and tried to figure this out, unsuccessfully. I started living down to, rather than up to, some invisible low standard so as to justify this lack of parental protection. Unfortunately though, I was asking the wrong question. I kept asking myself “What’s wrong with me?” instead of “Why do my parents allow my sister’s childish, bullying behaviour?”
This inner conflict caused me to apologize for anything and everything (even for my very existence), and to treat others as though they were more important and more deserving than me. It also caused me to think of myself as a victim, because I learned to expect to be hurt. It took a lot of dedicated work, but I was able to shed my burden.
Do you have unresolved inner conflicts that are hurting your ability to live a full, satisfying life? Visit my website and learn how to recognize and change the negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions they cause. Start allowing the vast wisdom of the Universal Intelligence to answer the painful, difficult questions we had as children.