Monday, 16 November 2015

How conflict can make you go within .. a personal story

Image from Pixabay
We probably all experience areas of conflict in our lives .. where part of us is thinking one thing and another is thinking something that contradicts it. It can be a right pain in the neck.

The areas of conflict will of course be unique to each person. Here is one of mine. Around 5 years ago, I came to a realisation that I possibly/probably did not want children (and I wrote a blog post last year about the subject here). It came as a little bit of a surprise to me - even though there had been times during at least one of my breakdowns that I swore I'd never have kids, I think that the majority of the time that I felt reasonably sane, I kind of assumed I would want kids, or never really thought much of it.

It's fine not to want children, of course. Some of the impressions I get from posts about raising children, are enough to put me off having kids for life - I feel particularly for mothers who do all the work with insufficient help from their partners. Plus, some people are just not cut out for it. There are some people raising kids that probably never should have them. But this realisation has produced a bit of an internal conflict which I haven't resolved yet.
The conflicting thoughts include:
It will be hard to meet a good, conscious woman who does not want children - most people want them.
If I am not to have children, it will limit the number of potential partners.
What if I really fall for someone who does want children?
Perhaps it's wrong not to want children - perhaps I 'should'.
What if I end up having a child - has life actually got other plans?
A 'spiritual' and supposedly 'open hearted' person should want children.
If I truly heal from within, will I end up wanting them? Who am I really?

My religious experiences have probably, to an extent, conditioned me to believe that God will either give me what I don't want or not give me what I want.

There's also, of course, other people who have extolled the virtues of having children when I've said I'm not keen on the idea.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this inner conflict has caused my brain to freeze a bit, and I haven't managed yet to get a romantic relationship that I have longed for at times - my conscious mind may want this, but my subconscious patterns are preventing it from happening.

The last question 'Who am I really' is a good one. And sometimes, you really do have to face your fears, without really knowing what will happen. The ego is heavily invested in getting what it wants and not getting what it doesn't want. The whole subject of wanting or not wanting children can be quite a difficult one - and I really don't like the whole stigma over women who don't want children - although I suspect a lot of the backlash towards these women comes from people who wished they'd never had kids. Even for me as a man, it's not an easy subject, and it's one which brings up a lot of fear on my part.

I've talked about the subjects of patience and trust recently .. and boy has this whole situation meant that I've needed to have a fair amount of both these qualities - mostly with myself. At the end of the day, this whole conflict is a symptom of a deeper issue, which I haven't yet got to the bottom of yet - and it certainly makes me a little more curious to go further along the journey of self discovery.

Recently, I have been reading an excellent book called 'Beyond Willpower' by Alex Loyd, which talks in quite a bit of detail about the subconscious mind and cellular memories. The book starts off by stating that what you really want is something internal. So often, we think that what we want is something external such as a relationship or lots of money. But really, what we are looking for is what we think that external thing will give us.

It is definitely not easy to gain a state of internal peace, particularly when there is so much conflict going on within the mind. And it's easy to focus on the external wars going on within our heads.

But we need to start within and go back to the source of love that is within all of us. Let go of what you think you want or don't want, or at least let go of holding on to them so tightly. Be willing to go through pain in order to see freedom. Trust that life/God will reveal more of who you truly are, and heal your heart. This does take time - I've not been going through an easy time of things recently, and sometimes I can do little else but trust - although sometimes I do end up kicking, screaming and resisting the process.

Sometimes, it can seem like I've been cursed in the area of romantic relationships - that life actually doesn't want me to have them - and even if you know that the responsibility to heal is yours, it doesn't necessarily make those feelings go away. Certainly, it has been an area that has been more difficult for me than probably most people. It might make my life easier if I did want kids. I would love to meet a good woman that I resonate with who shares my view on the whole subject, but sometimes I wonder whether such women are out there. It's hard for me to understand why all this internal chatter is in my head. But maybe .. it will help someone. Anyone who finds romance easy is lucky, but there are probably others going through similar turmoil as me. Sometimes, it's not even worth trying to work out the reason for something, but I think that there is always the potential to help at least one person through your own experiences.

Yes it's not easy sometimes. When it seems like most people are partnered up, it can easily make you question what is wrong with you, especially if you have been without a relationship for a very long time. It's easy to think that a relationship will make you happy. But being on your own is a great opportunity to get to know yourself. It is better to be on your own and have fewer friends of good quality, than have an unhappy relationship, kids which demand a lot of your time and wish you were single.

If you are going through some sort of conflict that is causing you stress, don't try and pretend it isn't there. Be willing to go deep within, to uncover hidden beliefs that you didn't know were there. Don't judge your experience. You are not going to be able to open your heart straight away - it's important to protect yourself and not make yourself too vulnerable, sometimes. Allow the conflicting beliefs and feelings to come up. You can't force yourself to change, so don't beat yourself up over how you feel. Be willing to follow your gut and go where life takes you. It's not easy and this journey is not for the faint hearted, and there are no guarantees where the journey will take you.

I hope this helps at least one person. It may seem like a bit of a strange post to some, but hopefully it will resonate with some of you.



  1. On the internal conflict thing… instead of a statement that defines your definite position on children, try telling yourself “at this point in my life I don't have kids and I am perfectly ok with that” “right now I'm perfectly ok with not having them ever”. This does not define you forever and you are free to change your mind any time you like, or not. That way as you grow and develop, you don’t have this belief tying you down. You don’t have to continue to wrestle with the conflicts it brings up about attracting a partner. You can say it with total confidence, accept it as true and move on to attracting a partner that is aligned with you and you can go on the journey together from there.

    Personally my husband used to say he didn't want kids. I always did and said I did. We could have let that keep us apart – not right for each other. Instead we just let each other be. We had time. We didn’t have to decide when we first got together. Life just worked it all for us while we focused on enjoying being together. He had concerns about his ability to be a father but as time passed he overcame those and as our friends started to breed, he began to change his mind. It was always clear to me that kids like being around my husband, he's a big child himself. His ability to entertain them, his patience with them, the attention they give him, he just needed to have that experience and this began to change his view.

    I wanted to be a mother (desperately when it looked for some time as if we couldn’t anyway, having finally made our choice to try!). I was fine with one, but after my second was born I found the whole experience incredibly overwhelming when it became real and it plunged me into depression. I wasn’t expecting that. I beat myself for not enjoying being the Mum I wanted to be. I thought I knew what I wanted and when I got it the reality was shocking and painful. It’s been the biggest growing period of my life since I was a teenager.

    You don’t have to have the answers to all those questions you ask yourself. As an over thinker myself I’m starting to realise some times it does more harm than good. Any weird and wonderful thing could happen to make the situation perfect for you. You might find a wonderful woman who wants children but finds it is too late for her. She might awaken in you a desire to help children of the world in another way, you don’t have to be a parent. Just be clear and accepting of where you are now. You don’t want kids, but you do want romance. God knows kids are shit for encouraging romance so enjoy exploring that without the question of pro-creation at all.

    Why battle yourself over it? Tying into the 'who am I' thing - who you are today? Are you the same person you were 20 years ago? Probably not. Who I am today may not be who I am tomorrow. You might you be tomorrow if you let go of needing to define your position and just live with the uncertainty?

  2. Love this whole realization. Also that book seems interesting, but I offer to you, that the belief that it is hard to meet good conscious women who don't want children too is horse-pucky or some other slang term that isn't coming to me at the moment.

    I don't want children. I have a TON of good conscious women and men in my life who don't want children either. I've started to notice, it seems like a "lightworker" thing. Meaning we know our energies are better spent else where. ALSO, to open up your prefrontal cortex, start noticing, being in gratitude for all the possibilities of HOW THIS SHOWS UP IN YOUR LIFE! This is how I started meeting more like minded souls.

    The one belief I used to have, that conscious men were hard to meet, had me in wonky relationship dynamics, now it's raining men! XOXO


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