No matter how loving, open, and accepting we are, there are always times when we disagree with other people and find it necessary to confront them. Confrontation is a very normal part of our existence. It’s healthy for us to express how we feel and think, even when we disagree with others, but it can be hard to discern how to do so in a healthy and spiritual way.
We sometimes think we have control over a situation, believing what we say or how we act will give us the desired outcome we are looking for. When it comes to a disagreement, we might think if we say the right thing or maybe even yell and scream to get our point across, the other person will admit we are right and back down. On the contrary, the kabbalists explain that everything that happens in our physical reality is a direct result of the spiritual reality. So what can we do spiritually to gain more control in the physical world?
The idea of proactive confrontation means confronting someone from the right place – from a place of Light, rather than attacking them or picking a fight. The truth is, the only real control we have is in the choice to let the Light take over, or to fall victim to our own negativity.
Here are 5 steps to help practice proactive confrontation:
Just because we have a disagreement, it does not mean that we need to wish the other person ill. Instead of judgment or bad thoughts, send Light to the situation. When we give positive energy to another person, we become givers, not victims. A victim lets other people and situations control them. When we give to others, we are in the driver’s seat. Remember that it’s not about winning or being right - it’s about letting the Light resolve the situation.
Being entitled means we think we deserve something because of our past. We think we have earned a promotion. We believe we have been a good friend and deserve a favor. Even if we are right, thinking that we deserve something is dwelling in the past instead of focusing on the present. The truth is, we don’t know what we deserve, because that is for the Creator to decide. It is our ego that tells us we deserve something, and this blocks us from the blessings of the present. Instead of feeling like we deserve a blessing because of our past actions, we should ask the Creator for help in the present.
Every situation, no matter how big or small, comes from the Creator. This means there is a blessing in it, no matter how hard it is to find. This is a simple, but difficult idea to practice. Even when we have a disagreement with someone, that is a blessing from the Creator meant to help us learn and grow into better people. The more that we work on this, the easier it becomes to confront others with love, compassion, and Light.
When we are facing a confrontation, the real battle is actually with ourselves. The Creator has put this confrontation in our path to teach us something about ourselves. And the biggest disadvantage that we have is that we are blind to our own negativity! This is true for every human being, no matter how spiritually enlightened. The only difference is that a spiritual person realizes that they are blind. The more we recognize our own blindness, the deeper we can dig to start finding the parts within us that we need to work on. Every confrontation with another person is really an opportunity to confront ourselves.
Ego is all about expecting specific results. Humility is the acknowledgment that the Creator knows what our souls need, much more so than we do. When we confront someone, we may believe so deeply that we are right – but being right doesn’t mean we don’t need to work on our ego.
It is perfectly natural to have disagreements, but it is important that we approach them with open hearts. The truth is, we don’t know how things are meant to play out. We can’t see the big picture. Only the Creator can do that.
Rav Berg often taught that the only battle worth fighting is the one within our own minds. At the end of the day, consciousness is everything. By practicing proactive confrontation, we can align our consciousness with the Creator and bring Light into our lives and the lives of others. We cannot solve every problem, but we can face them with love.