• natalienuttall

There is conflict in my living room

There is conflict in my living room.

A TV screen broadcasts images of atrocity and political manoeuvres that have an unfathomable impact on defenceless civilians.

There's a conflict at my bedside.

A mobile screen scrolls minute-by-minute updates and news tickers narrate global uncertainty.

There's a conflict in my mind and heart.

They cannot hold the depths of sorrow and unexpected visuals that depict those inner lives across the world. Millions of lives over there, experienced in a mind, located right here in a living room.

A world shrunken by global communications, distorts experience and it seems that here, helplessly, we sit in eerie anticipation, remote yet close and a conflict rages on.

In the same living room, the blurry lines of experience and reality sharpen. The paradox lies in the way this reveals itself in an existential conversation. Because it looks like a discussion about true nature and reality is the gratuitous domain of navel gazing - far removed from war, loss, power dynamics and suffering.

Yet with a closer inspection of the role of the mind, we see it houses concepts. Graphic, compelling and arresting concepts that dominate our thoughts and create future happenings that seem so very close up and real.

Look to children, they know little of concepts, and yet so much more of present-moment aliveness. They're not immune to sadness, but they are living on the precipice of the unfolding now, animated by what is abundant and available right here.

As adults we are pulled by the grip of guilt, to find joy in a small pocket of existence feels wrong against a backdrop of political uprising.

There is torment in the juxtaposition.

If I turn off the TV, do I turn off my accountability and human conscience?

Yet how can I find peace in my heart when my mind is consumed by war and sorrow?

In a moment of stillness I see there is no separation apart from that which is created by the mind. There is of course, still conflict arising out there. To deny it would in itself be an act of suffering. Yet to keep playing out my mind's version of reality is to distort - and to perpetuate conflict within.

Maybe love's quiet invitation is in the momentary withdrawal from the mind's preoccupation and endless narratives.

Maybe it is a humble opportunity to look inwards at all the times, in the most nuanced of ways, I am condemning, judging, attacking and defending in the seemingly small, mundane moments.

Resistance breeds more resistance. Fear is contagious.

Maybe accountability is right here in this living room, and the potential for peace sits quietly in every single heart.

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