This week we explored conflict–in all of it’s glory. It drives the story in films, books, plays and it plays a powerful role in our own stories.
If you’re like me, you often wish conflict would take a day off and let joy (or success, ease or love) hog the spotlight for a while. However, conflict is rarely a slacker when it comes to good stories. And if we let it, conflict can serve us well.
The famous screenwriter guru, Robert McKee, talks about conflict having two majors purposes:
- It reveals the true character vs characterization of the hero. Essentially when the hero faces challenges, we get to see what is the hero’s true self versus false self. Or said this way: how does the hero like to think of himself/herself and how is he/she really like under pressure.
- It shows how much our hero desires whatever he/she is pursuing. When the challenges stack up, how much is our hero willing to fight for the goal, chase the quest?
As much as I’m not a natural fan of conflict, it has its gifts. It–like few other things–can help reveal what I am truly like versus the ideal self I’d like to think I am. And when I pay attention to that gap…well, that’s this incredible invitation to grow more into my true design.
Conflict can also show much how much I really desire something…it puts my WHY to test. Currently, as a Startup Founder, I am in the throes of what is literally termed the “Trough of Sorrow.” Seriously this season of moving forward in the midst of obstacle after obstacle with our new company has an official title entailing “sorrow.” Daily I am faced with: How much do I want this? How long can I endure the Trough of Sorrow?
Yet, if I let conflict do it’s good work in me there’s the hope of a The Promised Land…and more.
And that’s the hope for all of us…if we create the space for conflict to serve its purpose it will help us become more of who we’re designed to be and help us see how much we desire our dreams.
I’d love to hear how conflict is serving you in this season!