To a significant degree, our counterproductive reactions to most situations involving conflict are a function of the extent to which we cling to inaccurate views of the nature of life. A primary Buddhist teaching relates to the truth of suffering and the inherent unsatisfactoriness of existence. This “unsatisfactoriness” is often manifested in the impermanence, pain and perpetual incompleteness intrinsic to all forms of life.
In modern American society, most of us have lived with decades of pervasive conditioning that life should provide us with lasting “happiness.” In order to successfully promote goods, services, ideas, etc., the idea of happiness continued in these messages promises some perpetual state of bliss devoid of pain and suffering.
Problems begin to surface when we come to internalize this notion of “happiness” to a point at which we unconsciously accept these messages as truth. Once this misguided idea of the nature of reality has been adopted, we are well positioned for highly charged reactions to life situations that do not square with these internalized ideals.
Almost invariably, situations arise that are painful. These situations involve loss in the form of relationships, material acquisitions, physical health, and eventually life itself. One’s refusal to accept these realities of existence will eventually cause one to react to conflict either by simply denying reality inherent in the situation, or by pushing back in a futile effort to manipulate reality so as to make these situations “go away.”
This type of reactionary behavior and denial can be extremely unhelpful and damaging when facing legal conflict. Defensive reactions aimed at preserving egoic ideals of how life “should be” can effectively sever one from an ability to open up to a wider, more holistic view of the situation at hand. Viewing the situation from such a constrained vantage point will usually preclude identification of optimal solutions to conflict.
The integration of mindfulness with law practice offers the potential of moving beyond one’s conditioning that life should not include suffering. In so doing, people involved in legal conflict may become far better able to identify and implement optimal solutions that can serve to fundamentally improve their lives long after concrete legal issues have been resolved.
To learn more about the transformational potential of holistic law practice, contact Licensed Psychotherapist and Attorney Michael Lubofsky at (415) 508-6263, or visit https://www.lawyertherapist.com.