Conflict Avoidance is Not Conflict Resolution
The fives in the minor arcana are all about change and challenge—there’s no room for complacency. Maybe that’s part of the reason the Fives of Wands can seem to take such a wide variety of positions on the theme of conflict, competition, inconvenient hassles, especially when reversed. Maybe it’s about conflict erupting into chaos. Maybe it’s about the quiet that falls after one of those arguments where everyone in the room gets up on the soap box, does their rant then sits down, not having listened to anyone else in the room. Maybe competitive spirit is doing more harm than good. Maybe that match you were going to see next Sunday was cancelled. As usual context, context, context.
What is calling out to me today about the reversed Five of Wands is its aspect of conflict avoidance, a subject any HSP is familiar with. Some people quite enjoy the energy of competitiveness, and even conflict. They get a buzz out of it. It gets their adrenalin pumping. HSPs, on the other hand, typically become nauseous in that energy and seek to avoid it.
Engaging in conflict for the thrill of it is not necessarily something to aspire to. On the other hand, there are times in life when we want or believe something different than the people around us and expressing our opinions or behaving in a way consistent with our beliefs puts us in conflict with those people.
Being in conflict with someone does not make either us or them good or bad, just different. We are who we are, and no one has the right to ask or require us to be anything else. However, to an HSP the mere concept of conflict can show up as bad, nevermind what the conflict is about. Instead of speaking our truth we shut our mouths, telling ourselves we are keeping the peace. We go with the flow and try not to make any waves. In short, we attempt to do the reverse of what the Five of Wands shows us.
And it just doesn’t work. Oh, it might work for the people around us, for a while anyway. They might not even know there is an issue because we never told them there is an issue, or pretended it didn’t matter. But it did matter. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but eventually this unresolved tension is going to leap out and bite someone, and maybe even bite you in the process.
Avoiding unnecessary conflict is A OK. Avoiding conflict that directly affects you and requires a resolution, or at least acceptance, is like putting a land mine in the living room, dusting it occasionally and hoping it never goes off.
As uncomfortable as it seems, some conflicts need to be engaged with and worked through.