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Handling Conflict March 16, 2009

Posted by frostwolftfirerose in Uncategorized.
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I’ll be the first to admit I hate handling conflicts between others or those that involve myself in some way.  I have to admit that part of the reason for this is because of how we all have been systematically abused in the area of our critical thinking abilities and that we are not really urged to think for ourselves, but to give the appearance of self-aware thinking that merely parrots party lines.  We’re trained to lie, first to ourselves then to others, in the name of “getting along.”

Over the weekend, I received Carolyn Baker’s new book, and I’m devouring it.  I just read the chapter on dialog circles, and I know from my own personal experience that sometimes people ask what to them is an obvious question, and funny enough, someone else hasn’t even considered the subject being addressed.  I appreciated that conflict needs to be addressed when it arises, and that when people have resentments or feel that they can not step forward with their concerns for whatever reason, then something is wrong. 

I have been in numerous situations where someone has been scapegoated, and have even been the person who has been held up for abuse.  Ms. B mentions the work of Scott Peck, and I realize that sometimes I’m acting as the magnetized emotional conscience of a group.  Not always, but enough times to realize this is an aspect of my personality that needs to be acknowledged and respected.  Peck wrote extensively in The Different Drum about true community, outlining a few stages of growth to realize such a thing.  Many groups never get beyond the pseudocommunity stage, and I certainly have been a part of those groups.  I feel I’m in a stage with a group I’m part of that is moving into that intermediate place between being a contentious group of people and one where all of us are leaders and followers simultaneously.  There are some sterling folks involved in this endeavor and we all have foibles as well.

I understand that part of my path involves healing the aspect of me that has been wounded by the vEmpire and kept me from articulating my own thoughts.  I see I’ll be given ample opportunities in the future to do this, though it will be tricky.  There is a virulent strain of nabobism up here, but it’s everywhere.  New York City too, has its share of nabobs, whether lefty, righty, or mushy-middlin’.  I have come to recognize the kickin’ aspect of my belief system that needs to be held in firm check like the lion on the Strength card of the Tarot.  I need to be able to respond rather than react, and I’ve been amazed at my ability to do so, though sometimes it’s not as timely as I would like.  (Awareness is not always immediate, alas.) 

In dialog circles, there are no wrong or right, and we all have to speak from the heart.  It’s always good to start with the feeling–mad, sad, glad, lonely, scared.  Numb, even–which is a form of scared, I think.  And to treat each person with love and firmness at the same time.  To expect that same treatment, and to expect to learn how to be present to one another.  That is quite a tall order.  But in 12 Step rooms, we do learn to do this, and it spreads miraculously into the other areas of our lives.

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