Weekend workshop

February 9, 2009 at 6:13 pm Leave a comment

Holy moly! I didn’t quite expect this. I went to a combined self-development & continued education workshop this past weekend. It is one in a series of several weekends spread out over the next few years. I went there expecting to learn a lot, and I was open. It was clear to me that I would be faced with issues and learn things.

BUT I went there thinking that this weekend would be easy. Since I’ve gone through so much in my life, worked so hard to deal with so much, I assumed I would sail through this weekend. I figured the other participants would have more issues, and I kind of basked on my cushion of experience.

“So, what happened?” one might ask. Well, the first couple of days went along just fine. I learned a lot and found it extremely valuable. Today, on the last day, I was quite unexpectedly confronted with some of my worst issues. All of a sudden I was catapulted into a situation that was not at all comfortable. We had to choose sub-groups from the larger group. And the sub-groups would work together for the next year or so. There I was, all at once faced with all of my worst issues: wanting to be in a group, but feeling like an intruder; not wanting to get stuck working with someone to whom I developed an immediate aversion (even though I know it has something to do with me); wondering if I’m being childish and should compromise; not sure where the border is between compromise and resignation.

Luckily we had a lunch break in between. We were instructed not to discuss details of that process, and that it would resume after lunch. There were a few other discontented, frustrated people at my table and I joked: “Well, we all said we knew it wasn’t going to be just fun and that we were open to challenges. Here’s the first big one!” It did help to commiserate, even though we didn’t know the details of each other’s suffering.

I went inside myself a bit and reflected, asking myself what was important to me, what compromise I was willing to make. I knew that I did not want to simply resign myself to something I felt so strongly against. I have a problem with people overstepping my energetic boundary and coming too close — without it being mutual. It really annoys me, because I have a hard time extricating myself — for fear of hurting their feelings. I decided that I would not give in. I would not simply let it happen to me.

After lunch we assembled in the conference room, joining our “groups” to see if they would stay as they were or change. I saw someone standing all alone who hadn’t found a group, and decided to join him. A few more joined us (who’d happened to be frustrated during the lunch break), and suddenly we all smiled and breathed a sigh of relief. We actually laughed.

It had been an agonizing process, but it took me a step further. I realized that I don’t have to give in, be nice, and not make waves. Nor do I have to cry and/or throw a temper tantrum. I can look out for myself and find a space to work in. It wasn’t the “perfect” group, and there were a few other people with whom I would have really liked to be in the same group with, but I found a workable group with potential.

I am satisfied with the results. This was just one exercise. I know I’ll still have to face the “don’t come so close to me” issue over the course of time with that specific person, but I feel a little stronger and I think I’ll manage. Boy, it sure is easier to say, “I’m looking forward to a challenge!” than it is to face one!

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Today’s energy The morning after

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