I remember my friend Samara saying this line in a workshop in Findhorn at the New Story Summit. She is working with black communities in US and has a group called Truthworker. They are using arts to resist domination paradigms and create transformations in our world.
This line came alive for me last year when I was working with the NVC Convention prep team in India. There were moments when there were things which were important for me when we were taking some decisions about the convention. When there was some disagreement, I imagined or feared that I will not be heard. I have had such feelings in the past when I have worked with some other groups too. I kind of relived that experience of the same fear i might have experienced in school or in my family which made the situation more intense. There was the issue and the story that I was telling about the issue and the major space was taken by the fear or imagining that I will not be heard.
Unconsciously my fear turned into anger and my expression was seen as lashing out by some people in the team. It makes full sense why they would felt that I was ‘lashing out’, as my response had a strong energy. However I realised that even though I spoke with anger but there were people in the group to hold me in those times, they tried to listen to my concerns which helped them become visible to others. Once I realised that my voice was being heard and I mattered, it made me slow down and even created spaciousness in me which allowed me to listen to others too and to try to understand their world too. Its nice to have some people to hold space in a group in a time of conflict who can hear different expressions without getting triggered. This role can be played by different people at different times.
As group, we all did a lot of hard work and came to understanding what was important for all of us. I have not seen such strong disconnects transform into some kind of common understandings so fast and with such little pain.
In the process I see that some of my stories that I was carrying from my past dropped as we engaged together in a compassionate ways. The one was the fear that I will not be heard, or I dont matter.
I am glad we had conversations about decision making and what is our policy on making decisions in the time of crisis. We were very transparent in our decision making. Besides we were also acting out of NVC space where we were trying to see where the other person comes from. We also used Sociocratic process in proposal forming and getting consent on them and not to move with a decision till every one is heard. We made the space for hearing objections and the reason’s behind them, once the reasons were heard they were incorporated to change the proposals to make the proposals acceptable to all. The final proposal at times was not the perfect solution from everyone’s perspectives but it was some thing that we all could live by for a certain time frame.
As a result of this one year of working with the NVC convention I sense that I am beginning to heal myself of some of my stories and as a result feeling lighter inside. I would definitely want to be more aware of it and would want self connection next time some thing similar happens. Try to see what is it that I really want, look at if its really in danger or my story is playing some game with me, look around and see that this situation is different from my past situation which created pain. As Marshall says to see every incident as a new born child. If I see a story also try to see the beautiful need behind it and enjoy that need.
Thats one of the story I was carrying with me, I wish to understand some other stories that I am carrying on my shoulders.
That will be possible if I can see the world of the people whose actions had caused me hurt in the past, I know thats also hard work but thats where I also believe where the light is.