From ME to WE - Baptiste Level Three Pacific Grove CA 2018

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Shifting from the headspace of 'me' to 'we' doesn't come easily. Identifying blind spots, getting clear on what is actually happening takes attention and dedication.

The core of our inquiry work during Level Three began with the worksheet we were given Monday evening.

Stuck in the Box

Identify a person in your life where things are stuck (stuck in a rut, stuck in unworkability, stuck in upset and so on.) Write that name on the line below.

Inside the box, describe the relationship as it is right now - the mood, results, the conversations, etc. You can use words, pictures, sentences, etc.

I picked a current complaint person who I don't have much "charge" around but is a current complaint. I knew I was selecting an easy person because in the past I have actively avoided speaking of or complaining about those people with whom I've severed the ties of past relationships. I am also aware that just because I don't verbalize my past relationship struggles, doesn't mean I've actually dealt with those emotions. It only means I've buried them.

I worked with the person I'd selected to put in the box, not getting much out of the exercises. The "fire" at the root of the relationship with the person you've put in the box is that there is a broken agreement. The things you say about that person or situation are simply smoke and not the real root of the situation. At the end of Wednesday evening, Baron gave us the last in the steps on "The Way Out" and only then was I ready to delve into addressing a previous "stuck" relationship.

The steps to The Way Out are:

  1. Forgiveness
  2. Apology
  3. Declaration
  4. Make a new agreement or promise
  5. Stop it!

Now that I had the full toolset to address who was in the box, I felt safer to put a more charged person in the box. Even still, I didn't want to put pen to paper in the journal where I kept all my Baptiste Program notes. I tore out a page from a different notebook and put Greg in the box. The relationship is with my ex-husband. The broken agreement was that I would love, honor and cherish him til death do us part. I forgive myself for not being honest, I apologize for letting it go on so long, making it harder on both of us and for not telling him myself. I declare the agreement to love, honor and cherish him til death do us part to be complete. The new agreement I make is to honor our shared past for what it was and what it wasn't.

Thursday morning, the first participant to share was reticent to say the name of other person in their stuck relationship. I identified strongly with this sentiment. The woman who was sharing was standing right next to me and some of the emotion in her sharing was in direct alignment with what I was feeling about my "Life in the Box" exercise. I shared this with her as we broke into pairs to share on the overnight assignment. I told her about me not wanting to say his name, to not want to bring his name out into this space. I had it that if I did that, it would give him power and ownership over me. I shared again on this with my small group at lunch - how her share had impacted me and how I felt haunted by my past. I was beginning to see that not speaking of the person and the past is what gives it a power. The exact opposite of what I'd been thinking (which wasn't working).

When we returned from lunch to seats for sharing, I raised my hand right away to share. Baron called on me and I went to the mic and shared on the relationship, reluctantly said Greg's name at the mic, stated what I could forgive myself for, what I could forgive Greg for and what I could apologize for. After a few minutes at the mic of back and forth dialogue and questioning, Baron said something that I haven't heard stated in this way before - that we should leave people greater after our leaving. I thought about that for a time, thinking back to where I handled things badly. I see that me not honoring the past is what keeps the fire of the broken agreement alive. I see that by me not speaking and sharing, I am making it about me, withholding self and undermining others by hiding. Several people came up to me and said my share had helped them and for that I am grateful. It was not easy to put those words out into the present moment. Verbalizing thoughts and feelings of mine has been difficult for me in the past. Stepping out in front of when I want to take myself out of the situation by saying "I don't have to do this." is the work that I am in now.