Thursday, March 24, 2011

I meet, talk with, work with,
try to be effective with people
who have lived a life that
I could not even imagine.

They are living it out now
right in front of me.
Hell on legs.
It is for them.
And I feel it.

In discussion it comes out.
Sometimes it takes along time.
Then it is shared.
Something big which they want to share.
The climate must be right.
For them.
The time must be right.
For them.
It is so stinking good if they can let it out.
To tell the pain.
Tell their story.
I love it ..... the privilege to hear it and share it.
I hate it ..... the messed up lives.

They are the products of people
who have loved them,
failed to love them or
have been unable to love them.

The groups I facilitate,
even for groups of professionals
who hold down substantial jobs,
I see people open up in the right climate.
And they love it.
Even when touching their own pain.
But then so easily ....
... the masks can so easily be returned.
The communication can become so thin,
so little given away.

"I do not ask the wounded person how he feels,
I myself become the wounded person"
Walt Whitman.

How to become a human person
who accepts another unconditionally
is a challenge.
it is so easy for those with messed up lives
to be harshly dealt with by the helpers.
If not dealt with, the tone of voice,
the 'after whisper' to a coworker.

Feelings of inadequacy are hidden behind hurt hearts.
We fail to love the unlovely as we would the lovely.
We depend so much on the ball we throw to them,
being thrown back ...... with a smile.
How we fail.

The trouble is,
I honestly believe that we are responsible
'to' people
'for' people.

That means, it seems to me,
that we give what we have
not what we haven't.

We give until it hurts.
But sometimes that is not enough.
That means sometime, few I trust,
we need to make decisions
for the benefit of the whole community
and that often means
for the offenders benefit too.

But I hate that.
Most workers do.
For almost all, that is the worst outcome.
We can only give what we have.

Jean Vanier, one of my favorite authors.
He started the l'Arche movement.
"Wounded people
who have been broken
by suffering and sickness
ask for only one thing:
a heart that loves
and commits themselves to them,
a heart full of hope for them."