We began today’s session in our groups again and, as usual, first of all we were asked if we had any leftovers from last week’s powerful session. I was determined not to be the first to speak but as everyone sat, silent, I finally spoke up about the breakthrough that I had experienced.
I told the group how grateful I am for the sudden, dramatic development that I’d experienced in the previous session. I explained that now – for the first time – I felt that I am really part of this group of people; that I belong. I no longer feel like an outsider. I feel warmly accepted, appreciated and acknowledged. I wanted to give everyone in the group a big hug!
Then it was time for us to review the goals that we had previous set for ourselves. One by one, each of us spoke about the original goals we had chosen and explained which ones we felt we had progressed towards and which still needed further work.
My second blog, about the first session, explains why I chose these goals. Regarding my fear of intimacy, well, I can certainly say that I have come quite a way in terms of my first goal, at least within the group; I do not feel alienated or isolated from the others here. I feel accepted and confident that I can trust my companions on this journey. Writing this, I now realise that I still have a lot of work to do if I am going to expand goal this outwards; into the world. So I will focus on doing that as well.
On the issue of being open to receiving responsible confrontation from others, all the feedback that I have had within the group so far has been easy for me to hear and absorb. It really has been a constructive experience. The feedback from the group confirmed my belief that I have done well on this objective.
As for being more able to confront those I care about in an open and responsible manner, I have tried to interact with my group-family without standing in judgement of them. I am learning to listen and reflect what I hear back to the speaker and to put my thoughts across with sensitivity; without trying to solve their problems or attempt to rescue or redirect them. I still have a lot of work to do to achieve this goal, especially outside of this group, but I did receive positive feedback for this goal, too.
After tea, we embarked on a form of role-playing, in which we were to step into the shoes of someone with whom we had a difficult relationship.
After everyone in the group had engaged in their own role play, we were asked to describe how we were feeling. I felt a lot more detached than I had previously been, as if I have gained some distance and am able to observe myself more dispassionately.