Meeting The Minimum Standard

Sunday 19 May, 2002

Ishwar arrived after the meeting this morning and I filled him in. Karaj challenged me immediately because I started with a task rather than enthusiasm. The meeting had created energy about where we all were and I began with what needed doing. Lesson.

I felt anxious about the contribution I was going to make to Imogen today. As with yesterday I verbalised it – this time with Ishwar and George – and a simple comment from Ishwar about Imogen’s artwork was enough for me to make a connection and therefore a contribution. When the time came, as with my words to Simran yesterday, there were no problems and not too much evidence of AC behaviour. As I had learnt on the day we all gave feedback to Karaj in the men’s group, it’s what you say that matters not how you say it. I have tended to overload my comments with the emotion which has dominated my life. This weekend I was aware of a shift in that pattern.

The SHG group then moved its operation next door to help with the preparations for the celebratory lunch. We took over and I, with my to-do list ever in my hand, issued orders with less anxiety than usual.

Lunch went smoothly and afterwards we all worked together to tidy up, clean up, wash up and leave the place spotless – a measure of our power, abilities and cohesiveness. Again, I took control. However, as we sat together for a well-earned break afterwards I felt anxious about the evening session. The anticipation of the session and the thought that I may well be challenged about something I had not done, or done wrong or about going into AC interfered with my relaxation. I restricted my verbalisation of this to a comment about my anxiety taking the edge off the chance to relax. I left it at that; I didn’t want to be rescued.

The evening session went well for me. The youngers were sent outside to support Ishwar. I came alive, challenging and verbalising everything I saw and thought. We made progress with him and went inside only to be sent out again as we had not finished the job. Lesson: don’t stop pursuing until I am satisfied, until I can see that a change has occurred in the person. All the clues had been there – Ishwar was still down – but I did not react on them, thinking that the progress we had made would be enough (AC).

The second time I was equally forceful and challenging. I benefited from the way I was. I communicated, connected with the others and I was able to challenge Ishwar that he does not listen to me. We pursued him and got to the nub of his issue – he says he wants to separate from one of his family but does not want to get hurt.

At the end of the evening Karaj told me that I had met the minimum standard – I had worked well, had been in control and had been everywhere making sure that the weekend ran as smoothly as possible. This was great to hear. It was confirmation of something I had felt myself. I had contributed to people (Robert, Imogen & Dev), challenged people (Simran & Ishwar), verbalised my thoughts and feelings, taken control of situations, issued instructions and generally shown a less emotional self.

I’m glad I didn’t go to Manchester.


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