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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Time Event
9:00a
11:01a
So, I'm doing Magpie Girl's Power Stories class.
The most recent one is, Lesson Fourteen: How to To Speak Your Truth. Period.

Tara Sophia Mohr writes:
There is the power of telling. Of saying. Of speaking your truth.

And then there is the power of ending your sentence. Stopping. Putting the period at the end of the words.

That second power is less talked about, but just as important. It goes like this:

“I am uncomfortable with the way you are speaking to me.” Period. Silence. Wait.

“I would like to work at home two days a week.” Period. Silence. Wait.

“I need more time on this.” Period. Silence. Wait.

“My heart is hurt.” Period. Silence. Wait.

In the silence, you give room to people, to life, to meet you. Standing in your power is finishing your sentence. It’s sitting in the silence.
I was already kind of trying to do that with an email I wrote Tuesday night -- trying to discipline myself express what I am feeling/what I need and then wait for the other person to respond, rather than pre-emptively responding to everything I think they might say in response -- but having it really clearly articulated like that I think will help me to hold onto that.

I was really struck by, In the silence, you give room to people, to life, to meet you.

She goes on to write:
1. Breathe. Connect to your body and your being.
2. Notice how you are feeling.
3. State a fact about your feelings, your needs, your experience, in less than 10 words. (Hint: those are always “I” statements, not “you” statements or “it is” or “we should” statements.)
4. Put the period on it. Sit in the silence. Wait. Now it’s their turn.

I used to be scared of that last step. It felt rude, almost. It felt rebellious – to simply say what I felt, to make a mess, to disagree, to cause an inconvenience, and then just leave it out there, on the table. To say it and not back-pedal. To say it not decorate it with flowers or put vanilla frosting all over it.

This isn’t working for me. Period. Silence. Wait.

No I won’t be able to attend. Period. Silence. Wait.

I am disappointed. Period. Period. Silence. Wait.


This is where I’ve given away my power for years. Making nice. Not wanting to create conflict. Being unable, physically unable it felt, to express dissatisfaction and leave it on the table, as is. I wanted you to like me, and I thought that would be put at risk.

Receiving the Care We Give

Little did I know that expressing dissatisfaction to someone and maintaining relationship with him or her rarely conflict. Usually, real expression deepens relationship.

When someone says to me something like, “this isn’t working for me,” I care. I respond civilly. I start talking about what we can do to fix it.

It was mind-blowing to me to realize others might meet me that way too. That I could be the one to state a need, a preference, and others might change to accommodate it. That they might even enjoy doing that.
11:27a
Writing my last post, I thought about how I'm doing both Power Stories and Flock on Magpie Girl, and that I'm only kind of participating in both, and I was feeling a little bit bad about not being more committed/focused/whatever -- and then I remembered that oh yeah, that's what I do. I spend time at a lot of places, which do different things and which feed me in different ways.

I'm basically only doing CWM and FCS these days, and I'm increasingly involved in FCS, and this makes me a little uncomfortable -- hi, I live on the borderlands, in the liminal spaces, in the intersectionality (and I'm sure there's some therapy issues there about fear of commitment related to fear of rejection, etc.) ... but I'm reminded that no, I'm not "only" doing those two places.

Maria in my "Jesus and the Gospels" class last week asked me, while we were chatting during the break, "What are you passionate about?" and I struggled a little to answer (it's a great question, but I've never had that question presented to me in quite that way; plus it's been a while since I've had to answer that sort of question, period) but in the days that followed I used it as a framing to sketch out for myself the different things I am/have been doing/interested in and grouping them into categories to help me think about them (as opposed to having an overwhelming-feeling list of interests and projects).
2:58p
I now have an 18-page bylaws (and constitution) document.
Shortly after he arrived before service last night, Ian H. apologized for having failed to send me the Associate Membership information he had said he would look up for me.

So just now I got an email from him:
Elizabeth,
the attachment provides the details .. the only requirement for membership or assoc membership is willingness to follow Christ.
Assoc. members enjoy the full rights as members. The church recognizes their affiliation with another church.
So ... given your participation and leadership in our community .. I think it makes sense to really go from 'you' to 'we' don't you think???/ :-)

Peace
---- Ian
Last night, he was teasing me (but semi-seriously) that I should say "we" rather than "you" -- I countered that I say "we" in certain contexts, but that, for example, "you" do Communion once a month, because if I were in charge, we would do it every week -- the distanciation was very intentional :P

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