Why I’m writing this series is because we’re beginning to link up in groups, teams, networks, etc., and I think it’s important to review some issues that commonly arise in groups.
That’s not to say that I’ve mastered what I write about here. I haven’t. I did study small groups in a Sociology doctoral program. But I don’t kid myself that that somehow enables me to speak with authority. It doesn’t.
I’m going out on a limb because we have only six months left to accomplish a great deal and I think we can benefit from considering some “rules of the road.”
There are many topics to broach. But I think the next one I need to touch on should be sidebarring. Why? Because I’ve watched sidebarring corrode projects. I’ve seen people leave over a matter that was sidebarred only to discover later that the information was incorrect.
To the volunteers who’ve joined this site, I ask most humbly that you avoid sidebarring. No one here is “more than” or “less than.” No one is unapproachable. We’re all engaged in a common endeavor and everyone plays a useful part. We’ll need to eliminate the tendency to gossip and substitute for it the desire to be clean, clear and complete with each other.
So what is sidebarring?
In journalistic terms a sidebar is a smaller article that accompanies a bigger article and explains a certain matter or gives more detail on the subject.
In small-group terms, sidebarring is the act of gossiping about one person to another. Sidebarring occurs when Person 1 upsets Person 2, who then goes to Person 3 and complains about it. I’m not referring to favorable comments one has to say about another; I’m referring to complaints. Those things need to get to the person we have the complaint with and in our society they seldom do.
Archangel Michael has referred to it. I think he may have used the term because I used it. To one group he was coaching on the “rules of engagement” for projects, he said:
“If there is conflict between two people, there [needs to be] agreement that that will be discussed between the two people or between the two groups, and it will be done by using positive language and positive listening, reflective listening – the rules of mediation, as it were. And if necessary a third person from the party who has no interest either way can act as the intermediary or the mediator.
“But it cannot go to sidebar discussions because that will simply fracture you apart more quickly than anything. … Whispering, in corridors or behind people’s backs … does not work. It has never worked. It does not work on Arcturus, it does not work on CCC, it never worked on Venus, and it doesn’t work on Earth.” (1)
The situation that results from sidebarring deprives the people concerned of the feedback they need to correct the problem. It has people make up their minds about the absent person without the person hearing the charges against them, as it were. It produces great chasms in trust and willingness, without leading to any mutually-constructive outcome.
And who has sidebarred becomes pretty clear when the person being gossiped about hears the gossip. He or she knows who had that information and who did not. So we now add resentment to injury and have the recipe for the corrosion of a project. Nobody cares anymore what happens. Everyone feels deeply wounded in one way or another. Sidebarring is a recipe for disaster and disaster is what we can’t really afford in lightwork.
People sidebar because they’re afraid of a person, because they wish to manipulate an outcome, and for other reasons.
Sidebarring was known to the growth movement. In an encounter group, if we sidebarred about a person, we were required to report it to them and say what we said. That sure brought a halt to it.
The answer to sidebarring is twofold. One, don’t sidebar ourself but take our complaints to the person concerned and the person who alone can make a difference by taking responsible action. This suggestion may not apply in matters related to integrity, legality, criminality, or safety, or where reporting regulations apply. But save for those situations, in most others, sidebarring doesn’t contribute to workability.
Two, don’t allow others to sidebar with us. Sometimes we slip. I only woke up after a time recently to the fact that I was hearing sidebar. As I write this, I’m becoming aware of a second instance in which I sidebarred and was not aware I was doing it. But as soon as we do wake up, then we need to request the other person to stop and deliver their complaint to the person in question.
We’re very much used to sidebarring or gossiping as a society. It’s exciting to hear the latest gossip on so-and-so. We’re “curious about what people are like.” We want the scoop, the dirt, the skinny. But now, with the energies rising and a sense of innocence beckoning us and seeming possible, surely we can feel how gossiping lowers the vibration.
I call my ego “Oilcan Harry” and I can fairly feel Harry twirl his mustache when I sidebar. I feel oily, rapacious, greedy. But the thrill of “having the goods on” another doesn’t compare with the bliss I feel out of being clean these days – clean of gossip, clean of ill-intent, and clean of manipulation.
If we want to evolve into our full maturity, I think that progressing from sidebarring to delivering our complaints personally is where we need to go.
We need the projects that we’ll be starting. Soon we’ll be carrying money and resources to deprived areas of the world. We’ll be cleansing the planet. We’ll be transitioning to new governments, new economies, and new forms of healing. We have to find within ourselves the resolve to move from immature and unworkable ways of being to mature and workable ways. And no one will be hovering over us to see that we deliver. It falls to us now to regulate ourselves.
We haven’t got years to have workshops on these subjects or train with this person or that. We need to find within us the commitment to live life dharmically and the means to discover what that might entail. In no other time in our history that I can think of did so much depend on our coming through, for ourselves and the collective, than it does now. As the saying goes, this is not a dress rehearsal. This is the real thing and we may have only one pass at it.
(1) Reading with Archangel Michael through Linda Dillon, March 8, 2012.