Originally posted on Galactic Roundtable discussion group, March 4, 2009.
I thought Lucille hit the benefits of “sharing” right on the head the other day when she said:
“This sharing brings up loving feelings.” (Message 323, GRT-CIP.)
Emergence itself brings up loving feelings and emergence happens when we share our little guts out.
But there can be a fly in the ointment. Suppose we want to share something like Tony did:
“I finally ‘awoke’ a couple months back and realized that I’m an Indigo Starseed. I’m scared right now because I don’t know where I came from and even more so, especially being unemployed, I’m scared that I don’t have a direction in life. Nothing. Nada. Ask me what I’d REALLY like to be doing and I couldn’t tell you.” (Message 1698, GRT.)
Tony is grappling with a condition that is not generally considered “positive” (fear), touches off discomfort in some, triggers concern and a caring response from others, and results in replies that have as their purpose what some psychologists call “fixing” the speaker.
Fixing responses generally say to the speaker, “You should (do/think/say) this and then you’ll (feel/be/do) better.”
But, if you really look deeply, fixing responses come from the underlying assumption that the wheel is broken and needs fixing – that there is something wrong with the person that needs being made better.
What the people whose advice I follow say is that “fixing” responses tend to shut down the process of further sharing.
First of all, people do not want others to think there is something wrong with them and may back away from sharing further.
Or they may back away from sharing something that might be interpreted negatively and so they don’t swing out and tell the full truth. Sharing becomes dressed up in “positive,” Polyanna garb.
Or they hear advice that may be irrelevant or upsetting and stop sharing because they don’t want to have to disagree with the person making the suggestions.
I know some of us work with people and believe that we are being compassionate and helping people by telling them what they “should” do.
But on a board where we’re preparing for a New Age by cleaning some of the rubble (unfinished business) out of our lives, the depth to which we can go, I think, will be determined by the length to which people listen and respond without fixing.
Another response I’d like to avoid is the one-liner response that expresses sympathy. I can go along with one line of sympathy if it is an intro to your own share. (I don’t favour it, but I can live with it.)
But I’d most recommend just leaving the other person with their share. Leave them having been heard by us.
If we do, we create a clean and safe space in which that person will go as far towards self-revelation and ending unfinished business as they are ever going to do.
Now notice Lynn’s response to Tony. (Message 1698, GRT.)
Lynn replied by sharing her own fears after having found out that she was a Starseed. Now that is an outcome I would hope to see from sharing – that it triggers another person to look deeply into their own situation and clear away some rubble of their own.
A workable response to a share is to share yourself. What does the original share trigger in you? What did you see? That is perfectly fair game.
Say it without including any advice on what the original speaker “should” do. If you really want to keep it clean, drop the expression of sympathy too. Just share what the original share triggered in you, knowing that all shares, positive or negative, are a step towards completion.
Just listen to the person sharing and “get” where they are coming from or, if it triggers something in us, share what got triggered without judging, evaluating, or advising the original person.
If we approach sharing in this manner, we’ll go as deep in our communications here as it’s possible to go.
Will you join me in an experiment for three months? Try the approach out that I just described and let’s see at the end of three months how it worked.
If a share comes in that has the quality of telling a person what they “should” do, “fixing” them, or sympathizing with them (without adding a share of one’s own), the moderators will ask you to send that response to the person directly.
At the end of three months (June 4), let’s talk about whether the experiment provided useful results or not. Sound good?
I’ll add a few more points about sharing later because it is a fascinating process. It’s our main means of emerging here.
If there are members who work with people and know what I’m talking about, perhaps you could share your knowledge on the subject as well.