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Video excerpt from SAL/UER workshop on racism at the Global Climate Action Summit

Draft Program on Climate Change, for your comments (updated March 5, 2019) (short version now available)

 

Fighting Fully for Each Other

From a talk by Tim Jackins at the East Coast North America Teachers’ and Leaders’ Workshop, December 2016

This is another description of the early battle we each have. What I want to look at this time is how our early hurts keep us separated.

We get to work on what happened to us. We get to go back and look at it, and challenge and support each other to do that, too. But how do we challenge ourselves in the present, so we don’t let our struggles affect us so much in our relationships with each other? How do we decide to try again, even though we experienced so much defeat when we tried before? How do we, as counselors, decide to go after [reach for] somebody? We know it would make a big difference in their lives. It would be a big contradiction to what happened to them to have somebody try to reach them.

They don’t need the person they looked for at birth—the person who would recognize them, who would make them the most important thing in the universe at that place and moment, who would make sure that everything that needed to happen happened for that baby.

I think that’s what every baby comes out expecting—someone able to think that well. We don’t need that now, but we’re still looking for it, and not just as clients. I suspect we’re compulsively looking for it in just about every relationship we have. We may have given up on having it in our lives, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pull at us in our relationships. We wait for someone to say, “Oh, yes, I’ve waited for you. Let’s build the world together.” We long for someone who is free of interfering distresses, so there is no clutter in the way.

But we don’t actually need someone clean of material [distress]. We don’t need that in the same way now. We don’t need that perfection. We need someone who is dedicated to the struggle against the material, at this moment, for our benefit. We need someone who is willing to try in our direction against the material that holds them back—who wants to try that hard in our battle as well as theirs. We are looking for someone who, because of clarity, decision, or something, says, “Okay, in this moment, you can have everything I’ve got. I am yours. Together we will fight every battle you need to fight. I will face everything. I will stay with you.”

We are generally afraid to step into that role, as counselor or as the person taking initiative in any relationship. We haven’t seen people do it very much.

There are the stories in different cultures of individuals who stood up in spite of everything that had happened to their people—who committed themselves when no one else could. I think anybody could do this, except for the interference of distress.

We are the first group to know how to create the conditions so that everybody has a chance at it. In this controlled environment, with all this support, we can decide as counselors to throw everything on the side of the client.

As clients, we don’t really need that much at this point. We are waiting and longing for what wasn’t there, and we’re frozen in that position, but now we are big, grown-up, smart, experienced; we have relationships. We feel a need for what we missed, but we don’t actually need that same thing in the present.

What I think we need is another mind that has made the decision to be fully on our side, so we’re not alone. We need to see that a mind can make that decision, so we can try for it too. It can seem like a difficult thing to do all by ourselves. We need somebody who is willing to make the effort in our direction, for our benefit, with us there.

That’s what we get to try to do—what we can learn to do—here, as counselors, with each other. We all want to do it. We all want to be able to reach another life and provide the grip that lets someone start to stand up on their own. We would like everybody we know to be able to stand up as they really are, as we know they are. They haven’t been able to do it because they’ve been too alone, too separated by the distress.

As we get a better and better picture of it, we will figure out how to do this for each other. We’re going to start out timid, quiet, and separate, but we can fight through all those things. We can decide to fight against what has held us back.

Tim Jackins

(Present Time 187, April 2017)


Last modified: 2017-04-25 23:24:54+00