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Moving Forward by Discharging Old Disappointments and Defeats

The following are some reflections on a recent teachers’ and leaders’ workshop, led by Lousia Flander,1 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

I love the Guidelines! The Guidelines for the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities represent the best thinking of our International Community and are a wonderful resource for leading, organizing, thinking about money and addictions, and creating goals for the future. Like RC draft liberation policies, they are an amazing “work in progress” that gets reviewed and updated every four years. At our recent teachers’ and leaders’ workshop, we reviewed the recent additions to the Guidelines, discharged about the new goal for the environment, and appreciated the work that had gone into revising and updating the booklet. I feel re-energised and enthusiastic about how we are moving into the future together.

Bruce Clezy
Northcote, Victoria, Australia

 

Being led by responsible leaders and taking a lead ourselves will always bring up feelings—as we all carry hurts from when we were small and in the care of bigger people. The restimulated feelings may be negative or “positive.” Negative feelings of discomfort or defiance can lead to uncooperativeness, confusions, or attacks. “Positive” feelings of security, awe, or relief can lead to “admiration,” “gratitude,” static incompetence, or taking leaders for granted. These are two sides of the same “I am small, you are big” recording.2 When we run3 this recording, we collude with the oppression we experienced. We are all bigger than that now. We can now, in our own ways, lead.

Rowan White
North Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia

 

Over this last period our Community has been working consistently on two fronts. The first is dealing with old disappointments that have attached to RC leadership and other Co-Counsellors. The second is discharging old defeats and discouragements and counselling others effectively on theirs.

I understand intellectually that my feelings of disappointment, frustration, and upset do not have anything to do with4 the people in my current life. However, the habit of speaking about them (my feelings) as if they do feels impossible to resist at times. And working on the early hurts can feel unbearable and useless.

I noticed in a mini-session how strongly I wanted my feelings to be about a person in present time. Then it occurred to me that this was because the early upsets and disappointments had been impossible to resolve. I had lost those battles. So in the session I discharged on the early hurts and tried to resolve them with the people of my early life. It was hopeful.

Tony Smith
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 

At our teachers’ and leaders’ workshop we were encouraged to work early5 in Co-Counselling sessions and stay in the present with each other the rest of the time.

Facing my early defeats as a woman is not an easy thing to do. My recording says that I can’t face things, that the troubles will never end. Without everyone’s love and clarity about feelings being old and over, I would not be having such big sessions.

My adept Co-Counsellors ask me to never turn my back on the little girl that I was, to prioritize this over any other current issue or person’s feelings, and to be with her every minute. I left my little self behind. I had no choice but to accommodate to the situations I was in. But leaving her behind is a form of self-harm. And to believe that I am unimportant and deserve little, nurtures hopelessness and colludes with the oppressive society. I get to fight for her and me now, together with all of these smart and loving people. I can clearly separate the past from the present. I am much smarter than my feelings would suggest. I’m completely capable of sharing RC and leading.

When I separate the past from the present and fight for myself, I am a better counsellor for the leaders in my Community. Our Community is a treasured resource. If I don’t take up6 my challenges and keep deciding to work toward my goals, I am squandering this great resource.

Cynthia Johnston
Frankston, Victoria, Australia

 

On the first evening of the workshop I was reminded that we are often pulled to avoid or be fascinated with certain people, because of who they remind us of. Unless I clean up these pulls, I can’t be an effective counselor or effectively use my sessions for myself.

I understood anew that grievancing about people in the Community is colluding with the oppressive society, which says that people can’t be close. Dramatising my early hurts in this way also confuses my counsellors (because they have their own hurts about people and relationships), and then it’s harder for them to help me in my sessions. Given that I want (passionately) to be in the RC Community for a long time, and be part of bringing change to many people’s minds, I will have to clean up this behavior.

When I forget that my counsellors are as treasured as my mother and father, I am agreeing with the oppressive society that relationships aren’t important. Each time I put my attention in a session on anything but the early hurt, I waste a chance and the oppression wins. I also leave my little one7 alone, and she gets the message that once again she has to wait.

Remembering this requires a decision that my counsellor can’t make for me. My counsellor is there to be with me, not to think for me. I’m the only one who knows what really happened.

Every time I don’t work early, my re-emergence is held back, which in turn holds my Community back. If I don’t heal from a particular hurt, then I can’t think in that area. Not being able to think in an area means that I can’t be an effective counsellor in that area. This in turn stops the RC organization from moving forward. It was a revelation to understand that how I use my sessions is that significant.

Roslyn Cassidy
Johannesburg, South Africa

 

When I use my sessions to rehearse old hurts as if they’re happening in the present, I am colluding with the oppressive society. When I blame my counselor, I am honouring an incorrect picture of the present, which is actually safe and benign.

This weekend I discharged on a pattern of self-criticism, which had been invisible to me. I need to notice it and see it for what it is: something from the past. It’s a pattern that I developed to protect myself from early terror. I need to name it to stop it from running my life! The clarity and rigour we were offered this weekend made it possible for me to do that. Thank you.

Victoria Kemp
Thornbury, Victoria, Australia
Reprinted from the newsletter
of the Melbourne, Victoria,
Australia, RC Community


1 Louisa Flander is the Area Reference Person for the Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, RC Community.
2 Distress recording
3 “Run” means act out.
4 “Do not have anything to do with” means are not at all related to.
5 “Work early” means work on early hurts.
6 “Take up” means start working on.
7 “My little one” means my very young self.


Last modified: 2020-07-02 14:27:35+00