Reaching for Connection

The annual Educational Change Leaders’ Workshop is my home in Co-Counseling. It was the first workshop I attended when I joined RC three years ago, and the beautiful community created there continues to reinforce a profound sense of belonging that makes it easier to look at the hardest places and move toward re-emergence.

This year, Russ Vernon-Jones, who led the workshop, started us off by asking us to continue to want, to go back to the place of wanting that existed before our earliest defeat and disappointment set in, before we decided we were going to have to “go it on our own” [do it ourselves rather than rely on others]. For most of us, there had been limited attention for expressing feelings about the present (such as crying because of hunger or other discomforts) and no permission and certainly no loving attention for expressing feelings about past hurts (such as the harsh shock of being birthed into the cold, bright world). Thus much of our chronic distress is based on deciding that we couldn’t fully count on or be connected to other people. And the desire for full connection can be the spark that initiates our actions in working for wide world change.

It’s easy to be pulled to where our goal is to use RC to have better lives with our chronic distress still in place. Instead, we need to decide to rid our minds of the distress, including racism and internalized racism. Those of us who are white can discharge our patterns of superiority and dominance and move toward completely joining and belonging in the worldwide community of humans, in a non-dominant role. I’ve been discharging with the direction, “Just another being; completely connected.” Continuing to reach for connection, even if it doesn’t (yet!) result in the vision I set forth, makes a difference for me and also for the people with whom I come into contact.

We can keep wanting people. We won’t actually get what we missed back there, but we can get back our full selves, reclaim our love and trust, and really go for [pursue] a big life. I’ve found that if I keep loving, connecting, and envisioning a big life in sessions, I can bring these things more and more into my day-to-day life. Our sessions can be a time to discharge on and practice wanting other people open-heartedly so that it spills out into our whole life.

Riana Good

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, USA

(Present Time 186, January 2017)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00