Monday, June 05, 2006

Following disagreement

Thank you to anyone who prayed or had positive thoughts in any way about my big event of last week. Sunday passed without major incident, Thank God.

It's not resolved however and honestly, I can't see how it is going to. This person would have totally blanked me, if I had not spoken to her - addressing her as I normally would and would (and did) anyone else. The more I think about it (and unfortunately, I'm pondering little else), I realise that I did all I could after the disagreement to resolve the situation. But she has to accept it and I'm not sure she has. As frustrating as it is, it is not my place to demand that she acknowledge and accept the resolution I presented or negotiate a new one. I must be patient and wait. And carry on being myself.

I'm still really shook up though. The least thing, my eyes start to well up and I retreat into sadness and silence - even at work today. I haven't really talked about this with anyone. People are either too connected to me to see objectively (will just diss the person - 'cos that helps!) or I think it's inappropriate to talk about it with them because they are in a leadership role, they know her etc. Although this disagreement happened in front of about 10 other people, not one has asked me about it or how I am or anything at all - I think that that might be the most devastating thing about this.

I wish I had the courage to bring this up with the people concerned. But I'm afraid that I'm making too much of this and that I'm making it all about me. I'm afraid that no one will take me seriously and that I and my feelings will be rejected. I'm afraid of appearing weak. By some things that were said on Sunday, I reckon that because I got so upset I've been judged as weak and incapable, if not incompetent. The shortcut to making this alright is to carry on and be strong. The true way to begin to make this right would be for me to have courage and raise this with those concerned. But that would require them to make an effort too. And cause pain. But eventually healing and joy.

It occured to me today that I need forgiveness - for the guilt I feel, that this happened at all, that it got so out of hand, that I feel so bad about it, that it wasn't properly resolved, that I don't have the courage to resolve it, that I failed as a leader and teacher ... for whatever I've done that has caused such reactions, the hatred and the apathy. Will try for Confession tomorrow.

There is a good in all this - it is so much easier to pray when there is absolutely nothing you can do except depend on God.

I did not come to this without help - I am not that objective. I went to a talk yesterday about dependence on God and I'm reading The Different Drum by M Scott Peck about building community.


PeteB said...

I found myself in a situation where I felt 'wronged' by someone else's comment/challenge/opinion. But I festered on it for literally a year! Then I found these words in a book I was reading:

"I went around saying for a long time that I am not one of the Christians who is heavily into forgiveness — that I am one of the other kind. But even though it was funny, and actually true, it started to be too painful to stay this way. . . . In fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.

I cherish resentment and bitterness because I want to hurt the rat that caused my pain. But after resentment and bitterness have festered long enough, I find out that the rat is me, after all.
Don't forgive, and your anger will become your burden.
Don't forgive, and bit by bit all the joy will be choked out of you.
Don't forgive, and you will be unable to trust anybody, ever again.
Don't forgive, and the bitterness will crowd the compassion out of your heart slowly, utterly, forever.
Don't forgive, and that little grudge you nurse will grow larger, and stronger.
Although you may think you can hide it from everyone you know, in time it will become a monster of hostility, and one day it will kill you. All that will be left of what was once a person is bitterness and hate. And that bitterness will spread." (Anne Lamott)

Despite still feeling that I was entirely in 'the right', I realised it wasn't doing me any good harbouring such ill feeling. I took the bull by the horns, took the person out for a meal and apologised for harbouring such a grudge against them for such a long time. Just that! No comment/discussion about 'I still think YOU were wrong!'

WE have been forgiven unreservedly - it can be much much harder to live that out in our own lives at times!

Hope this may help?

louise said...

It does help, thank you. There is something so intimidating about this, it gives me courage to know you've come through the other side.

My head says that I have forgiven all those concerned. The fact that this whole thing is still bothering me... . My head is probably wrong.

I am going to have to bring this up again - not to rehash the disagreement, but to apologise or acknowledge it, clear the air and prevent the bitterness spreading.

All we need is love?