Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A family example of coming to peace

The Coming to Peace process provided a forum for the siblings to explore their relationship to their father’s death and the effect that not being allowed to speak about it had on them. Over several weeks, the roots of their animosity toward each other were unearthed. Each person was not only dealing with their own grief and anger over the situation, they were also trying to push the others into seeing things their way.

The storm of anger and willfulness that occurred as the siblings tried to distribute their mother’s possessions was masking the anger and confusion each had experienced as a result of her addiction. It turned out that her addiction was likely in response to her husband’s death. Unfortunately, her children were forced to deal with that along with the loss of their father and the taboo of speaking about him.

Until all the layers of suppressed and repressed experience and the misalignment of will through anger and grief were brought to light, there was no hope of reaching a resolution of their mother’s estate. Over several sessions, the family worked hard to resolve these issues and came away with a level of peace about their father’s death and their mother’s alcoholism that they had not believed, or even understood, was possible.

What began as a simple mediation session to help five siblings distribute their deceased mother’s possessions turned into an unexpected exploration and release of long-held hurts and misunderstandings. This layering of experience is not unusual and is often underlying disagreements. That’s why it is so important to engage in a process like Coming to Peace where participants are given the space and structure needed to dissect disagreements completely. It’s also worth noting the vital role that taking personal responsibility for examining ourselves has on the resolution process. Once the Martinellis began objectively reviewing their intentions and underlying motivations, their resolution and healing processes gained momentum.

Sometimes we resist taking responsibility and properly aligning our will because we fear we will be rendered powerless, particularly when we are sourcing our power from a negative emotion like anger. Janet, Mark, and Lucas had aligned themselves with their anger, and this caused them to lose sight of what was really going on at the core of the family conflict. To remain clear sighted, we much fight the urge to run from our fear. And when we engage in the process of realigning our will, we effect peace both within our relationships and ourselves. The stark truth is there can be no peace for anyone – individuals, couples, families, or communities – if those who are in conflict refuse to look at themselves honestly, take personal responsibility, and realign their will in a way that is positive and invites peace.

To fully understand our experience as humans, we much understand all the negative emotions housed within us, because they have something very important to tell us about the ways we have separated from our essential nature.

- Isa Gucciardi