Meeting 7-2
Focus: The Prince and the King

The basic structure of this meeting is the same as Meeting 1.1 - refer back for more information.

Some issues may have come up during check-in that the group may wish to spend more time on rather than moving straight into the 'focus'; or perhaps some issue is still to be dealt with from the previous week. When it is appropriate the leader moves the group into the main focus for this meeting.

5) The Big Bit in the middle - the leader announces the focus of the meeting

Focus: The Prince and the King

"Once upon a time a young couple had a baby boy together. But this particular boy was a prince, because his mother and father were the King the King and Queen of the land where they lived. Now his parents didn't believe in sheltering the boy, but showed him all of the Kingdom, its good side and its bad side, all the while loving the prince as much as each of them knew how."

"Of course there were rules, and things that had to be done, sometimes things that the prince didn't want to to, but somehow they muddled through it all, until one day the prince realised that living in the castle just didn't seem very real to him, compared to the excitement and busyness of the villages, with all their wonderful strange folk, and the adventure that beckoned from within and beyond the great forest he could just barely see on the horizon through his window."

"So he went to his parents and said that it was time for him to leave, to explore the wonders outside on his own, to find out who he really was. His parents knew this day would come, so they smiled at him, and were pleased at his determination, and were able to support him in this too, not speaking of their own doubts and fears, because they knew the time was right for him."

"A few days later the prince left the castle before anyone was awake, without fanfare and ordinarily dressed, carrying a little food and some money to buy more along the way. He had his own doubts and fears of course, but he was not deterred, his mind was made up - NOW was the right time. And he headed straight for the great forest, because its vastness had always caught his imagination, and besides the villages could wait, he'd been there before; and he knew the castle would always be there if he was in need."

"And so began a long string of adventures that the prince experienced, all the while growing in wisdom, understanding and compassion as he saw what was really going on in the land, and as he found a place in himself that could relate to and share this truth. Sometimes along the way he was in danger, and was almost overwhelmed by threatening forces too many times than he cared to remember - but somehow he always managed to find a safe place to recover his wits, energy and spirit. Occasionally he made it back to the castle, but with longer and longer gaps, but still the King and Queen bade him to do what he needed to do, and he was soon off again."

"Then one day the prince sat down and began to think. He'd seen so many things in his travels, and it seemed as if there were some things that needed changing, that could be improved. And he decided he was going to do something about it: 'after all I am the prince!'; he said to himself."

"But what he didn't realise was at that very moment of his decision, because of that decision, he became King. After all, how else do you think Kings are made? You can't force them, they have to want to be King. And, what he didn't know was at that very moment his father, the King, had died in the castle. He'd had a long illness and would so very much have liked to have seen his son again, but it was not to be."

"The King began to walk back to the castle, all the while making a plan and figuring out what needed to be done first. And his steps had a new purpose to them, and it felt good, and he only much later began to realise how much each and every single step he'd made had been guided and helped by the love and support and acceptance of the King and Queen."

Exercises

  1. What does this story bring up for you? What feelings? What thoughts?
  2. Did your parents have the same attitudes as the King and Queen in this story?
    1. Were they able to accept/support you unconditionally?
    2. What did their support look like? What was missing?
    3. Did they manipulate you to get their own (unmet?) needs met?
    4. What would you like to be able to ask from your parents now?
    5. Is it something you can give yourself? Is it something you get in group?
  3. What are your feelings about the prince?
    1. Is he naive? - selfish? - disloyal? - uncaring? Other? Why?
  4. Is this story too ideal to be true in real life? Explain.
    1. Could it be true for someone? Your son?
      What challenges does the King (father) face?
    2. What changes would you like to make for you/your son?
    3. What are your fears and doubts about your son?
      Does this affect your relationship?
    4. What were the real limitations and issues you experienced/are experiencing
      1. With your father?
      2. With your son?
      What did you want? What do you want?
      What is motivating you?
  5. Describe the feel of your (parents) castle.
    Was/is it a good place to visit? Why?
  6. When you set out on your adventure, were you/did you feel pushed? Or supported?
  7. What does the village represent for you? Or the forest?
    1. Are there adventures still waiting there for you?
    2. What do you think you need before you will start your adventure?
    3. If you've had adventures already - what are they? - what did they mean for you?
      Did you make any 'decisions'? Did you change anything?
      How were you supported?
  8. Have you tried to get that love/acceptance/support in your intimate relationships?
    1. Was/is it appropriate?
      Was/is your partner able to meet your needs?
      Were/are they doing the same to you?
      What limitation is/was there?
    2. To what extent do you manipulate to get those needs met?
  9. If those needs are important, and we can't/didn't get them from our parents or partners, where else can we appropriately get those needs met?
  10. If the group wants to be supportive in that way, what needs to change/be improved?
  11. Have you decided to be 'King'? - what is your first task?
    Do you know any other Kings?