Focus: Trying to Figure it out
This meeting is provided as one way for you to come to an understanding of 'where you are at', or perhaps a specific issue in your group.
Answer the following questions as fully as possible on a piece of paper (to jog your memory, to share, to refer back to at a later date…).
- Describe what you are feeling.
- Are there any sensations in your body? - describe them.
- How do you feel about the way you are feeling? - ie are you confused? - are you pissed off/angry about the fact that you are sad? - or feeling hurt/wounded?
- Which is the most important of those feelings? Why?
- Is one a cover-'up' for the other, that you might be trying to avoid?
- Are you 'allowing' one but not the other? Why? (Perhaps a 'defensive' posture to deal with vulnerability?)
- Does your group 'support' some feelings but not others? Do you? (This does happen! In some groups - families - individuals)
- Are you able to acknowledge and validate both feelings?
- How can you work with those feelings in the group?
- Can you ask for support?
- Will you get it?
- What action are those feelings telling you to take?
- Which action appeals to you the most?
- Which action torments you? ie something you feel you should do but are unable to/ or is inappropriate? Is there another way of 'fulfilling' it that is appropriate?
- Which action are you avoiding/resisting? Why?
- Are you ready to 'let go' or are you holding onto something? Why?
- Imagine taking those actions - (in turn)
- What do you think would be the result?
For you? For the group?
- Is that what you want?
- Is someone 'pushing' you?
Is that result what they want?
- Can you visualise a positive outcome for those actions?
- How could you achieve that? Is the group ready to 'allow' it? ie can you create appropriate methods (non-abusive) to work through it?
- If those actions are inevitably abusive
- Do you need to take a time out from group till you've worked through your issue? Can the group support you in that? Will they shame you?
- Is there someone else you can talk to regarding your issues/feelings? Who? When? - Are you ready to ask?
When will you be ready? Are you 'happy' where you're at?
If you're not ready to move, are you holding onto shame/anger/blame/resentment? - If you've been hurt, how can you take care of you?
- What other options do you have?
- Are they what you want?
- If not, what is it you do want?
- How can you create what you want?
- Do you feel as though you are being pushed in one direction or another?
- What are you resisting? Why? What happens if you go with it?
- Is the group conscious of what it is creating? Ask them?
- How can you re-establish working relationships/trust with the men in your group?
- Is that what they want?
(perhaps some unspoken dysfunctional rules are being applied and need to be confronted).
- Where do you start? What, for you, has broken down in group? How far back do you need to go to establish functional/healthy processes?
Are you/they ready to go back to that place?
- Can you visualise what will overcome an issue?
- How much energy will it take? Do you have enough?
Have you been down that road before with these men?
Do their actions say they are not ready to be in that place? - If so, again, what do you need to do to take care of you?
- Is the group listening/responding to you?
What is going on for them? How do they see you/what you want?
Ask. (Sometimes we want completely different things, and cannot reasonably accommodate everyone)
- Sometimes the time, the energy, the circumstances are 'right' to let go and move on; sometimes we even create an 'unsolvable' issue (unconsciously) to help us make that decision, because it can be a difficult one to make - after all, much has been invested over time, and many good things have been experienced.
- How much ownership can I take in this issue? Did I, in fact, create it?
- How much reasonably belongs to other men?
- Is it time to renew and recommit to group and work on together?
- Or is it time to let go and move on? And let those men remaining have their experience together? Are there other things calling me that need my time/energy?
- Am I able to let group know of what I'm taking ownership for, as I move on?