Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lesson Learned

Whew... unbelievable. I never really imagined a peaceful resolution could actually take place. I was prepared for the worst. I had expected to meet major resistance, anger, maybe even be told off and hung up on. I realize now that though I may not have been sub-consciously looking for a fight, the way that I consciously chose to let it affect me was the fight. So I called B... after much forethought over what I would say and how I would say it. I was prepared to say goodbye when things got tense.... write her a letter and leave it at that. But it all went so much better. Though I think B was ready for a fight... I think this is what she's used to... how she operates... her way or the highway. And old me would have taken the bait. Old me would have drenched the conversation with criticism and accusations. Old me would have turned into a power of wills. Old me would have ended up grumpy and pissed off for a week. But I had set my goal towards peace in advance and it was amazing the difference it made. I really did feel that I could see where B was coming from... as extreme and irrational as it may have been (um.. at least in my opinion), So I did something I never did... I started the conversation with praise... affirmation of her viewpoint and opinion.. which I genuinely felt... even more so as I said it. It was like disarming a nuclear bomb. I could literally feel her deactivate as I talked. In the end, we amicably agreed to do our own thing and we will still be able to be cordial to each other. Our daughters might still be able to play together! I have never resolved an issue this peacefully. I have NEVER communicated so clearly and decisively and without being attached to her reaction. I feel like I just climbed to the top of Mt Everest. I am starting to truly believe in this change.

But I realized something even greater. I mean... this whole thing really wasn't over crafts, right? It was one mother trying to be in control and another feeling voiceless and unheard. If I look a closer look at this situation I realize it is a classic replay of my childhood. So I get it... now that I've stepped back... I get it. This whole thing was only partially about what I thought was or wasn't best for my daughter. But that couldn't possibly have been enough to send me into such a tizz for 2 days and keep me awake until 3 in the morning. There was something much bigger happening here. There was another part me confronting the way my own mother made me feel growing up... small and unsure/confused of the validity of my own opinion. I still battle these feelings when I encounter other dominant women. I crawl inside myself and seem to get all upside down about my emotions and thoughts. I get small and insecure. And that's exactly what was happening in this situation. I was feeling powerless and lost. I was unsure of what I deserved and whether it was ok for me to speak up. I am SO grateful for the amazing women (go Asheville Mamas) who shared different perspectives and lent encouragement throughout the day. I found the strength to believe in my own voice. It wasn't about being right or wrong... though I think the old me kept trying to take it there. It was so much more about learning how to communicate, how to see this for what it is, how to react.

So score 1 point for communication. Now if I can only do this for the next 9,999,999 predicaments that are bound to present themselves throughout a lifetime I'll be golden. I'm bound to fall off the bike a few more times though so please be graceful with me when I do. Hhhmm.... maybe we can initiate "code B" as a reminder....

1 comment:

Kim O said...

bravo Mama...peace, Kim o I missed to post on the list but read and so feel proud of your resolution...yayaay!