Yesterday, I had a very important session with my sister.
We went to the counselor of our trust to process some family stuff and together find a solution and process certain problems with systemic constellation work in a private session. It never got to the point where we actually did constellation work.
For the first two hours, my sister mostly talked and explained her view on various situations. I mostly only made some additional remarks.
After two hours I questioned the paradigm behind her narrative. What happened next was… interesting…
She felt like I was pressuring and attacking her.
I was highly irritated. After two hours of mostly listening I “only” asked a question… questioning the paradigm upon which she wanted to solve the issue.
It’s like, our car doesn’t start. She tries to solve the issue by recharging the battery. I say: “Are you sure it is the battery, the problem could also be the engine.” Well, IF the problem is the engine, there is no point in trying to charge the battery.
But then I realized another thing: I am in similar situations with people over and over again. So I started to reflect some recent situations and reactions to my communication out loud to understand the pattern beyond.
The next reaction irritated me even more: She felt attacked again, saying I’m analyzing her, degrading her, not accepting her truth and trying to force my truth upon her.
From my perspective, at first, I tried to find the starting point for the solution to our common challenge. Then, I reflected her reactions to understand why MY communication was provoking that reaction… not what SHE was doing wrong but what i was doing wrong.
So why did she feel attacked? Why do some of the people I love and care enough about to share my perception and reflection with, feel provoked, attacked in their autonomy and that I disrespect their borders?
The counselor steps in and says: “From my perspective, the two of you simply have two different approaches for finding a solution!”
She continues to say that my sister tries to find interconnections horizontally and that I dig deep vertically comparing me to a deep-sea free-diver who tries to always go a bit deeper. And by that, I actually do undermine my partner’s solid ground she or he needs for security. Well, deep-sea divers usually don’t find a solid ground 😉
And it is true, as a seeker of truth, I always challenge each and every paradigm – skinning the onion layer by layer – until I discover what I believe to be the truth.
So I tell my sister: “When we try to solve a common problem, I need you to trust me once I start to reflect, I actually do want to solve that common problem, not to attack you.”
I continue to say that in most cases I’m just sharing a fraction of what I perceive as I believe that my full reality is too much for most people and that I feel like I may not even share that fraction without some of my counterpart feeling attacked.
She is silent for a moment and then responds: “I never realized that you usually hold back what you perceive.” and then continues: “The way I see it, it’s like you’re speaking Swahili. Not too many people in the world speak Swahili. And you live in America. There, almost no-one speaks Swahili. So if you want to communicate in America you need to learn English to be able to communicate. And since you enjoy speaking Swahili, you also need to find other people who speak that language too.”
So I take away three things from the situation:
First of all, I need to learn a new, commonly spoken language. So far, I always thought people actually can understand my language – my perception – but simply pretend they don’t… which sometimes makes me react not properly.
Furthermore, I have found clarity about the content and the title of my book 😉
And finally, the time has come for a genuine apology, for taking responsibility for who I am, for creating security for the ones I love and am responsible for… and for standing up for my own truth!