Years ago I took the 40 Hour Basic Mediation Certification course required for all mediators. After that, I took the Advanced Family Mediation training. Just today I spent some time thinking about what I learned in these classes and practice sessions…thinking about what skills I use on an almost daily, if not daily, basis.
The first thing that popped into my mind was acknowledgment.
Did you know that so many couples and business partners and civic dispute parties end up in mediation for lack of one thing? Acknowledgment.
And did you know that very often these same people, after a short amount of mediation, end up resolving their conflicts quite readily once they feel acknowledged by another? It doesn’t even have to be from the person they are in conflict with.
Acknowledgment. What a powerful thing it is!
I think we so often want understanding. And of course we do. Understanding is nourishment to our souls. And there are just those times we can’t seem to get on the wavelength of another to provide authentic understanding. We can however, always provide acknowledgment, and very often this can be equally as comforting and mighty as understanding.
For you see with acknowledgment, we don’t need to understand. We don’t need to agree. We just need to stop long enough to consider the validity of how another feels. We need to stop long enough to see the other in their struggle, in their humanity, and in their emotion.
Now that, to me, is radical.
You could even call it an expression of love, though it’s not necessary to go that far. Just calling it love, for me, is an acknowledgment of how far reaching this simple act can go.
It feels so good when someone recognizes what is important to us. In that moment, they might think we are wacked, but when they pause to notice what we care about and to verbally express that, well then, all walls come down. And in some challenging cases, the Red Sea is parted.
Think how many times, at work or at home or with friends, there is someone expressing emotion. They might be angry, they might be sad, they might be hurt. They might feel unheard and unable to really say clearly what is bothering them.
And then along comes another with the clarity to be present in the Now and with the courage to lay down their own agenda…and with the neutrality to hear what is really being said.
“I hear that you feel really angry about that situation.”
“You seem confused and hurt, that must feel very challenging.”
“I can tell that the quality of your work is very important to you.”
“You seem frustrated and hurt that no one seems to listen to you.”
“I can hear your pain, and I just want you to know I care.”
You can even do this with someone you are right in the middle of conflict with.
Don’t we all really want to be acknowledged?
It doesn’t mean aligning with a victim mentality or jumping off the cliff with someone or getting yourself all emotionally involved.
In fact, it would be much better if you remained neutral, calm and compassionate.
Just notice this week…notice the opportunities to bring this recognition to another and notice what happens when you do. I think this is one of the most beautiful ways we can be in our gift. And we can give it oh so freely…the acknowledgment well never runs dry.
I think it’s a sign of our ever evolving being-ness when we can stand with another in this way. When we can choose neutrality and clarity, even when we might want to defend or explain, to simply be for the other.
That’s good stuff.
Cheers to you all, until next week,
On a side note, I am taking a break from writing the Inspiration Infusions, as I am currently working on a book I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. Wahoo!
If you are a relatively new subscriber you will still be receiving them for a good while, as they are on an auto-responder that feeds all the II messages I’ve ever written. So enjoy!
If you are looking for a daily boost/food for thought, please check out The Daily Cuppa that I write.