This ever happen to you?
You’re a kid playing outside when all of a sudden one of your parents comes up and starts yelling at you.
“Don’t you ever do that again!”
Umm, what did I do?
“You know what you did and if you do it again”
Got my butt wailed on a few times for not knowing what I did but knowing I was supposed to know what I did.
I’ve had a similar ongoing situation with members of my family about just such a situation. They reject me but either cannot or will not explain their position.
Perhaps I did do some terrible things in my life, PTSD does do that to people but that doesn’t explain why so many people feel so self righteous about judging others sans explanation.
If I wronged you, I’m sorry. If you’re not adult enough to accept that, you should be sorry.
My point in all this is, LEARN TO COMMUNICATE PEOPLE!
Silence – Yelling – Screaming – Berating – Shunning – Accusing – Over talking (shouting the other person down)
and more are not forms of communication.
If someone hurt you, tell them in a calm, collected voice how you are offended and, more importantly how you truly feel about it. Maybe it won’t cure the entire problem but at least it will make YOU feel better.
If you love that person and want them in your life, say so. If not, quietly turn your back and walk away but remember, if you walk away be sure it’s what you want because you can never go back.
In some Native People’s communities a pipe(Canunpa or Peace Pipe) may be lit calling for open discussion. To me, this is a form of communal commitment to speak freely without fear of reprisal. Only the person holding the pipe may speak but the elder(s) have control of the situation to prevent overly negative interactions.
As I don’t smoke anymore, I feel the use of a Peace Candle or some other form of signal might be used to call everyone to council. Once in council, a Talking Stick may be used in place of a pipe.
Now Talking Sticks don’t actually stand up and do oral dissertations, they kind of just lay there waiting for their owner to pick them up. Did you get the part about “owner”? Damn good idea, right? So here’s the deal, each member of the family, community, etc., makes her/his own talking stick which can be no longer than 18″, (No size bullies allowed.) which they decorate in their own manner (remember, “G” audience here).
Here’s the scenario:
The person wishing to talk will light the Peace candle and place it in the center of a table, preferably the kitchen table. She/he will then lay her/his Talking Stick in front of it denoting an issue to discuss. Everyone will gather at the table as soon as possible. ONLY the Talking Stick of the person calling the council will be used and that person must start the council by holding it for all to see and presenting the issue to be discussed.
The key to making this work is to remember that ONLY the person holding the Talking Stick may speak. If someone has a question or needs an explanation, they may and, more importantly must ask permission to speak. If permission is granted, the Talking Stick must be passed to this person.
Sounds very complex but I’ve found it can work well with kids. Some adults need to learn to be kids to do it but that doesn’t mean they need to be a kid again.
Give it a shot and let me know how it works.