Since several people were offended by my last blog, I wanted to apologize to those "offendees" if my remarks felt insulting.
On the other hand, any conflict is an opportunity for growth, or at least for humor and so I encourage those offended to muster up their courage and come talk to me. I try to be sensitive, but like the offended, I too, often come up short and make mistakes.
We live in a system, both our home/work environment and our world that is crying out for help and solutions to thorny, complex and daunting problems. The opportunity here is to rise up (at least a little) from our ego perspective and see how any changes that we might be able to make within ourselves can be helpful to the growth of the whole.
So, I say to those who may have felt challenged by my remarks, bring it on. Let's see how we can help each other improve, so that the next time, when there is an inadvertent offense, we will be able to use it as an opportunity to achieve greater awareness and hopefully, laugh at ourselves.
Several years ago, Rochelle and I were apart of a group that produced a regular Sunday morning gathering. When we had our weekly meetings to organize the upcoming event, we made it a policy to deal with any conflicts that may have arisen during the week, especially interpersonal and intrapersonal ones. We had a motto: "Let the need lead."
All too often, human beings resort to blame and self-judgement when mistakes are made and interpersonal communication breaks down and turns to misunderstanding and hostility. So, to help us manage these altercations, we developed a 4 part set of principles:
- Be willing to be honest.
- Be willing to express your needs
- Be willing to get off your position
- Be willing take responsibility for your own feelings (and not blame anyone else--more on those principles in future blogs)
These 4 tools have served us very well. Each one takes understanding and practice, but they really work. So, if you are one of the people who felt "judged" by me, come let's see where we were each coming from that led to our less-than-ideal behavior.
As the Urantia Book says, "You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of the will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor’s motives and sentiments."
So let us seek to understand one another, and grow our "clothing optional" community into one that not only makes it safe to bare our bodies, but also, safe and important enough to bare our souls.