A busy term, leading to changes. With each evening felt closer to each of the other students. There were, however, two main turning points. First was the feedback sessions, which we had to both give and receive. Giving was the more difficult. I just didn’t feel I knew enough about each person to say much of worth. Having gone into the second year of this diploma course I’d only had 6 months of opportunity to get to know the other students, whereas they’d had 18 months to get to know each other. Of course, the same applied for each of them relative to myself, only having known me for 6 months.
As I persisted feelings came, with words to express them. There was though one individual whom I could not just get anything. I confronted a choice – make something up or just agree with what others were saying. As others were sharing their feedback, kept trying to feel for myself. Nothing came. After everyone else had spoken, to keep congruence, I took a deep breath and said something along the lines of: “I’m really sorry, but I don’t feel I know enough to say anything – nothing has come to me”. What at face value could have been a negative experience, both for the other person and myself, turned into an opening of hearts. After the feedback had concluded, in the break, I approached the person expressing my apologies for not saying anything of value to her. There was no bad feelings, just a welcome and appreciation for being honest about my feelings. The person then shared a great deal with me. I am convinced had I not been congruent, this sharing would either never have taken place or been delayed by weeks or months. This experience confirmed to me the need for congruence “with kindness”.
After this experience my feeling is I became gradually more open with the group during PD time.
Receiving feedback was great – must admit to being pleasantly surprised by people’s comments.
We also had a residential weekend, which was a wonderful experience. As I try to isolate one experience or event above another, for me, it was the ad hoc moments that contributed more to my personal development and growth. I recall two occasions when I sat talking with individuals where we each shared more than previously with each other. One in particular started as a general chat about life, slowly moving deeper, then, all of a sudden for me, tears came as I realised something or rather had something reinforced to and about my whole self. Tears of joy I would add 🙂 Wonderful.
Another memorable experience was working in a small group of 4 for a presentation. It allowed the seeing of different sides of each other. Unlike working in some groups over the years there were no egos. We were all open to each others ideas, feelings and thoughts. There seemed full acceptance of each other. Yes, of course, there were occasions when someone thought another person’s idea was not the best. Yet, that was able to be explored and examined. Because of the acceptance I was able to express congruently my feelings, as were others. It was a great opportunity to demonstrate Carl Rogers “way of being”, that the core conditions cannot and are not just to be turned on for the counselling room, but are becoming or perhaps have, in varying degrees, become part of my life.