Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me.You are always welcome around my table. Over the past six or seven weeks I have been attending a support group meeting that uses a particular format. The format is used to give each individual the opportunity to share their thoughts during the meeting. In this particular meeting the group facilitator calls on different members at random. If the member shares for more that 4-5 minutes the group facilitator will kindly signal that their time is up — so as to allow time for other members of the group to share from their experience, strength and hope.
Over the past 5-6 weeks I took note that each week the facilitator of the group signaled for me to wrap up my sharing during the meeting. Initially, I was comfortable with her signaling for me to wrap up what I was sharing, however over time I began to experience some frustration. Several weeks ago I spoke with the facilitator after the meeting about her interrupting my train of thought. Part of me knew that the facilitator was doing what needed to be done and the other part of me was becoming resentful. During our conversation I allowed the first part of me to share that I thought she was doing and excellent job in a difficult situation.
I decided to sit with the second part and own my frustration and developing resentment.
Over the next week I took the time to look at the reasons for my frustration beyond the obvious — that my sharing was being cut short. As I examined why I felt frustrated I had a spiritual awakening. My spiritual awakening was the result of various factors that I have been noticing recently about myself. My awakening empowered my ability to accept a part of myself that I had been denying. As part of being a traumatic brain injury survivor, I am an expansive thinker. As an expansive thinker I have a difficult time knowing which details to share and which details to leave out — especially when given a limited amount of time to share my thoughts on a topic such as during a support group meeting.
The Application of my Awareness
During this past weeks meeting — when the facilitator called on me to share my thoughts on the step that was being discussed — my thinking and sharing became garbled at least in my opinion. Consequently, I again experienced some frustration. As I reflected upon why I felt frustrated, I had an awareness. My frustration arose from my inability to share my thoughts succinctly in my allotted time. Once I accepted and owned my frustration, a solution became apparent. Rather than internalizing my inability — as a deterrent to sharing during future meetings — I realized that I could empower my process.
With my awareness — that I am an expansive thinker — I realized that I needed to ask the facilitator to call on me towards the end of the meeting. By doing so I would have time to process my thoughts, to in turn be able to share my thoughts with the group in a succinct fashion. In so doing I realized that I could create a win / win outcome. In so doing I could empower the group process, the facilitator and most of all my ability to be useful.
After the meeting I approached the group facilitator to share my awareness. I told her that because of my expansive thinking that I had a difficult time being succinct when under time constraints. As a result I asked if she could do me a favor. I asked her to call on me to share with the group towards the very end of the meeting. I told her that by doing so she would enable me to process my thoughts so that I could share them with the group members in a succinct fashion. After sharing my awareness and my need with her she said that she would be happy to do so in the subsequent meetings. The facilitator went on to say that she appreciated me for sharing my awareness with her as she did not know that about me. I thanked her for taking the time to understand.
Upon reflection, I am so glad that I decided to learn from my frustration, instead of believing that no solutions could exist. Consequently, I have discovered that I can use my expansive thinking to empower my process.
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