Het fundament van systemisch fenomenologisch werk


12 februari 2019| Potentieel

Re-connecting with potential… A mixture of pain and tough realizations.

I arrive home to my husband, son and daughter after two long days. But there’s something different about my daughter and I can’t put my finger on it. There is something off about the way she looks at me, the way she hugs me. But it has been 2 very long days anyways, so I figure I’m probably just imagining things…

The two-day workshop potential. Many insights from the cases of co-participants already on day one. I learn that potential is actually life’s energy. And energy wants to flow. And if this energy for some reason is not able to flow, it can have drastic consequences in the way we go on with our lives. And no matter how much I tried not to bring my own case (and because I really didn’t know what my case would be), I guess it was unavoidable.

So, when I thought I just managed to escape my turn, Jan Jacob suggests that we do an exercise in small groups. The exercise comprised the following: in groups of four, each one of us, in turns, would choose a person to represent A: the moment or happening when someone’s life’s energy has abruptly been taken away, B: the person from who this life’s energy has been taken away, and C: the life’s energy that has been taken way.

The assignment was to stand a while before A, then before B and finally before C, and just look at that person, saying nothing, just feeling what it would do with us. And just like this, my comfortable position as ‘participant of the workshop’ changed into a very confusing mixture of pain and realization. Pain for being faced with the moment where, 3 years ago, my 12 days old daughter died before my eyes for a few seconds. Realization of how much life’s energy has, then, abruptly been taken away from her and consequently, from me. That was almost too much to digest.

Finally, I look at C, the representative of life’s energy itself. Then an inexplicable strength starts running throughout my whole body, down from my feet and getting stronger up to my head. It felt like a complete take over. Again, too much to digest. So, I decide that I’m done, it’s ok like this. But the words come out of representative C: “Are you sure? Because I don’t think so”. All I can think at that moment is: who do you think you are? But at the same time, deep inside, I knew it wasn’t done yet. So, I make a step forward, take his hands and what happens next surprises everyone in the room. I mean, this representative was a very tall and strong man, almost twice as big as myself. Yet, the moment I take his hands into mine, it is like I’m going to crush his fingers into a thousand pieces. The blood runs out of his hands. I’m filled with such an incredible strength, much stronger then the minutes before that. I am literally and physically feeling all that life’s energy that 3 years ago has been taken away from my daughter and me. I stay there for a while until it slowly starts to decrease. Now it is done! And I have no idea what it means.

There is something off about the way she looks at me, the way she hugs me. And the next day, and all the other days after that. Every day from now on is like a battle field, a huge struggle for her and us. There’s almost no room for calm, her rebellious behavior is really costing us so much energy. I suspect I know what it is: anger, rage, fury… But why?

After some weeks of unsuccessful approaches, I decide to stop fighting it since it isn’t helping anyway. I contact Jan Jacob with the question: ‘Could it be that her behavior is connected with the power I felt during the exercise?’ His answer is: ‘If you see your daughter in her full potential (or her potential apart), it is possible that she may also connect with that potential. And yes, it is possible that it needs to get out’. And then he adds: ‘A good friend of mine once told me that violence is energy at high speed. And if you stand next to that energy instead of fighting it, it is possible to turn that energy into something constructive, or at least less destructive’.

And it is in this phase that we are right now. And it is still work in progress. And it is beautiful to see how lively my daughter is, also through the ‘angry moments’. And it is a joy to clearly see and feel that she’s re-connected with her potential. And it is surprising to see and feel that I’m re-connected with my own potential. And it is hard to realize that I have to say ‘no’ to so many things and be disloyal to so many people. But oh, how good it feels!

So, I guess before making room for potential and all the ‘great things’ it might bring, it is also very useful to be aware of all the risks and (possible) damage that also can come with it. How ready am I to accept my full potential (and its price)?

ps.: I wrote this in English because Dutch is not my first language.

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Over het Bert Hellinger Instituut

Mensen zijn altijd in ontwikkeling. Met elkaar, zonder elkaar. In families, in teams, in organisaties. Het systemisch denken maakt ons bewust van het waarom van ons zijn en doen. Met organisatieopstellingen en familieopstellingen ontstaat ruimte voor beweging. Het BHI geeft opleidingen, workshops en trainingen op het gebied van systemisch werk, opstellingen, leiderschap en coachen. Zo dragen wij bij aan de ontwikkeling van mens, organisatie en maatschappij.

Voor aanstormende en gevestigde leiders. Een initiatief van het Bert Hellinger Instituut.