Being fully present to each other is a valuable gift we can bring to these meetings. But it is not easy. Understanding that each of our needs may be different and trying to provide for everyone, being able to be honest when we feel uneasy about something, or feel we are not being heard, without being critical or attacking, or trying to avoid conflict by being 'nice', all these are fine lines to tread.
What remains uppermost for me is honouring what I am
feeling in the moment. There may not be an obvious cause or story
attached, it may make no sense, I may have conflicting feelings, but
that is the truth of my experience that I want to respect. From very
young we are taught to separate ourselves from our feelings, so they get
overlaid with negative connotations, disapproval, shame, feeling we are
not 'normal', etc. I want to reaffirm the validity of my feelings -
just because they are mine, without justification or comparison.
Ultimately my trust is in myself, not my skills or my qualifications or
my previous experience, but just in being me. I feel the freedom of
that. In that freedom I hope I can be fully present to you and to
myself. I won't always manage it but that is what I am aiming for.