Conflict and Mediation
I watched as the group dispersed and one lady hung back, she’d been quiet during the meeting; listening, watching; it looked like she had a question to ask. I smiled encouragingly.
‘May I ask you something?’ she asked. ‘Of course, how can I help you?’
It transpired that she was married to a wonderful man and therefore not in need of mediation, but she wanted to know if she could have done anything differently at the time, 27 years ago, to have kept her first marriage alive. She’d often wondered about it, and could still get upset that she might have been too hasty. She’d learned many years later from her ex mother in law that she ‘should’ have used an iron fist in a velvet glove approach with her ex husband, that was how to deal with him.
The conversation progressed from there, and she began to understand that mediation is more common than most people realise. Mediation is used to find the best possible outcome for those with any form of conflict. Conflict can be internal – this lady still had conflicting feelings and emotions around her divorce. 27 years is a long time to hang on to it.
‘I know I shouldn’t even be thinking of it anymore as it was so long ago’ she confessed ‘but there’s a wee part of me which still wonders’.
With a few questions we quickly got to the cause of her internal conflict, and it was very quickly put to bed. She thanked me and sighed. That sigh indicated that this lady had no reason to carry this burden around with her any longer, it was now gone.
As she turned to leave, she stopped, turned round and said ‘I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from me’.
Mediation is simply a facilitating process, whether with another individual or with the parts of yourself , which cause you pain, fear or simply to clear up things which you are curious about. All it takes is being willing to want to reach an end to the issue.
Stuffing things away and pretending they don’t exist is as helpful as a chocolate teapot.