As has been stated many times previously, Mediation is an alternative form of dispute resolution. Although this concept has been around for some time there remains in our world today the very real need for people to find a better way of resolving conflict – big or small – within their own lives. There is unrest in the world, a lack of peace. This unrest, in part, comes from the way people relate to each other. Love is the only true, never fail, the solution to human relationships, and love has a very real place in resolving conflict through mediation and facilitation.
Mediation and facilitation, by definition, assume that those who choose to engage in it, are implicitly and explicitly demonstrating to their fellow man respect and dignity. They are clearly sending the message to others involved that they care – and care enough to access their own compassion, understanding, listening skills, and core belief that it is better for people to resolve their own disputes than to have resolution imposed upon them. By this attitude alone, they begin a healing process for both themselves and the others involved that once begun, can transform the participants in such a way as to open new alternatives and solutions to the dispute. Life is not always about getting our way – that is infantile and then that means there is no peace until we get our way which often is not the case. Knowing, however, that in choosing to mediate you are opening the door to a healing process that starts even when the parties are still at odds, gives peace a chance to come into the parties and affect the process in a positive way.
Loving one another is not easy and sometimes seems impossible. Each of us is not always lovable and many times quite unlovable. But true love has little to do with any of that. Love is, to quote a favorite evangelist of mine, Robert Barron, the will of the good of the other. It is not bound in emotion or feeling. It is a conscious decision, painful or not, to will the good of the other. When we choose to love, actively love, we are willing ourselves to do good to the other – that does not mean we are willing simply to do anything for them. We are looking out for their best and making our decisions to help them reach that. That does not always feel good for them. But true love does not always feel good because it is not based in feelings. But when we love others with true love we simultaneously will good to ourselves not only because we can sometimes change the dynamic of the relationship by transforming the heart and mind of the other but we also bring peace to ourselves that cannot be found otherwise – especially not in our emotions.
That peace is truly a remarkable experience. I believe that people think they cannot achieve real peace here on earth. But we can and it is grounded in true love. Once tasted, that peace is the ultimate catalyst that continues to push us on in loving those who may not be worth loving and who may continue to remain untransformed. Once that peace is experienced, our fellow man begins to appear differently to us. The flaws that were so enormous do not seem so enormous anymore because we begin to see the flaws in all men. We begin to see mankind as merely human and that we are all merely human and capable, depending on the right set of circumstances, of things we would never dream we could do. That peace raises us on the self-actualization scale and we grow and it affects and changes our own lives and those around us.
Mediation can bring people peace and can open them to knowing how to keep that peace or re-access it. Just deciding to mediate is the start of willing the good for the other – and yourself – and so importantly, any children, and the start of showing your fellow man true love where maybe it has not been shown previously. Continuing through the mediation process allows you as a person to climb the ladder of self awareness, exercise your ability to love your fellow man and potentially solve and/or put a new face on a dispute or conflict you were facing. By dealing with your fellow man with true love, and through a mediative process in all conflict, conflict is not so scary anymore. That doesn’t mean it won’t be a big pain sometimes, That is life. But by relying on love, real love, you take control of the conflict and make it the small piece in the equation and you make Yourself and Others the important pieces which puts the emphasis in the right places!
It is the Christmas Season, my friends. As Christians we wait with longing hearts for the ultimate peace-bringer, Jesus Christ our Lord, the One who with much pain and suffering showed us all True Love through His own death. Let us rejoice and await His birth each day remembering that our job is to imitate His love for us with each other.