Mediation is, quite simply, a service that is available to help people settle conflict. A mediator is a neutral third person who skillfully facilitates a meeting between the parties in conflict, helping them to find resolve to the problem.
Conflict can bring us some of our most painful times of life. We can become embroiled, enmeshed, stuck; with words thrown out as weapons in an attempt to get out of the pain but, rather, they keep us locked in the pain we are experiencing.
Oddly, when we struggle against pain it consumes us; it is like we are in quicksand. We are stuck, sinking in deeper and deeper, until we lose the ability to experience the joy and freedom of our own lives.
We find ourselves in a place of suffering, in pain that does not go away because we are snared in. Suffering is pain that does not end. Pain, on the other hand, is an experience that we move through.
When we meet the pain of conflict with a willingness to work with it until we reach an understanding of the underlying values, we are strengthened and empowered.
Mediation is a service available to those who find themselves stuck in the thick of conflict. Those who want to keep the conflict from being an experience of on-going suffering and, rather, let the pain of the conflict become the foundation for solid, respectful resolution. Mediation is as simple as holding out a hand so a third person can guide you away from the enmeshed experience of conflict, helping to create movement towards a respectful agreement. K.B.
“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.” William Ellery Channing