After watching this pleasant, not-very-deep kids' movie, I was wondering whether we'd be able to come up with more than one or two good personal-growth questions. Once we got started developing the questions, though, we got a good batch of them, just like always. I don't know why I worry...
Our discussion started with Question #4, since the experience of loss triggered lots of feelings for several of us. We recognized that situations that look like a loss sometimes bring us greater gifts than we ever expected, gifts that far outweigh the loss. We also recognized that it's often difficult to FEEL positive about a loss at the time it's happening; it's easier to feel good about it several years in retrospect (sometimes decades!). This is true even though we can sometimes catch depression and turn it around by how we THINK about the situation, especially if we catch it soon enough.
Several of the questions (#2, #3 and #6) related to feeling separate, and we noticed that several of us shared the feeling of being separated from society by some common society-wide stereotypes of "how things should be." However, there are ways in which we were separated and/or connected with our family as well (Questions #1 and #7), and that has seemed to affect how much we've needed to be connected with other groups such as friends or companions, like we are at the Center.
We also talked about our expectations (Question #8), and how they can color our beliefs about winning/losing. In fact, our belief about whether we're actually losing is often determined by the way we consciously DEFINE the situation. And our expectations spill over into the rules we set up for ourselves and others. In fact, one of my highlights for the evening was when someone asked the tantalizing question, "How many of the rules that I live by, have I actually chosen?"
We agreed that such things as fear and lack of self-awareness can keep us from really CHOOSING the rules and standards we want to live by, and keep us unaware of what we're actually doing. As one person put it, having such fears/issues is like having a black vulture sitting on our heads, sometimes for decades, keeping us from actually being "present," fully alive and aware of what we're actually doing in our lives.
Here are the questions: