My Meeting with Irena

It was Wednesday, February 24th, 2016, just over a year after meeting Jeff’s girlfriend, Irena, for the first time, and, finally, after a year of non-communication and very bad energy, I was going to sit down to dinner with her and talk. That’s right, dinner- just me and her at an intimate upscale French Bistro, Le Chat Noir – her selection. It was difficult to wrap my mind around meeting this young woman face to face, yet I knew it would be the only way to accomplish my goal of creating a new space for a new possibility – that possibility being for Jeff, Irena and myself to all be comfortable and even friendly with one another someday soon.

Although Jeff had suggested that our meeting would no longer be necessary since he had seen Irena helping me with set up at Arden’s Birthday party last Saturday, and he had witnessed me expressing my gratitude to her, I remained committed to having a face to face meeting. He suggested that since we were able to be decent with one another, and the goal was for us to be “Civil,” there was really no reason to take it further. I asked for him to please set up the meeting anyway as he had said he would originally.

I had rehearsed a bit as to what and how I had wanted to communicate and to what end. I had envisioned the meeting as I would have liked it to go. I would start by thanking her for agreeing to meet me and for helping me at Arden’s party. I would apologize for being cold and unfriendly to her over the past year and explain that the negative energy between us has been going on for too long now and it is time for something new.

Well…What actually happened was that as soon as I sat down she said she would not be eating because she had to get back to work. Then she said since I had insisted on having this meeting against both her and Jeff’s better judgment the floor was mine, and what is the problem?!!!

I remembered to be my stand and to respond rather than react. I clarified that I had not insisted but rather expressed a strong desire to have the opportunity to meet face to face in order to create a new space for a new possibility if she were open to it.

I went on to say “My intention is to create a new space for a new possibility of getting along. I believe that a goal of being ‘civil’ is a gross undershoot. Why aim for being polite on the surface and walking on eggshells around one another, doing our best to be decent? That is not comfortable or even real, and everyone including Arden will feel that. I feel we are evolved enough to be capable of much more!”

I said that although I do not know her, I sense that she is a good person and that we even have things in common. She did not take Jeff from me, and so I believe we are lucky and have every chance to actually have a friendly relationship with one another.

“I am not here to talk about problems.” I said calmly. “I am here to talk about moving forward if you are still open to that.”

She said she would really like to know what I have been so upset about over the past year.

“That is a fair question,” I acknowledged and went into a couple of examples of my experiencing her as being insensitive toward me.

I explained that I am a compassionate and empathetic person, and I hope that soon she will come to experience that for herself. I explained that if we do our best to understand where the other person is coming from and treat each other with care and respect things will certainly be transformed between us.

She gave me a hard time about pretty much everything that I said, stating that she has never comprised for anyone and has always spoken and acted without restraint or care, for better and for worse. I told her that this would be a new experience for her then but that the relationship we are looking to create would depend upon a certain amount of sensitivity from each of us. I shared with her that I experienced her as being a powerful woman who knows her own mind and could make things happen. I told her that I had every confidence in her in making the right choices without having to confer with Jeff, and that if it was coming from her heart I would know it and be appreciative of her effort not matter what.

In the end we agreed that Jeff should not be a messenger, and, to this end, I asked for her cell phone number which she gave to me. I said that I thought it would be great if we could actually sit together at Arden’s sporting events, and she told me that she was open to doing that but not to expect am immediate shift in energy.

“It will be a process.” She cautioned.

“Yes.” I responded in a conciliatory tone.

“If you say so.” I thought.

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5 thoughts on “My Meeting with Irena

  1. Yay – so much to celebrate here!!
    Great job choosing a powerful stand and sticking with it!
    This is a really inspiring story with a wonderfully hopeful resolution.

    I’m glad to see you were able to meet her where she was at, create a space for each of you to openly talk about your perspectives, and develop a rapport and personal connection.

    Some questions I was left with wondering:
    – How can you keep this mindset going forward?
    – What practices would support you?
    – What is the specific nature of the relationship, communication and degree of closeness you wish to create: now, in a month, in 3-6 months, in 9-12 months?

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  2. Wow! That was really amazing and learned a lot from you sharing! I love how you are able to have direct contact and sit together at Arden’s games.

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  3. SO POWERFUL.

    You were not shaken from your commitment to a happy family life for Arden. Even if she was coming at with you with venom.

    And to artfully remove the middle-man (Jeff) from the equation!

    Honestly, this is bigger than Arden- you are proving to yourself that you can create beauty out of harsh situations.

    You go girl!

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  4. I echo everything above, and add one question – what is Irena’s occurring world? What are relationships like to her, and parenthood? How would she describe you? What does she want?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am glad you were able to focus on what you wanted to create with her and sticking to that main focus. Congrats on this big step forward. I am really excited for the new possibilities for everyone moving forward!

    Like

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