women-men-forgiveness

"For women who want
a representative of men
to hear and receive
their stories, anger and pain."


Women–Men–Forgiveness

Men owe a huge debt to women, and have a very long history to take stock of and ask forgiveness for. Inequality, oppression, abuse and more are still too prevalent in our patriarchally-grown society. Many women feel this in specific relationships, as well as in work and society in general. It is a pain that needs to be heard, felt, and embraced with love.

To the extent that I’m able, I offer myself to take part in small group sessions with women who want a representative of men to hear and receive their stories, anger and pain. This offering is inspired by the Buddhist practice of tonglen, a discipline of taking in the suffering of another, allowing this to be transformed within them, and then breathing out love.

While I may not personally be guilty of much of the target of anger that many women may have, I do inhabit a male body, and so recognise that I can offer myself as a focus for receiving their hurt–a representative or substitute for men as a whole, as it were.

This is a new ministry for me, and not an easy one. Initially, subject to my being able to easily travel to a workshop, gathering, retreat or other event where this service might play a role, I am not intending to charge for it, although would welcome any voluntary contributions to cover my costs for attending.

I will facilitate a 1 or 2 hour session, in which the group will be invited to share, often shout out, what has caused them harm. My role will be to listen, encourage an opening up, take on and process this hurt, then offer words of apology and breathe an intention for forgiveness and restoration of wellbeing and integrity. The session will then move to an opportunity for calm reflection, and meditation, centring on bringing peace. This may not resolve all of the pain that many might hope for, but it should provide some opportunity for release and a sense of being heard.

If you are involved with a group or are planning a women’s event where there may be a place for this service, please call me on +44 (0)7956 942980 or email me at info@clivejohnsonministry.com, to talk through what part I may be able to play.

Please note that for my own safety, I’m not able to take physical expressions of anger, such as punches and slaps, even if this might optionally be simulated during the session for those who need to express themselves in this way, with air or cushion punches. It’s important too that we agree the means for holding those involved in this work in safety, being aware of the limits of our own capabilities (e.g. as counsellors for those who may need to follow up what comes up for them).

Clive Johnson
Email:   clive.johnson@interfaithministry.co.uk
Phone:  +44 (0)7956 942980
Skype:  cliverj2


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