Healing Wounds – A Fairy Tale
There were two people working in the same bakery. It was a large bakery making handmade quality loaves and rolls using the finest quality organic grains and other ingredients. There was such a variety of supplies to provide for the large variety of bread on offer that great co-ordination was required. Instead of having a large kiln or two and machines to blend and mix the ingredients, many people were employed to make specific products that required specific care, knowledge, a personal touch and so on, in order to get the individual products right for the discerning market that this bread was made for. The bakery had to employ some really skilled and intelligent people to co-ordinate all this. It also needed some people carers to look after and nurture the large number of bakers employed. These are the two people that were referred to at the outset of this story, the administrator and the people coordinator.
The administrator was a person who could really slow down and look at the problems that were reported to him or that he observed himself as he walked around the shop floor. Every time he saw something not working, it would impact on him personally and he would take it to heart and feel it deeply. He was a kind person, very bright, a bit roundish in body form but not fat. He wore a white coat and glasses on a string around his neck. He always had his notepad and a pen handy, and dust from the plant on his shoes and clothing. He had an office nearby the bakery floor where he could reliably be found whenever he was not walking around the floor finding out about problems. The staff liked him because he listened and made changes that improved their lives and simplified processes when he saw the possibility. When he smiled, it was a warm smile that seemed to hang around his face for a long time. It was a deep feeling that he had when he saw something good or was able to assist others. On the other hand, when he found that a supplier had not met the quality standards or delivered too much or too little, or in fact where a staff member had been given something that they asked for but did not use as promised, the displeasure lived in him also in the form of a disappointment on his face, also for a time long enough to make the point. The administrator did not and could not entertain joys and disappointments for flitting moments. He allowed them into his feeling life so that he could be moved by them. He wanted to feel whether what he had seen was worth worrying about or not, but he had to feel this inwardly and profoundly and pass it by his logic and experience. Then he could let forth from his face either a long deep warm smile or a long painful expression of disappointment. The staff respected him because he was mostly right and the matter could be discussed with him if they felt otherwise.
The people co-ordinator was different. She was a bit more of a nervous person. She had a very senior position in the bakery and was very bright. She had joined the bakery some years ago from a very successful operation elsewhere. She had come with a reputation. For her, things had to be done very quickly and change must happen now. When others smiled at her, she would briefly smile back and return her face to neutral. Neutral was her facial expression when her need was to get things done. If one of her staff were unhappy, she would also throw them a quick smile in the hope that this would sort things out. She filled her planner with many different ideas and to do’s and liked to have lots to do. She understood most of what the administrator’s tasks were as well as his difficulties and successes. When there were staff matters that she attended to, she did not really have the ability to take in what the other was telling her. She just wanted it resolved and so suggested solutions with her flitting but engaging smile and made her suggestions the final agreement between them. When staff structure became the issue of discussion at the bakery, she was very quick to think logically and provide convincing solutions to the management team. Her manner was also engaging, pleasant and respectful here. She knew what she had to achieve by having the right staff in the right place at the right times. This was clear to her and she committed to meeting this objective on behalf of the team. She would also smile engagingly for a brief moment, just enough for it to have the right effect, and then return to neutral, her place of safety. Somehow, she did not want to really see and allow what she saw to enter her. She wanted logic to dictate. She liked the way the administrator did things but struggled to let go of her own desire to keep things in the head and not allow it into her heart. She just had to get things done quickly but it had to remain at a distance as though she were directing others from a position of superior logic and intellect. Of course, this lead to the bakery becoming a place of social disjointedness. While the supply chain and quality was excellent, the people felt distanced. The possibility to shift the bakery into new products started to fail because the people coordinator lived in logic as opposed to allowing herself to really see the issues on the ground, feel them deeply, and take one issue at a time deeply into herself and resolve it, and in fact go back to it with love and care to make sure it was working its way out of the system. One day when she was really down and frustrated and on the verge of collapse, she decided to ask some questions of the administrator and other senior colleagues. This was the start of change in her and change for the bakery. She discovered her fear of or inability to allow herself to see things and then feel them. She decided as a consequence to disallow her fear and encouraged her interest in what feeling something deeply really was about. She suddenly realised how much was hidden behind each person and how much they really meant to her and the bakery. She started to feel some love and compassion in general. She recognised that her ability to be in the moment earnestly, without haste, was pivotal. From this, she could generate actions that would lead to a holistic resolution not only of the issue, but in the way that the staff member was able to play a consciously adjusted role because they really understood the matter at hand from more aspects. The wounds of her soul could be gradually healed by herself in this way.
And so it was that the Bakery once again started to climb into the hearts of its staff and then customers. Many people at the bakery benefited from the people coordinator’s battle with herself and her overcoming of her flitting smiles and reliance on logic. She became more patient, more observant, allowed what she observed into her heart and feelings, and looked for workable solutions with those around her based on this and her experience. She become loved and needed and even helped the administrator where he was short on logic.