About ten years from retirement, I found myself head of a small team. The two young people who made it up quickly formed a small nucleus; and since they were intelligent and competent, they took turns discussing my decisions and pushing theirs.
Here is what I wrote down (in a little notebook that served as my confidant) throughout this difficult relationship:
« Conflict situations are on the rise. Attempts at explanation fail. Misunderstanding sets in. I feel isolated. Today I macerate my thoughts. I can withdraw and resent them, or seek to impose my views. None of this is good, I can feel it. That would mean getting bogged down in the hustle and bustle. I have to find the strength to master this type of reaction, as negative as childish, and use this reaction energy to contain impulses guided by pride and accept the truth of the other. Thus, not only will I overcome the ordeal but I will come out of it strengthened, that is to say more stable, more solid.
Finally, it is a favorable context for maceration. It's up to me to take advantage of the questioning it imposes ("excellent this maceration which forces you to redo yourself in your house" said Saint-Exupéry).
A few days later I noticed:
« Last night I suddenly felt the urge to scratch my leg. I gave in to the itch, and that gave me relief. Two minutes. Mechanically I scratched again; but the more vigorously I scratched, the shorter the period of truce. As sleep left me for good, a sharp pimple gradually revealed itself under my nervous fingernails.
There are only two alternatives, I told myself during a lull. Either I scratch this growth until I tear it off, or I wait for the itching to stop.
I chose patience and mastery. The first few minutes were long, then the nagging itch subsided. As I fell asleep, I thought: God, through this button, enlightened me on what to do with my two young colleagues, joining another quote from my friend St-Ex: "A leader must be able to control himself before claiming to lead anyone." »
However, years later I noted (relationships were getting harder and harder for me):
« The spark of love inside me is doing what it can to preserve my inner peace. But this systematic, sly, and often hurtful opposition constantly disturbs her.
However, I feel that stifling this conflict would do me a disservice. I would be so much prouder of myself if I could make my little flickering light into a torch so the darkness wouldn't enter, and radiate some of that love outward.
It is not about the fight of the Good (me) against the Evil (them), because they are, and will remain children of God.
The torments they inflict on me arouse negative reactions that are in me (lack of patience, vanity, pride...). So, in this dreadful inner battle, I burn off my own impurities, and in doing so, I not only preserve my flame, but I strengthen it.
I am now able to look at them with benevolence; and find my inner peace. »