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Week Three: Fifth Day

Reflection on our Dominance and Submission

Another aspect of Baptismal Awareness is growing in a capacity to remain mutual with others. When someone seems to dominate, we might playfully push back to call it to their attention. If it is a continuing issue, we can speak to them about it directly. When someone seems to be submissive, we can encourage and support them; we can talk to them if the pattern continues.

In the gospels, we see Jesus being highly conscious of these power relationships as he sought to establish a culture of mutuality. He is very firm toward those who try to dominate him. He is very encouraging to those who underestimate their power.

All of us engage in dominating and submitting behaviors. As a part of a larger culture that often tends toward dominance/submission, we all come to a group with assumptions about our power and the power of others.

Striving for mutuality is one of the key practices of TCC. It is something we will always wrestle with.

We invite you to do the following reflection to help you prepare for the practice of mutuality.

Dominance and Submission:

Reflect on a time when, looking back, you realize that you dominated someone else. (Another way to say this is to talk about bullying culture.) Write these in your journal.

  • What did it feel like at the time?
  • How do you feel about it now?
  • Were there any social forces – expectations from the larger culture or from the group around you – that led you to behave this way?
  • What has changed or is changing in you that would make your response the situation different?

Reflect on a time when, looking back, you realize that you submitted to someone else.

  • What did it feel like at the time?
  • How do you feel about it now?
  • Were there any social forces – expectations from the larger culture or from the group around you – that led you to behave this way?
  • What has changed or is changing in you that would make your response the situation different?

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