Day Five – The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
Another way to say this Principle would be to simply say that everyone deserves a voice.
Finally, we get to “Communicate, communicate, communicate,” what I generally considered the 3 primary rules of polyamory. One of the tools I have found useful in the past year is the art of Compassionate Communication (also known as Non-Violent Communication.)
Nothing gets fixed without first understanding the issue and stating it as such. In order to do this, you need to observe a specific example of action (or inaction), state how you feel about that, state what need isn’t being met that you have, and then making a request.
And here comes the challenge that I have faced: making a request means that it can be denied. And I have to face that possibility. No one should be forced or expected to act in a way that goes against the grain of their self. Each individual has the right and responsibility to say, “No, I can’t do that for you.”
It’s tough to deal with when your partner(s) says no, but that’s what the democratic process is all about. Your needs are not the only needs that exist. But the joy of polyamory comes (for me at least) when I can define a need that is not being met and then having the freedom and responsibility to find a way to have that need met by myself, or another potential partner or love.
And sometimes, a family of adults needs to rely on the democratic process to find the path forward that is going to be the best for the majority. And the minority needs to be able to accept that path.
I wish you all strength in that regard when you are the minority. I know I’ve needed it.