Mediation is not war. It is a dance on the fine line between hostility and peace. It is coming to the table open to ideas. It is trusting the process when the rain of flaming arrows hurt and you feel your very ability to survive threatened. Lawyers loom so you cling to your Mediator. Accusations barnstorm, and progress halts. Pain clouds breakthroughs, hanging like cigarette smoke in an empty lobby.
You keep coming to Session though you dread it. It is face to face with fear, animosity, threat, raw ache. But it is the best way forward. It is the only way which offers hope of lessening hostility. It is the only way which gives the partakers control over their futures. It is the way that leads to collaboration. Not only about the individual, it is about the family. In mediation, talking toward agreement means you are dancing not only for yourself, but for the kids. And even the other party.
Illustration by Puppy Whisperer, age 8