Part 3 Early Adulthood
One of the great good fortunes of my life was to join an organisation called Fusion Australia – now Fusion International. It is a christian based, non-denominational, youth and community work organisation. Staff were paid by donation (called ‘living by faith’ in the Evangelical jargon) – so few of us were wealthy. Fusion was where I spent my 20’s.
I joined when it was getting organised and it was still quite fluid. The wonderful thing about Fusion was that they took training seriously. I finally found a group who would tell me how to do what they wanted me to do. And they had a genuinely wholistic view of the person (this was rare in Evangelical christianity at the time – it is becoming more common).
How good the training was I didn’t appreciate until I left. When I left I found that there were people charging high prices for stuff which was a fraction of what we had been given in Fusion for free. The biggest learning for me was about my emotions. I found that my emotions were important and valuable. Fusion also introduced me to the world of psychotherapy (touching on Carl Rogers, Transactional Analysis, Gestalt, Viktor Frankl and Gerard Egan). This was just the psychology stuff, there was much else.
I was somewhat fortunate that the team I was part of were very supportive and encouraging. We also got on well with the national director and so had (on the whole) quite good support from the national administration. We were largely supported to get on with implementing the vision in our locality. This seemed at the time to be simple good sense – and it still seems so to me. What I didn’t realise until I left was how rare this common good sense is.
It was during this time that I read and worked through Perls, Hefferline and Goodman’s Gestalt Therapy. This book changed my life.
Probably my biggest learning from Fusion, other than the personal one about my emotions, was what people can do with willingness and support. This applied to Fusion staff, some of who were gifted but most of who developed abilities due to the training we received and learning how to do things. It also applied to many of the young people we worked with. Some of these young people were seen as ‘quite difficult’ but many of them achieved good things by anyone’s standards – when their background was taken into account, the achievements were even more remarkable. As a result of this I am very optimistic about what individuals can achieve – especially with some support.
It was toward the end of my time in Fusion that I discovered my own approach to spirituality (through journalling) and found what I thought would be my own contribution: a christian, physical spirituality. This was regarded as either weird or so far off the map as to be incomprehensible.
I left Fusion because my spirituality was leading me other places – I was not fitting with Evangelicalism terribly well. I had also met the woman who would become my first wife. Falling in love had an elation and intensity that I hadn’t experienced before. It was a remarkable and delightful experience.
Being married and negotiating the world of work were challenges which lay ahead.
Would you like to feel less stressed?
Could you do with more joy in your life?
The answer is living authentically. Buy the book or sign up for the course now from my Living Authentically website.