As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.
As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.
(189 — Continuing from previous) You and I are different.
(190) Authentic relationship means that we deal with the anger between us. This requires time and energy, often much time and energy.
It is in the working through of these differences that I learn trust, trust of you that you will not abandon me, and trust of myself that I will not abandon you!
(191) The major issue is not whether we are different—we are different!
The issue is whether we violate one another, intentionally choosing to devalue the other, treating the other as an object, sometimes in a harmful fashion.
(192) You and I are different. Most, if not all, of the differences occur either from intrinsic capabilities (such as intelligence or beauty) and/or from wounds (such as scars and shoulds).
Some of these differences can be modified, perhaps 30%.
(193) I am not God—only God is perfect, whatever that word means! The rest of us in some way struggle with imperfection—we are wounded, either from natural abilities or from previous relationships.
(194) As a culture and individually, we deny our individual and collective woundedness. When we do, we violate self or others.
(195) When there is difference, when I am angry with another, I can
- move away from (abandon),
- move against (attack or criticize), or
- move towards (cooperate and problem-solve).
(196) Only the latter leads to long-term healing and growth of relationship.
(197) When I move away from or move against, I am coming from woundedness!
(198( Problem-solving: what are my needs, your needs, our needs? What alternatives do we have? What flexibility to persist until resolution, perhaps with several attempts?
What stops me from this? Usually my story that you are inflexible!! Wow!!
(199) Only when I recognize my wounding am I able to problem-solve, or otherwise move on in some fashion.
It is said that only when some other validates my wounding, is healing possible.
Perhaps—I am not sure about this part, the “only.” It is certainly an optimal component, and it may also create more victimhood!
(200) For me, authentic relationship ranges from informal friendship (what society calls “liking”) to the legal state of marriage (what society calls “loving”).
(201) In friendship, the sexual issues are minimal. I choose to show you who I am, my similarities and my differences, and to work through these differences when they impact us. I have a commitment to work through the differences that keep us apart.
Often my commitment is limited—by time, by geography, by interest.
I have some sadness about this—the world is large and there are many friendships I have lost because of its complexity, especially time and geography.
(202) In marriage, the sexual issues are prominent.
Theoretically, my commitment is unlimited. I will work through the differences—I will find ways to remain authentic and present, even with volatile emotions.
(203) Marriage is a special type of relationship; in our culture, one that begins with romance, and later (hopefully) changes to one in which I have extended opportunity to learn about myself and my ability to give, my ability to extend myself for my partner’s growth, to love as a gift.
And to receive love as a gift!
(204) There are many invalid reasons for marriage.
(205) There are only two valid reasons for marriage:
- the care and nurture of children, the opportunity for them to grow, and
- the friction, especially the opportunity for myself and my partner to grow.
(206) Successful relationship, especially marriage, necessitates that we achieve clarity as to what we want, and do the work (and perhaps the fun) to achieve that.
I cannot know what you want! That is your responsibility. My component is to stay present, authentically, while you do so.
(207) I can however know what I want. That is my responsibility.
Wants will vary from individual to individual; some wants are more important than others.
Meeting these wants is my responsibility, not yours.
(208) Marriage (and also friendship) is a relationship—many wants requiring a dynamic interaction between the players.
If I do not get my important wants met (in the long term), there is a very real risk that I will not stay in relationship, leaving either emotionally or physically.
(209) A wedding is an event, a product; a marriage is a process!
One of the major issues of marriage is that people change, and forget to tell each other!
(210) What each person wants/needs will vary from individual to individual.
I have many wants. The following are fundamental to me; I want to be able to share these with my partner:
- a common vision (and appropriate action) of growing together.
- striving for clarity of communication, with directness and honesty,
- striving for growth and health,
- conflict resolution principally by problem solving,
- much sensuality, and
- good food
(211) I have other wants; the above are fundamental to me.
(212) Process is more important than product!
(213) The universe fundamentally only provides feedback and outcomes. No mistakes, no failures, just feedback and outcomes.
Will you learn from the outcome, or not?
(214) What we call mistakes are actually takes that missed: mis-takes.
We are always doing the best we can — sometimes we miss.
(215) My ‘issues’ (the difficulties with which I struggle, and hopefully grow) are those wherein I have a direct emotional experience, usually pain, anger or sadness.
(216) If you and I are in conflict, I am responsible for my behaviors, and for all those components wherein I have direct emotional experience.
You are responsible for your behaviors, and all those components wherein you have direct emotional experience.
(217) When you have an issue, it is your problem! (It is however our issue!!)
By that I mean, it is your first move. If I attempt to solve your problem and move first, I am violating you; in some way, I am assuming you are helpless, and I am taking responsibility for your life.
Yet I care; I will not abandon you. However, I need you to define what you need.
(218) If you do not define what you need, if you simply blame and bitch (see note #75), then I act as a sink for your pain.
I don’t want that. I have enough pain of my own, thank you!
(219) When I have an issue, it is my problem! It is my first move!
It is still our issue!
To be continued.