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.
(219 — Continuing from previous) When I have an issue, it is my problem! It is my first move! It is still our issue!
(220) Relationship, especially marriage, requires
- commitment (willingness to stay),
- communication (willingness to share who I am honestly),
- cooperation (willingness to be present to the other’s needs), and
- conscious choices, dealing with the positives and negatives.
- staying present
- genuine safety for both of us
- safe expression of criticism and anger.
- problem-solving of conflict.
- conscious fun! (long-term fun requires effort!)
(221) Relationship is maximized when both individuals are present and centered.
(222) An old adage is that ‘you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.’
The adage does not say however that one is better than the other; maybe I want a leather purse.
(223) Relationships require both basic ingredients and transformation. Not all ingredients lead to effective transformation, especially in the direction that I want. Romance is only one of the ingredients.
It may be that I want a silk purse, and one or both of us are sow’s ears—we need to come to terms with this, perhaps staying together, or perhaps separating.
Thinking skills, feeling skills, and effective actions are all necessary for successful relationships in this complex world that we inhabit.
(224) In relationship struggles, I can only:
- find ways so as to resolve my pain, and
- be available to you so that you find ways to resolve your pain.
(225) This is hard work, and occasionally delightful fun!
(226) The best argument for being alone is its simplicity
Yet it provides only limited possibility for growth. Relationship provides much more!
(227) I learn the most about myself, about who I am and what it means for me to trust, from friendships and marriage!
(228) I pick the spoons that will stir me!
(229) It appears that all of biology seeks life, seeks contact. The human baby is born seeking life energy (growth, ecstasy, something?) and yet is a relatively blank slate. Experience of caretakers provided the template of what is both “normal” and “ecstatic;” it doesn’t matter to the baby if the experience is positive or negative!
Before language, before identity, this template is laid down as a basis of future expectation, future excitement. It occurs almost immediately (likely before 6 months of age), and is then somewhat modified with growth and development. This is “security,” and we want it all of our lives.
(230) At puberty, this template becomes linked to sexual development. Hence romance, a sexual fog, that restores “security” and “ecstasy.”
But the template also contains the negatives! These form the basis of the power struggle. I do not believe that it is possible to have romantic passion without later having the power struggle.
(231) It is possible, though, to work through the power struggle.
The speed is limited by maturity and wisdom.
(232) Civilization requires the regulation of instinct.
Civilization requires the regulation of togetherness and individuality, the regulation of relationships.
(233) Relationships are most effective when they are adult-adult relationships, each person responsible for their own experiences and behaviors.
This is a goal, rarely achieved. Indirectness, dependency and helplessness, romantic fog are easier (and less effective).
(234) In partnership, can we be effective with each other? I believe so.
(235) One of my truths is summarized in the poem called the Gestalt Prayer. This is not an easy poem to embrace yet there is much truth in it.
I do my thing and you do your thing. / I am not in this world to live up to your expectations / And you are not in this world to live up to mine. / You are You and I am I, / And if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful; / If not, it can’t be helped.
(236) For me, the final line of this poem does not mean that I passively suffer.
Acceptance is an active process, and I am capable of much change (and others are also capable of change).
(237) Life necessitates struggle, sometimes saying good-bye!
(238) To say good-bye is to abandon by choice—it is characterized by sadness, pain, and the expectation that the other will not change.
(239) I live on a spectrum (a dialectic) ranging from being willful (of myself or others) to being willing (to surrender/accept).
Both are important; a balance of the two is essential.
(240) I live within a set of interlocking emotional triangles¾each triangle consists of any two people and a third person or issue. Emotional triangles allow life energy to circulate within an emotional system.
Given the number of people and issues within any system, we all function within thousands of simultaneous interlocking triangles. We call it the ‘familiar’ and ‘stability’; it is also our place of ‘stuckness.’
(241) There are three “laws” that impact every emotional triangle:
- I can only change the limbs to which I belong,
- if I change, others must change, and
- change requires I stay connected.
(242) As simple as these laws seem, they account for much human misery.
Most of this misery occurs because I attempt to interfere in the limb, the third limb, where I do not belong, the limb between you and the other.
Alternatively, you attempt to interfere in the limb where you do not belong, the limb between me and the other.
(243) We are connected. Always we are individuals, and connected in togetherness.
Togetherness and individuality ideally support and promote each other.
(244) Unhealthy functioning occurs by persistent interference within the third limb of the emotional triangle.
It is characterized by interfering in the relationships of others, attempting to convert others to one’s own point of view by leverage, and by an inability to have a relationship with those who disagree with one’s own point of view.
(245) When I focus on my own experience and the relationships to which I belong, I have power; when I focus on you and your relationships, I am powerless and stuck.
(246) Coming to terms with powerlessness is one of the steps to maturity.
Ultimately I have only the power to change myself and my contribution in the relationships to which I belong.
(247) When I attempt to change the third limb (of a triangle) for which I do not have direct responsibility (the third side, you and the other), I am both willful and stuck, generally without love or play!
To be continued.