I believe that each and every one of us is meant to find the sweet spot where being appreciated and being connected meet. This is true to all relationships, not only between people but between countries as well. The 21st century paradigm shift has to be from ME to US. I believe that the confusion lies with the fear that US requires self-destruction and that shifting to US means enmeshment and loss of self. The truth is that we can only reach a sense of US if we have a differentiated self. Once we reach differentiation, I believe that we are meant to extend it towards connection. This is the extreme sport of living in these times. There is no way to avoid it or go around it. Each one of us needs to figure this one out as individuals and as a collective.
The art of being differentiated and connected is the 21st century’s biggest challenge. Wisdom does not come from the mind. What’s different today more than ever is that we have the possibility of doing it all alone. So much so that we honestly wonder why we should bother to ‘pay the price’ of being connected. Our dependency has become a fault and almost a shameful part of our mortal existence, creating an internal disconnect. We mask our true needs with our constant drive to fill in the void through material and addictive behaviour. Embracing our true needs, the needs that we inherently have as fragile human beings and staying connected to that part of ourselves is the key that opens the door to our relational wisdom. It requires a truthful sense of self. It is humbling and course-correcting when our grandiose inflated sense of self starts to take over. This is true in relation to money, sex & power.
They say that your hidden talents are many times found in the parts of yourself that you mostly dislike. I believe this might also be true in a relational sense. When you get a grasp of what you consider the weak link, the dark hidden truth, the shameful parts of yourself and you can forgive, embrace, converse with complexity and uncover your pain, you can attend and mend any open wounds. Only then are you in a state to feel worthy enough to receive love. If you are constantly running away from it, hiding it or denying it, you can have all the love in the world, but it will not touch you. You will not be able to be a receptor to it. Your receiving tentacles (or antennae) are blocked from receiving love. This fragility is where your strength is. As long as we avoid this, we are lost in space, running after our own tails. Know thyself, is the precondition to connection and subsequently, to both give and receive love.
A partner’s financial dependency, social dependency, sexual dependency, physical or mental dependency are our biggest gifts. If we move away our judgement, self-contempt, shame and guilt we find the doorway to gratitude and to the humble sweet sense of knowing we are not alone. We are available to express that gratitude which in turn makes the other feel seen appreciated. We need to redefine our relational values so they can embrace the truth of our interdependency without using it as a means to control another. Each couple that does this, is changing the collective relational blueprint.