This isn’t an exhaustive list I’m sure, but it may be an exhaustING list to read! I read a beautiful post on the www.polyamory.com board (by my friend polynerdist). After reading it I posted that I thought that I may have just fallen in love with him, even though we’ve never met and at that point had never even written to one another! (no I’m not looking for any more men, it was just that moving of a post to me!)
Anyway-I then took his post, which he had conveniently created as a bulleted list, and filled in my own interpretations of each of the pieces of his post.
I want to be sure I remember this as my relationships grow, mature and change so I’m going to post it here for myself and so that all of you can read it (and think I’m nuts) or find the useful parts for your own lives as well.
- positive energy is given without expectation of reciprocation. People give love, time, attention, help, support, and share resources
Why it matters to me-
FIRST-If both (can be any/all) people in ANY type of relationship put their positive energy, time, attention, help, support and love into the relationship it allows the relationship to become MORE then the sum total of each individual. So instead of there being two individuals OR there being one relationship, there is Two Individuals AND One relationship. The THREE each being “autonomous entities” (in so much as that can be) which can productively improve the quality of life not only for the individuals, but for all those that come in contact with them.
The positive energy that each of the individuals puts into the relationships is multiplied and comes back OUT into the world as MORE positive energy then the amount that the two individuals could have put into the world individually (i.e. If each could put out 2 parts of positive energy, the total would be 4, but if they put the 2 into the relationship it comes out as 6 or 8 for the world). So not only do the individuals benefit-but the world as a whole benefits from this. SECOND-One should go in expecting to give their all to ANY endeavor they try. EVERYONE should go in expecting to give their all. If everyone does-then EVERYONE benefits.
- there is a desire to understand and know one another, not as we want them to be, but as they truly are
It’s impossible for any person to directly change anything but themselves.
We CAUSE change with every word we think or speak, with every action we take. BUT we cant’ control WHAT those changes WILL be-only what they CAN be.
Why I bring this up-is as I said on the board, if ONE PERSON fails to do this-the whole system breaks down. It’s IMPERATIVE for EVERYONE to get “on board” with this in order for the system (Any given relationship or since they impact the world, life on earth as well) to properly function.
BUT we CAN directly choose to change ourselves and by doing that with care to be sure our changes are for the positive, we can CAUSE positive changes the world over.
In order to make our changes positive we must KNOW what we are doing,where we are, who we are, who we are with etc.
In order to do that we need to know WHO the people we are around are FOR REAL.
If we try to manipulate our knowledge of them to only what we WANT them to be, we will cause ourselves to be limited in knowledge thus increasing the risk that we will make faulty decisions.
Additionally we inhibit them and in doing so we limit our own ability to progress to our true calling (think “borg”).
- there is “microscopic honesty” (from “Conscious Loving”: honesty beyond disclosure of facts that includes the expression of one’s feelings, thoughts, emotions, as an unfiltered stream of consciousness). There is a lack of concealment of one’s self Similar to the last one, in order for humanity to reach it’s full potential we must ALL reach our full potential. In order for that to happen we must be fully consciously aware of that which surrounds us.
We can’t be fully aware of what surrounds us if ANY ONE PERSON is concealing themselves. Therefore the ONE who does-causes the demise of the rest.
Additionally-they cause their own misery because others can only share LOVE with that which they KNOW. In order to feel and have love from another-we have to allow them to KNOW us for WHO WE REALLY ARE, not who we THINK THEY MIGHT WANT US TO BE.
- there is use of a structured process for resolving conflict
This one seems like it would be obvious. As the counselor said-if there is no structure, there is great probability that no resolution will be reached. If conflicts can’t be resolved, they just increase exponentially. Thus destroying relationships.
- there is a lack of controlling behaviors; wanting each other to have the freedom to be themselves is inherent
Again-no one person can directly change another. But when we TRY TO we destroy ourselves and the other person. We negate their ability to positively impact us, and we negate our ability to positively impact them.
Each person is created with their own gifts, their own abilities.
When we come together-something within us is drawn to one another.
That something “see’s” or senses the “gifts” that we have to give the other person.
BUT if that person tries to control us, they make it impossible for that “something” within us to function and give those gifts to that something within them.
Much like she explains in the “Living Happily Ever After” book-when we try to force ourselves to only use our logical minds to control our lives-we negate our ability to FIND the answers, because they are in that “creative” part of our minds that WE can’t control. We must LET GO of control for that inner part of us, that inner part that see’s, senses and KNOWS what we TRULY need, to work. Therefore we screw ourselves (to be blunt).
This quote is only an example of how that happens on the NEXT level.
The first level is what she’s talking about in the book-how we do that to ourselves by not allowing our “inner” self to have input in our decisions.
This quote is talking about how that impacts relationships-because after we shut down OUR creative side, we start trying to control other people and IN THAT ATTEMPT we shut down their ability to EITHER stay with us (because they leave so they can continue to allow their creative inner self to function) or their ability to use their creative, inner self-which in turn screws them AND US (and the relationship and the world).
- the individuals take 100% responsibility for their own life and for the quality of the relationship(s). They take the perspective that it is not their partners’ job to make them happy. Blame and complaining are minimal
If we each take full responsibility for our own life and our own happiness and thus the quality of our relationships, we find that even if someone else isn’t-we can still FIND our “right” answers and inner creative side. We can make the decisions from a place of “creative adaptation”.
If one person fails this-the relationship WILL fail-at some point.
Because they will fail to thrive or grow and the others will leave them behind
because the others will have to drag them like a millstone around their neck while swimming to shore from a shipwreck-and ultimately, they will all drown for this is IMPOSSIBLE.
- there is straightforward, unambiguous, and effective communication; people express clearly their needs, make specific requests, and avoid hidden “read between the lines” communication Again-much like an above example, it’s imperative for us to KNOW ourselves AND all that surrounds us. If any one person doesn’t make themselves known (by not expressing their needs or being vague in requests or forcing others to try to read their minds for ANY reason) they cause the demise of the others KNOWING them, and therefore they cause the demise of the relationship. GENERALLY when people DO that, it’s because they don’t WANT to truly know themselves-and in that they are causing their own demise and everyone else’s as well AND they aren’t taking full responsibility for their own needs etc.
- there is a large degree of flexibility within the relationship to change and adapt based on external forces (the world) and internal forces (from within the relationship). Tendency towards change and evolution rather than stagnation This one seems like it too should be obvious. It’s impossible for our logical minds to “see” all that is coming. If we aren’t flexible-we die. It’s really THAT plain. In every situation we ever encounter there is the possibility of the unexpected to occur. If we aren’t flexible-it will destroy us.
In trying to limit flexibility in our relationships we limit it in ourselves AND in our partners which causes both our demise, their demise, the demise of the relationship (eventually) and ultimately the demise of mankind.
All things change and change is the key to survival. We MUST evolve to survive because the world around us is changing, every minute.
If we don’t-first comes stagnation, but the end result is extinction of mankind.
- there is a continual and conscious process of nurturing the relationship Another one that seems obvious. If we don’t nurture a child-they die. If we don’t nurture our plants-they die. If we don’t nurture our ideas-they die. If we don’t nurture our bodies-they die. If we don’t nurture our minds-they die… If we don’t nurture our relationships-they die (and in the end, so will we).
- there is a high degree of empathy towards one another; everyone exerts a lot of effort to try to understand one another’s ideas, perspectives, and how they see the world As said before-we MUST understand ourselves AND ALL THAT SURROUNDS US. In order to understand all that surrounds us, we have to start with the people closes to us and that means we MUST make a conscious effort (see last paragraph) to understand each other to the depths of who we are, not just shallowly. In doing so we create TRUE bonds and TRUE connections which are strong and lasting.
- there is balance between the individuals along different lines, including balancing time together vs. space apart, the balance of sharing of work, etc. Every person is first an individual. We MUST keep strong in this in order to have the “2 to give” to the relationship. We need to support one another in our growth and in our individuality in order to keep the relationship strong. That requires we balance the need to nurture our individuality of our selves AND the conscious nurturing of the relationship. That is impacted by work schedules, caring for kids, caring for the home, chores, illness, etc. So we must ensure as a team that everyone gets “their time” to do this.
- that everyone shares key fundamental values, and ideas about life, relationships, and the world If you have different KEY values-you will continuously be pulling in opposite directions and whoever is “stronger” on the pull will drag the other “off course” for their life. which destroys them and that will destroy the relationship. A ship, a car, a plane, can’t sail, drive, fly in two directions at one time. Neither can a person.
- there is sharing of mutual goals, vision, and plans, and everyone works together to realize them This goes hand in hand with the last paragraph. You must be traveling in like directions or you will pull each other off course. If you ARE traveling in like directions, then you can support one another in going there more easily and quickly. Like bikers in races, teammates will take turns riding in the “wind” that draws them forward just behind the other rider so everyone gets a “break” and they are all able to go faster because of it.
- the individuals are committed to and recognize the need to have fun in the relationship Humor, fun, playful enjoyment are the oil that allows the gears to run smoothly. Life is work, self growth is work, relationships are work. Fun is what motivates and “smooths” the ride. It’s what makes the work enjoyable and not drudgery.
Fun is play and play is what triggers the motivation to continue (practice) which triggers TRUE learning and that is what allows us to master things which allows us to receive recognition, which allows us to make MORE connections, which allows us to have fun and play and…. (as noted in Delivered from Distraction).
Also-this fun and play is what triggers our creativity and our creativity is what allows us to tap into that “other side” of our mind and knowledge where the “answers” come at us easily and seemingly with no effort (as noted in “Living Happily Ever After).
- the individuals are committed to removing barriers that prevent their ability to be highly emotionally intimate and close Only if both are committed to this-is it possible. One person alone trying will end up lonely and both will “drown” because one alone can’t swim to shore with the other being not but a millstone around their neck…
- the individuals are fiercely both independent and interdependent. They live both separate lives and lives intertwined. They recognize the needs of the individual, and attempt to balance that against the needs of the relationship. They are aware of our micro- and macro-cycles of needing closeness/needing independence addressed somewhat before-it’s imperative to balance the nurturing of the individuals in order for them to contribute to the relationship. The relationship must be nurtured to survive as well. BOTH of these needs MUST be protected by each individual.
- the individuals are totally committed to their own development as separate, independent people. They are also committed to one another’s growth; the relationship supports each person’s growth as much as possible We each must be responsible for our own growth-but we need to also see that this requires COMMITMENT to DO, not just to think about developing ourselves. Additionally in committing to the relationship and to one another’s growth, we are able to “get down that path faster” because we’re a team and can find the “tricks” that solve one another’s issues as well as our own.
If we falter in our development, we stagnate, and stagnation leads to extinction.
- there is a sense of creative co-creation within the relationship; a feeling of synergy .
When each person DOES do this-the relationship can thrive as explained in the first quote and give MORE to each person in it AND to the world as a whole. Also there is no need to blame or complain-for each person is CONSCIOUS of their ability to correct and fix whatever goes wrong by correcting the errors in their own decision making.
More specifically-if it’s not a CONSCIOUS choice we make-something else will ALWAYS “come up”. In a world that runs at top speed every day-we MUST consciously choose WHAT we will participate in, WHAT we will do during our participation and WHO we will “bring along” with us.
Anything we do without conscious thought-we do half-assed, like building a house with no foundation, a good storm comes-the house falls. So with the relationship and anything else we do half assed.
This exists in part because of the others.
If we understand and sense that in being in relationship with others (any type of relationship) we are co-creating the world around us, we are then able to understand the depth of power and the gravity of responsibility we have on account of it.
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
Alone we already have great power to create, together that power is exponentially increased and therefore our responsibility is also exponentially compounded.