Monday, January 14, 2019

A home for the other within

Usually when we talk about the “others” in our lives, we are referring to persons external to us who we are in relationship with—friends, lovers, children, neighbors, family members, and colleagues.

The basis of a healthy and nourishing relationship is reciprocal attunement to one another’s lived experience, mutual caring for how each person is making meaning of their lives. And the capacity to participate in the relational field together, where we listen, share our feelings, provide empathy and boundaries, and allow one another to truly matter, at times leading with our vulnerability and at other times emphasizing our separateness.

To see the other not merely as an object in our own awareness, but as a unique subject in their own right and to honor this subjectivity and care about how it is unfolding. To dare to look out the window that the other is looking out and not only our own.

But there is another “other” found not external to us, but inside, weaved of the lost pieces of our hearts, broken dreams, partly digested feelings, and the content of our unlived lives. Just like external others, these ones also long to be known, heard, and cared for, to receive a moment of our uninterrupted attention.

They are not limited to only a few forms but appear in infinite ways, as shape-shifters who are of endlessly creativity in their ability to make their way into our experience to remind us of something we may have forgotten.

While we may never understand the mystery of these two or come to any fantasized resolution or answer as to whether they are the "same" or "different," we can allow them to touch and accompany us as we break open into the sacredness of the question together.

Art by Stefan Keller

My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come

The next event is The Healing Shame Retreat: Spiritual Awakening and Transforming the Core Wound of Unworthiness, April 24-29, 2019 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with co-facilitator Jeff Foster