Our automatic/default way of being with regards to our dealing with our fellows is one of being controlling is it not? I have a view on who you are / what you are / how you should show up and travel and given my attachment to this view I seek/strive to control you: control you as my child, my spouse, my sibling, my colleague, my friend… Right?
What shows up when we relate to our fellows in this habitual way? If we succeed in our efforts we do so by cutting limbs of the other to fit the Procrustean bed we have created for them. If we do not succeed then we blame / criticise them. Either way there is something amiss in this way of relating to others.
Is there another way of relating to our fellows? Is there a way of being-in-the-world that frees our fellows to be – to simply be – without having to fit into a particular mould we have created for them?
I invite you and me to listen to these wise words:
“Last summer I noticed a strange plant in our pasture. I did not know what it was, I had no picture in my mind of what flower or fruit it would bear, but I freed it. That is, I dug around it and opened the soil that the rain might fall on its roots, I cleared out the thistles with which it was entangled so that it might have room to spread, I cut down the undergrowth of small maples near so that it could get the sun. In other words, I simply freed it. Every friendship which is not treated in this way will surely suffer; no human relation should serve an anticipatory purpose. Every relation should be a freeing relation with the ‘purpose’ evolving.”
– Mary Parker Follett, Creative Experience (1924)
This may be a BIG ask for you. It is a HUGE ask for me. Which is why it is game fit only for those of us committed to playing BIG in our dealings with others.
Finally, I invite you/me to play BIG in our dealings with ourselves. I’m inviting you and me to free ourselves in the way that Mary Parker Follett describes.
Now, I get what the folks at Landmark were saying when they counselled us to “Listen coming from nothing”- listen / relate to others without any preconceptions. In the space of nothing, anything has the ‘space’ to show up.
I thank you for your listening. Until the next time….