We live in a world where speaking to someone’s Greatness is infrequent. Most often we speak to what is wrong, what is incomplete, aggravating, and problematic in a person. Praise and appreciation fall between the cracks of relationship usually rendering the basic pallet of connection one of working it out, putting up with, overlooking or simply, reactive confrontation when we get overwhelmed.
The basic ingredient that can change the tide in any relationship is honesty: Speaking the truth, first with yourself and then with the other. The first question is “Why am I not telling the truth? What am I afraid of and what do I think the outcome will be if I keep choosing to withhold my feelings or thoughts and observations?”
Yet, in our new age culture where tolerance is far more desired than confrontation, we have gone to the other side of the equation. Tolerance tends to end up looking like skirting the issue, having sympathy for the plight of a friend, when many times it is really fear of confrontation that drives our silence and in-authenticity. So we call it “Tolerance”. That is a kind of lie that we feed.
There is a middle ground that we rarely find ease at identifying and then live out in our relationships: A combination of Empathy and one of Fierce Truth Telling. The question is for most of us, how to tell the honest truth from the heart in a way that speaks to the appreciation for and the greatness of the person we care about, instead of how they have failed?” This is the essential and necessary shift we all need to make in all our relationships, both to self and others, and in the larger Shift that is happening on our planet.
As the paradigm of power shifts incrementally from a patriarchal model to a more balanced form of Power, which now includes the feminine skill of empowering through intuition, instinct and empathy, we are challenged to re-write the common ways in which we approach all of our relationships. It is way past time, to eliminate all the dysfunctional forms of relationship with other people and with ourselves no matter what we imagine the risk to be. The cost of not doing this is far greater than the perceived risk.
There is a long list of habits that we learned from our parents, our government, our culture, our church and an even larger list that is fed from unspoken fears: Namely, that if we are ruthlessly loving, we will be rejected and unloved in return. How many of us have become expert at ways of being in relationship or business that in fact never helps us achieve what we want, which is connection, love, power, creativity, full expression of self and harmony? How many ways of undermining the success of relationship do I practice without consciously thinking?
* Withholding the truth because I believe the person cannot handle it?
* Withholding my feelings because I don’t want a conflict or to be rejected or in many cases loose the little bit I have or think I need from that person?
* Telling myself that I cannot say the truth because I need something from that person that they will take away if they do not like what I say? I then settle for something that is incomplete, dysfunctional and dishonest. I fall out of integrity with myself.
* Rationalization is the biggest lie that we use to protect ourselves. We tell ourselves that it is better that the person does not know the truth because they will be hurt, offended or will not be able to handle the truth, so “I will protect them from those feelings because I love them”. This is the root of becoming an enabler: Allowing the person to continue to be or do things in ways that alienate and create problems for themselves and for others and not speaking to the power and greatness in them, but to their weakness instead. By doing this we never allow for the possibility of change and growth and everything becomes stagnant. Not only the flow of love in the relationship but the flow of money and resources. A kind of energetic constipation where nothing is moving takes over.
The minute we conform to someone’s dysfunction, adapt to it, and accommodate even for selfish reasons, we have supported limitation and dysfunction instead of health and vibrancy in the person we are with. And have you noticed that we then feel less vibrant ourselves, more constrained and unhappy? In other words, we strip the person of the possibility to grow into the person they are capable of being and strip ourselves of a life of integrity that only brings ill health.
When we do this the toxicity of Resentment and Bitterness worms its way into the groundwater of each person in the equation. We do not foster greatness in ourselves or in the other. We live in a model based in fears and limitation. Therefore, the outcome of ANY relationship, whether it is a love relationship, a friendship or a business partnership, will reflect the energy going into it; namely, limitation and lack of greatness, stagnancy of feelings and of resources. As within, so without.
A model for a new paradigm in relationship or business must be based on not only honesty at all costs which is rooted in holding the vision for a persons greatness and for their own ability to learn and change, but also for our capacity to rise above the adaptation to weakness model and firmly plant ourselves in the vision of who we are capable of being and who the person is capable of becoming.
We do not hold with respect, a persons inherent Greatness, if we allow a friend, lover, parent, husband, wife or colleague to become defined by their limitations or blind spots. And, we do not live in our own Greatness if we are not willing to risk living in total honesty and fierce loving.