Poet David Whyte speaks of the conversations we have with our work in the world, with our intimate other, and, most importantly, the conversation we have with ourselves.
Like any conversation, the quality of the conversation provides the field in which a relationship ripens and matures. If we speak to ourselves with cruelty, if we are buried in shame, then we will create a relationship that is cruel and shameful.
To catch ourselves in the act of our own self-cruelty, to eavesdrop on the inner critic, the nasty person, the ‘I can’t do this, ‘ or I am not good enough/strong enough/smart enough,’ is to begin to journey towards kindness.
If we shut down the conversation, if we contract, keep secrets, close off our heart, then the relationship with whither. It starts by losing the relationship with ourselves and extends into the field of losing the relationship with others.
Relationships are living things. The minimum of two it takes to create a relationship then invites the third partner – the relationship itself. And the fabric upon which the relationship is writ is the conversation with each other and with the relationship as its own entity.
If we do not have a place for this third partner – the unique aliveness created by two or more – then our relationships live in the realm of linear transactions.
Depth and dimensionality of relationships are established because we value the dynamic of the relationship itself. This includes all those who comprise the relationship.
We must want, with our whole heart, for the relationship itself to thrive. And as such to attend to it as we would any beloved.
Be it a work, community, family or intimate relationship, the path is the same.
August 2nd 2021
Photo taken August 2nd, 2019