Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone. ~ Margaret J. Wheatley
I hope by now it is clear that choosing to follow a path of True Beauty is in great part about noticing, cultivating and sustaining Beauty, an integral form of harmonious relationships. Becoming a Practitioner of True Beauty!
While relationship begins first between you and you — being the most authentic self you can be as discussed last week — the next most important and primary relationship is between you and the “Other,” or really a series of “others” whose main characteristic is that they are perceived as external of the “I.” While there is the Other of our immediate environment our first “other of flesh” is, most probably our birth family, then the family chosen and created beyond that. Thirdly are all the relationships one chooses to create just between folks and other species — pets and, say, houseplants. (I am currently in deep mourning for my 20+ year old Jade plant that is seriously ailing. I cannot admit it’s dying.)
Though all of the above may seem obvious, looking at the status of today’s families, community health, ecology and abused and abandoned animals — it isn’t. We only have to look around to see the growing anomie* in our culture.
*Anomie is the disorientation and alienation that arises in a society as a result of the erosion of its moral and social codes. People feel isolated and alone, without a supportive social or guiding framework.
True Beauty is the antidote for anomie.
Relationship is a word that has been so overused in our culture today. Perhaps because truly meaningful relationships are too scarce for too many. For instance have you noticed we now have “Relationship Brokers” in place of customer service departments in many businesses now? Too funny. Or sad.
So what is relationship really about? Hoo-boy! So many books, lectures, TV shows, gurus have gone on about this very subject! But there is actually science behind/about relationship. I’ll try to put it into non-science speak.
Relationship is about attraction and resonance. Being attracting, attracted and resonating with an other –only to find upon entering into the dance of relationship that one-plus-one equals not two, but three — and we are not talking about Baby, here!
The attraction of the two has created something bigger than the separate single units apart: the “field of attraction.” This field is the observable energy created by and between the two. Gravity is a field of attraction. I could say, quite literally, that the Moon fell for the Earth. I like that. The pull you feel towards someone is a real, energetic, observable thing.
Plato wrote about it, Shakespeare dramatized it, and virtually every culture has tradition and mythology around it; many worldwide believe that it is “love that makes the world go ’round.”
So while those millions of books have been written and therapies have been developed to help create and sustain healthy and happy relationships, at day’s (and experts’) end harmony in relationship relies upon the care and maintenance of that field. And that all boils down to “importances.” What is your order of importances? To what and where do you give time, energy and attention? How much to oneself, to the job, the sport, the maintenance of possessions, and to the journey of others around us? On what do you focus?
Ditto to the above for the Other who is creating that field of attraction with you.
And, then, just to complicate matters: can we accept the care, love and concern of an other flowing to us? We often hear of the joys of giving. But how many of us are uncomfortable with receiving? How is it to be the subject of another’s focus? Is it hard to simply say “Thank You” when someone does a thoughtful thing or pays one a compliment?
Finally, how do we communicate? How effective are both at expressing as well as listening? Effective communication is the key to authentic relationship, and successful, harmonic relationship itself is key to living a life of Beauty.
Personal relationships are not irrelevant or extra-curricular. They are a central expression of Harmony, of a life of True Beauty. In formally entering, i.e. consciously choosing a relationship with another human being we are entering the dance and mystery of the Universe itself.
Note, however, it is a core premise of the Way of Beauty that, in fact, all is in relationship. Not just human-to-human. Or man to dog. Or human to earth. All is in relationship, all the time. Being in conscious relationship, therefore, is a tall order.
To practice harmonic relationship:
1) Know that you are in relationship with all, all the time. Your energy effects the energy field of that and those around you.
2) Notice your order of importances. This is a big clue to your own attractions and resonances, if you need a clue… and often we do!
3) Focus on that which you want to include in your life and see more of in the world. If, conversely, you focus on the negative, it is the negative that will occupy your environment.
4) Communicate. You are in relationship. Duh!
5) Really, just follow all the Beauty practices as well as you can. The Way of Beauty is about increasing Harmony, the happy state of relationship.
“Consider the following. We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others. ~HH Dalai Lama