|The preciousness of holding and being held in the hands of one of my communities of support – a group of women in Columbus led by Teresa Devitt.|
She first spoke of the exquisitely painful recognition of her pattern of responding to her beloved with criticism and anger, and then, instead of allowing herself to be drawn into the vortex of shame that was there, she transmuted that energy into a fierce commitment – to expand her capacity in these situations to choose to respond from a place of undefended love.
Since last July when I formed Realizing RICH Relationships, I’ve known that an expression of my vision for a world where RICH Relationships are the norm has been gestating inside of me. The combination of this being my first year in this business AND of my living full-time with Bruce has combined to give me plenty of opportunity to practice this way of being!
What I could feel last weekend, was the power of having a loving community of kindred spirits who share my commitment to this deeply related way of being in our world. So though I don’t yet know exactly the form that community will take, or the specific programs or offerings that would support it, this week with the clear felt sense in my body, ideas have been like popcorn popping inside of me! Possibilities are palpable!
And, there ARE a couple things that are clear to me. The first is that while there are lots of different reasons people choose to be in relationship – and here I’m speaking of an intimate partner relationship – without judging any of these reasons as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, I’m drawn to be in and create community with those who have the courage and commitment to live like my friend at the workshop last weekend; a community that would resonate with what Oriah Mountain Dreamer articulates so beautifully in her poem The Invitation. If you don’t know it, do have a look at the whole piece, but here are a couple of my favourite stanzas:
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
and not shrink back.
I want to know if you can
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
Veronica from the movie Dangerous Beauty –
standing in the fire and not shrinking back …
The other thing that feels crucial for me is that this community be one that’s inclusive of ANYONE who feels resonance with co-creating RICH Relationships – whatever the form of their relationship, their sexual orientation, gender identification or any of the other things we often use as a way of keeping ourselves separate. I see us as being a multi-faceted gem through which light and love shines.For me the hallmarks of community include honouring each other, appreciating the gifts of all, respectful acceptance of difference, and compassionate deep listening. All this right alongside supporting each other in our choices and expression. If these notions appeal to you, then you’ll likely feel ‘at home’ in the community I’m envisioning!
My sense is that we’re in a transitional space in our world – many things are changing, including possibilities for and what it means to be in intimate relationship. As explorers of old experienced, there aren’t standardized maps of this new terrain of relationships. So connecting with our inner gyroscopes as we orient ourselves, and externally tapping into communities of others choosing this way of being as we move through life engaging in and nurturing our relationships, is crucial.
So I’m curious about a couple things. First, how do these ideas land for you? Do they appeal and/or feel resonant?! Also, while I’m very familiar with the challenges and questions I’ve faced in relationship, in honouring the notion of co-creation I’d love to hear some of the relationship challenges and questions you’ve been navigating in your relationships. What are those topics you’d love to explore, but have not yet been part of a community where you feel safe to wonder about them out loud? Especially those rumblings that come to you in the quiet moments and evoke a catch in your gut.