Saturday, September 7, 2019

What kind of relationships do you strive to create and develop?

In the West we have the myth of rugged individualism and yet the truth is that we are radically dependent on others from birth to death.

The earliest and most significant relationship is with our parents especially our mothers for without their care, protection, and nurturance we would have failed to thrive and die.

We would not have language without the interactions with others and without language our consciousness would be very limited and there is no possibility of our having actualized our potential.

Relationships come and go. Some relationships are transitory, while others have a longer life, and some are life long at least spiritually and psychologically if not physically.

As adults, how we interact in our relationships is key to our spirituality. Are we attention givers or attention seekers? Some people are needy, dependent and don’t seem to be able to have much to give, while others are more autonomous, more mature, and give readily to others. We all need some attention and the kind and amount of attention we seek and demand describes our personality. The key is not so much the amount and kind but the intention behind the attention seeking and the attention giving. Is it selfless and unconditional, or is it conditional and egotistical?

The mature soul has little need or desire for attention. The mature soul is way past that and readily shares attention with others and gives attention to others. The mature soul recognizes that being the focus of attention is illusionary because there is no identity to claim it. Attention is as much a projection of the needs and illusions of others onto us as it is real and of any substance.

True attention is validation and validation presumes knowledge and awareness at the same level of functioning and consciousness, or higher, on the part of the giver as the person receiving the attention. This is why mature souls sometimes complain of feeling lonely even when surrounded by many caring people, because there are very few or no people at the same level of consciousness to interact with. Loneliness is the price one pays for maturing and raising ones consciousness.

Jesus promised that where two or more are gathered in His name, there he would also be in spirit. I think this is true for anyone not just Jesus. Human beings are communal creatures and our consciousness is socially constructed whether we are aware of it or not. To the extent that our consciousness is socially constructed we are radically dependent on others and to them we should be extremely grateful.

Unitarian Universalists value justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. UUs value the acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in their congregations, and above all, UUs value the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

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