This new section of our website is being designed to apply some of the principles we use to help couples, individuals and groups create more conscious and intentional relationships to other areas of our lives. One of the things that drew me to this work is that it offered a way to live more from a place of mindfulness and integrity with the core self, rather than simply reacting to events and people. My hope is that it inspires your own thinking about ways to co-create a more conscious approach to life at every level.
"The best way to predict the future is to create it."
See our Ethical Health Partnerships website as one direction I am pursuing in this effort. Although it initially has some of my own viewpoints, my hope is to gather other perspectives in order to design strategies that meet the core needs of each of the partners in the network without causing injustice to another. One area that I am already exploring is how to create a more ethical approach to patient injury. We continue to create what we already have that is deteriorating at multiple levels. How can we co-create the future we want?
Basic Premises for this Section :
WHAT IS A RELATIONSHIP?
One way of describing 'relationship' is that it is the space between you and an 'other'. It is the physical space, and it is more. It is the emotional space, and it is more. It is the energetic space, and more. It is the spiritual space between self and other. The wise philosopher, Martin Buber, talked about that space between two human beings as a sacred space. It is a space where true encounter and deep intimacy can be experienced. So whether two people are as close as making love, or 2000 miles apart on a business trip, that space is still between them.
Each person constantly creates the climate of that space between them. Everything each person does, says, fails to do or say, the way they say something or do something, all creates the climate of the space. Even what we think contributes to the climate. For example, if I sit and think the other person is selfish and controlling and how awful that is to be around, I create the climate. Instead of relating to the person, I relate to my image of that person. I look for things that confirm my image . . . and I will usually find what I look for (although it may be more about me than about the other.)
Everything we put into our relationship space either supports, develops, builds, strengthens it, or it weakens and pollutes it with tension and distress. If we don't pay attention to the space between us, it is very easy for small, and big, distresses to build up in our relationship climate, polluting the space and leading to growing disconnection, which itself creates more distress. It is not so much that someone intends to pollute the space, but more that it either they don't think about the impact on the other and the relationship itself, or they contribute to the distress in trying to protect themselves or get their needs met and they way they do that is often at the expense of the other.
On the other hand, the good news is that we each have the power at any time to begin to shift the climate, to create a relationship of respect, integrity, compassion and justice and in some, love in the deepest sense of the word.
This 'sacred space between' describes ANY relationship; that of lovers, friends, family; the relationship between co-workers, employees, bosses, customers, clients, patients; the relationship between a person and the Divine; the relationship between you and the grocery store clerk; the relationship between you and your doctor; the relationship between you and the environment; the relationship between you and an event; the relationship between me and my home, between me and my core self; the relationship between groups, religions, races, nations; the relationship between all the different people and groups that make up complex institutions and systems, like healthcare.
What are the areas of your life, and your world, that you want to create with more intentionality? What core ethical values can you use to guide your actions?
Most of this section is being moved to a sister website: Building Good Relationships.