I am on a base level a content and satisfied person. I usually feel at peace with myself and I enjoy spending time alone. Hence – I have no real drive to establish and maintain relationships with other people – and that is problematic. Because relationships add a lot of value for both parties. It is a mutual exchange of experiences and expressions that takes place that usually supports both individuals to expand. Without relationships, it is easy to get stuck in a state of isolation. And isolation literally means that movement stops, I become stuck as ICE – because I do not receive new ideas and perspectives from my external reality. That is why it is important for me to motivate myself to reach out to others.
However – I have also realized that I need to reach out on my terms. This means that I do not seek friendship relationships, where time is spent ‘hanging out’ – because that is not my thing. My preference is to act, to do, to create, and to learn and thus I seek contact with people that value such a lifestyle. And I seek contexts that support mutual creation and movement. For example, I really enjoy developing connections with others that are in my line of work. We have our work in common, and when we meet, we discuss and open up perspectives in relation to our careers. I find that very rewarding – and I can also contribute to others. I have also joined several societies, one that works to better the life of the locals, one that work to promote human rights, and another that is engaged with politics. In these societies I meet new people and I get to engage and create as well.
I see many, especially older people, that have problems reaching out and developing new relationships. The reason for that, as I have come to understand relationships, is that we fail to engage in meaningful contexts with others – and we instead wait for relationships to develop similar to how they did when we were younger. Back then, in school, relationships blossomed and grew automatically, and most kids had similar interests – to play and have fun. When we get older, it does not work the same. We are more individualized, less open and curious, and thus we cannot expect relationships to just come to us, we have to actively put ourselves into positions where we can engage with others – and we have to actively push ourselves to relate, communicate, share and interact.
Thus – for me – I understand that my natural disposition is to want to be alone – and that is also my comfort zone. And because of that I have to push and will myself to get out there. And it does initially feel a bit uncomfortable meeting new people. People are complex, multi-dimensional, and have a variety of different experiences. Each new person is like getting reading a new book – it takes time and effort to get into it. You have to be attentive and focused – you have to ask questions – put yourself in their shoes and be willing to invest yourself.
One point that I have seen in myself is that I tend to view relationships only from my vantage point – meaning what I can GET from the relationship. That is very limited – however – that is how most people function. We look at what we are able to receive – and not at what we are able to give. This dynamic tends to limit not only others, as we hold unto our gifts and refuse to share them, but they also limit us, because we do not get develop the maturity of character, empathy, compassion and love, that is fostered when engage in giving unconditionally. Giving is undervalued. It is common to see giving similarly to how we perceive loss – and maybe from our individual standpoint – it is a loss. However – if we look at this world and the people in it as ONE unit – where we are only as good as the worst of us are – then it becomes obvious that each action we partake that impact the larger group positively – will also – in time impact us positively. Hence – when the group is strong – the individual is strong.
Relationships is what makes the world go around – and as for me – I can see that is important to engage with the world and its relationships in order to contribute to the whole and to the betterment of humanity. Those of us that have gifts, we need to find our forums, our contexts, our connections and give of ourselves without expecting anything in return. That is how we are going to put new principles and ideas into the world – by getting out there and living them together with others.
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