Celebrating Profound Differences
Coffee Time — Friday Morning
Gary: Pat, I’m still sitting with your comment last night about my blog. You said that when I put words in your mouth on my blog they are not your words but rather your words as seen through my filters. You went on to ask what my intention was in delving so much into matters of our relationship on my blog, asking if I was trying to paint our relationship as an idealized version of reality.
I am surprised that you would say that. Quite to the contrary I try to paint the picture of us as close to reality as I can, warts and all. The blog feels richer to me when I include your wisdom, and I try to capture it faithfully. And some readers relate more to your wisdom than any I might have.
But how do you feel about this? Do you want me not to include our relationship in my blog, all be it as seen through my eyes? For me including our dance back and forth makes the blog more enlivening to me, more fulfilling for me. I’m not sure I could write the blog that enlivens me without US in it.
Pat: I don’t know how I feel about this. It just feels odd to read something you write about me and then not recognize myself in what you say comes out of my mouth. You take license — just as when you would write up minutes for a Stillpoint meeting we would have when we owned that business together. Your minutes bore no relationship to what was said, or rather were often great extensions to what was said. So, to, in your blog. What you write just doesn’t seem like me. I wonder if someone who read your blog and actually met me would even recognize me in person.
Gary: I would imagine this situation of not recognizing yourself in what I write about you would bring up the concern in you, “Gary do YOU really see me?” If it were me, and you wrote about me in a way I did not recognize myself this would be my concern: Pat just doesn’t know who I am! I would be fearful in this.
Pat: That did not even dawn on me. Our engagement, in the morning time especially, feels so alive. Your writing is a stilted version. Of course it would be challenging to capture the spontaneous arising between us — all you, or I suppose anyone, could do is create a stilted version of this. Let me give you an example. Long ago you would frequently use the term “Both/And.” Now to understand all that you would have meant in this phrase “Both/And” would have taken pages describing the worldview behind the “Both/And.” Without this understanding, people would not at all grasp the reality of what you were talking about.
Gary: So by stilted you may mean cryptic?
Gary: Then perhaps like a taxidermist taking the life out of an animal and leaving a lifeless replica of what was? Or a psychologist reducing deep feelings of love to brain chemistry?
Pat: How does one convey the preciousness of a really alive moment? This is challenging even for the best of writers. And I have reactionary stuff here. When you write about me and include our picture on your website I feel like a trophy of yours on display. Yet that is not at all how I feel when we are together, but these are feeling that come up when I look at your website and read your blog.
Gary: Maybe the entire blog has “trophy” energy — painting this picture of my life that may be what I want it to be, but isn’t at all faithful to reality on some deeper levels. And hence it becomes a lifeless version of you, me, and us.
Pat: Good to look at this. What does your blog do for you?
Gary: Or even my my journal. Why do I keep a journal? Why have my journals been so important to me for decades?
Pat: For me what is important is the energetic alive dynamic that is human-to-human engagement. I have enough to work on in facing my blocks. I don’t have time to write it out. My entire issue with journaling is that I want to be in life, not document my life. The primary way I get life from living is to be there — human to human.
Gary: Perhaps a way I get there is to be with it and let words come to describe what arises. This is not right or wrong, but just different from how you work with life. Another thing that comes up for me now is the the profoundness of our differences. To really see how unalike we are. This doesn’t frighten me, but is an amazing realization for me as I sit here with you this morning.
Pat: I have to allow that we are very different to sink in. In a way it’s quite a relief! I don’t need you to be like me, and I don’t need to make excuses about why I’m not like you.
Gary: At first we were drawn together because we sensed we were alike in some key core ways. And perhaps at first when we are discovering we are not alike at all we deny it and try to force “alikeness,” especially in those areas where we thought we were, in fact, so amazingly alike. At first I become afraid that we are not at all alike in these core areas. In this fear I say, “Yikes! Now what?!” Then with deepening I come to appreciate those differences. This frees us both. Frees you to be fully you and me to be fully me. This realization seems profound to me.
Pat: And it is a lived out thing — not a one-time thing where I say, “Oh, I’ll tolerate your differences,” and then go on. Rather it is about appreciating your differences and really wanting you to grow in your uniquenesses to become fully who you are!
Pat: In our morning time I always feel appreciated. You appreciate what arises in me even though you might not understand what comes out of my mouth. But even when you do not understand, I feel appreciated for the unique expression that comes out of me. I wonder, “Am I able to be as appreciative of what comes out of you?” Sometimes absolutely YES. AND sometimes absolutely NO. But I can call myself to full Presence to the complexity of your growth and being. … And know that above all you are a fierce seeker of Truth.
Gary: As are you!