Monday, November 11, 2013

How do I discern in my relstionships? Outreach, Play-friends, Friends, Intimates

For me,
it is really useful to be clear about who people are to me.

Are they a friend, with whom I can give and take, share and receive-from easily, naturally, comfortably - am I filled-up after relating with them?

or are they 'outreach' - someone to whom I mostly give, offer support; where I feed but I am not well fed?

With a little paying attention to my interactions, how I feel during and after, looking at trends in the relationship -
I can usually know if they tend to fall into the category of friend or outreach.
And, for me, it is really useful to keep this in mind when relating - it keeps everyone happier - espeically me!

SO then Friends

are they play-friends, with whom I enjoy most in groups and doing stuff?

or are they regular friends, with whom I enjoy sharing active and also one-on-one time, sometimes?

or are they intimates, with whom I really am fed in one-on-one encounters, who I can cunt-on: I can call in the middle of the night if my life hits the shit, who love me no matter what and I love no matter what - and all that is right on the table, we KNOW each other: the good, the bad and the ugly.

So then Intimates

I nurture an inner circle of friends, which I call intimates, what we share is an overlapping cloud of experiences, including:
Freedom – aim to be our unadulterated selves with each other and for each other
Support – willingness to ask for and receive, as well as give (as much as is comfortable), support on any level – emotional, relational, physical, spiritual, etc
Love - love and be loved unabashedly – includes affinity, reality and communication
Juiciness – each enjoying the relationship and blessed to be in it
Consistency – we stay in touch, enjoy being together, our friendship is real and realized

I fall short a lot, I notice as I read through this. It isn’t always easy or possible, but this is the general area I am shooting for with my intimates.  Each of my intimate relationships is unique and constantly in flux.  We aren’t always firing on all the cylinders above.  But my intention is toward these areas, and I trust theirs is too.

I call these people intimates, Jess Lair called his closest friends mutual need relationships, I align with him pretty well, so I will share about him.

Back at the end of college, ’87, I read Jess Lair’s “Sex: If I didn’t Laugh, I’d Cry” – which might be my favorite of his books.  He was really hot on “Mutual Need Relationships” – he talked about them in several of his books.  He used the term in a similar way to my use of intimates. I seem to remember he said it was healthy to have more than one, but hard to handle more than 4 or 5.  In this book, he defined them in a way that stuck with me:

1) their faces light up when they see you
2) they have no program for your improvement
3) they like you the way we are, which is similar but a different flavor than above
4) they joy in your presence, just sit there having a good time, don’t need to think of anything to talk about
5) they look you up, if you don’t look them up
6) they stick with you, if you move away, or get in trouble or do some unpopular thing

I am a Big fan of Intimates, however defined, and whatever we call them ; )

SO then how do I handle Outreach

This part takes being tuned-into my spiritual information -
Where is God leading me? What is the healthy choice from a spiritual perspective?

One big issue is that i am (most of us are) so thrown-to and programmed to help, heal, fix, save.
But, IMO, often our helping doesn't help, it just gets in the way of what the person and God are co-creating.
Meanwhile all this helping diverts me from where i am led to actually serve, and in my OWN healing - which is OH SO FUN to Avoid - by allegedly helping others.

Therefore, from my experience, it really helps to develop the capacity to listen when there is a voice behind me saying' this is the way, walk ye in it'.
It really helps to develop the willingness to be still and KNOW… God, myself and my unique path in every moment.

This is a process of spiritual discipline which serves all of my life, and Life…
This process serves all my relationships - but especially, for me, with outreach relationships.
And the best way to figure when to engage and when to not engage; when to assist and not assist.

It eventually becomes really easy-peasy to get info about any particular person or encounter.
But, for most of us, developing this tool takes a commitment and time...

And, of course part of learning this discipline of acting from spiritual rather than physical information,
is continually letting go of all the disturbance in my own space, the programming, the pain, the habits which keep me in the old tracks -
and really do make it possible to turn the Titanic, not just re-arrange deck chairs.

THIS makes a HUGE difference in who we BE in the world, the most important thing we can ever DO for those around us, IMO!

Without this, it is the blind leading the blind, best we can, with our well-meaning physical info (thoughts, beliefs, religious programming, feelings, feedback, results…)

With our spiritual leading, we can find balance in our lives, our wellness and our relationships.