Nepo on Relationship
One of my favorite spiritual authors, Mark Nepo, has written a profound book of short meditations, called: Things that Join the Sea and Sky. His introduction to the section on relationships touches on the awkwardness and transformational power of close connection – themes dear to me – inviting compassion and awe as I experience the goofiness and grandeur of the human condition.
Here is what he wrote:
“It’s so tempting at times to withdraw and watch life go by, but it’s through relationship that we come alive and heal. There’s no other way but to open the door to our mind, to our heart, and venture out, knowing we will be changed by everything and everyone we meet. Yet try as we do, we seldom come close to what we aim for. I go to love you and miss, hurting your feelings. You aim to protect yourself and push me away, a little too hard. The friend we encourage to be herself finally stands up, knocking down everyone near. Still, our heartfelt attempts, clumsy as they are, are the seeds that restore the world. All the spiritual traditions speak about renewal through relationship, and all agree that God – or the Spirit of the Universe, or the Ultimate Bareness of Being, or whatever name you want to give to Essence – remains an indwelling presence until revealed in the world through relationship. In time, meaning is revealed through relationship. Of course, we need to be alone and then together. Of course, we need to retreat and then run into each other’s arms. But the beauty is that the cycle of relationship is never done. And with each turn of relationship, we are transformed.” (Nepo, 2017, p.45)