Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Create Me The Way I Am

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

March 29, 2012



"Take me the way I am." ... Ingrid Michaelson

"Create  me the way I am." ... Laurence Platt
This essay, Create Me The Way I Am, is the twenty eighth in an open group Encounters With A Friend:
  1. Showing Up
  2. Poet Laureate
  3. A Man In The Crowd
  4. Real Men Cry
  5. A Different Set Of Rules
  6. Nametag: A True Story
  7. Half Life
  8. Waiting On You
  9. Erotica On Schedule
  10. A House On Franklin Street
  11. NeXT
  12. Reflection On A Window
  13. Here And There
  14. How To Enroll The World
  15. Demonstration
  16. Two Of Me II: Confirmation Not Correction
  17. Holiday Spectacular
  18. Hello! How Are Things Going For You?
  19. Regular Guy
  20. A Scholar And A Gentleman
  21. Images Of You
  22. With Nothing Going On
  23. Where No One Has Gone Before
  24. Attachment: Causeway Between Islands
  25. If You're Not Then Don't
  26. Images Of You II
  27. Living Where Life Is
  28. Create Me The Way I Am
  29. How Do You Spell The Sound A Ratchet Makes?
  30. You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining II
so far, in that order.




I'm empowered  when you create me the way I am.

Wait! Isn't that the same as saying I'm empowered when you take  me the way I am?

No it isn't. It's really very different. Here's why:

When you take me the way I am, you accept me being the way I am, you allow  me to be the way I am, you don't get in the way of  or interfere with me being the way I am. Now there's certainly nothing wrong  with you taking me the way I am. To the contrary, in the normal course of events, that's an awesome gift from one human being to another - arguably it's the most awesome gift one human being can give another.

When you take me the way I am, you afford me the gift of acceptance. When you take me the way I am, I  afford me the gift of acceptance out of you affording me the gift of acceptance. But what's also so is when you take me the way I am, acceptance doesn't inspire me to do what's next for myself and for my life. In fact, just the opposite happens: when you take me the way I am, when you're OK with me being the way I'm being, I'm likely to stay that way  since I'm granted the freedom  by you to be the way I am.

On the other hand, when you create me the way I am, something else  becomes possible. There's an edge to it. There's more at stake  in our interactions. It's more in my face. When you create  me the way I am, through your eyes  I have the freedom to see the way I'm being. In other words, when you create me the way I am, through your eyes I get to see I have choice in the way I'm being.

This is a subtle difference, a very  subtle difference. It's so subtle I didn't get it initially when it was explained to me. I already knew the first component (ie being taken the way I am). But I never knew the second component (ie being created the way I am) until I experienced you creating me the way I am.

Here's what I get through experiencing it from you - as if by osmosis:

 1)  Being the way I am, being taken the way I am by you, without really seeing the way I'm being, without exercising choice in the matter of the way I'm being, being accepted

is different than

 2)  being the way I am, being created the way I am by you, fully seeing the way I'm being, exercising choice in the matter of the way I'm being, being empowered.

It's one of the most powerful (if not the  most powerful) freedoms a human being can have: the freedom from being a fixed way, the freedom to be any particular way. In a very real sense, this ability, this muscle  (if you will) to be any particular way I choose to be, is at the very heart of ie is the very essence of what it is to be a human being. This muscle is what distinguishes human beings from animals, flowers, ducks, and rocks.

At the risk of over belaboring this point, there's also this: when you take me the way I am, I could say you alleviate  something for me. What you alleviate for me is my discomfort in performing socially  ie my angst. When you alleviate my discomfort in performing socially by taking me the way I am, I feel good  (for want of a better way of saying it).

In contradistinction, when you create me the way I am, then I'm actually glad  I didn't settle for mere alleviation of my discomfort ie I'm glad I didn't settle for mere feeling good. Why? Because what you do when you create me the way I am is you put my fingers and my toes on the levers and dials and pedals of my own life. By "my own life" I'm not referring to that which feels good when my discomfort is alleviated. By "my own life" I'm referring to my ability, my muscle to be any particular way I choose to be, the muscle which is at the very heart of what it is to be a human being.

To tell you the truth, when you create me the way I am, I don't always like it because it's not always what I want from you. But the truth is also when you create me the way I am, you hand me my life.



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