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


Fulfilled And Accepting

Diamond Oaks, Oakville, California, USA

May 26, 2007



This essay, Fulfilled And Accepting, is the companion piece to
  1. Redemption And Peace
  2. Deliberate Love
  3. 100%: A New Paradigm For Relationship
  4. Readiness: The Possibility Of Being Forgiving, Open, And Welcoming
  5. Joe The Buddha
  6. Bronze Buddha
in that order.

I am indebted to Gabriel Ramos who inspired this conversation.




Click to locate in essay - Photography by IndoSpectrum
Amazarashi-No-Hotoke
Buddha
Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, USA


I invented a possibility for myself and my life. I invented the possibility of being fulfilled and accepting.

From the Cambridge International Dictionary:

<quote>
Definition
fulfilled


adjective
feeling happy because you are getting everything that you want from life
<unquote>

Also from the Cambridge International Dictionary:

<quote>
Definition
accepting

adjective
from the verb accept (APPROVE)

to consider someone or something as satisfactory
<unquote>

It's a powerful possibility. To get it, I inquired into a hole which appears from time to time as the foundation of my relationships: my relationships with my children, my relationships with my parents and with my siblings, my relationships with my extended family, my relationships with my friends, my relationships with my business associates, my relationships with society and with the world as a whole at large and with my universe.

It's an innocent enough hole. It's a human  enough hole. But it's a hole nonetheless. It's not the kind of hole that leads somewhere. It's not the kind of hole you plant something in. It's the kind of hole that wants to be filled.

The hole I'm referring to is the hole of unexamined need  born of absence of fulfillment, the cost of being incomplete.

The trouble with such a hole as the foundation of a relationship is this: pretty soon the relationship fills the hole, at which point the relationship itself has paradoxically undermined its own foundation. If I were a city planner with any measure of experience, I wouldn't build critical structures on top of a seismic fault. Like that, I won't build relationships on top of a hole.

Everything traditional I've ever learned about relationships tells me to look the other way, tells me to not  interfere with the traditional model of relationship, the model in which you  complete me  and I  complete you, the model in which you  fill my  needs and I  fill yours. That paradigm as the foundation of a relationship, like wire mesh holding adobe onto the hacienda and ivy onto the topiary, is deadly  - for two reasons:

 1)  the reason outlined above: pretty soon the relationship fills the hole, at which point the relationship itself has paradoxically undermined its own foundation;

 2)  it leaves the responsibility for your  fulfillment with me, and the responsibility for my  fulfillment with you, a situation clearly untenable and doomed from the outset to fail.

Implicit in the second reason is also its total and complete inauthenticity: you're not responsible for being fulfilled in relationship with me, and I'm not responsible for being fulfilled in relationship with you.

Living with such inauthenticity carries an awful price tag. In relationship, it almost totally assures you're not fully present, not fun to be with, not generous, and not compassionate. In relationship, it also almost totally assures I'm not fully present, not fun to be with, not generous, and not compassionate. How can either of us be "the one" for the other when we're both waiting for and even dependent on  the other being "the one" for us?

When this trap and its cost became patently clear to me, I invented a new possibility for myself and my life. I invented the possibility of being fulfilled and accepting.

Fulfilled, I'm whole and complete even prior to  coming into relationship with you. I'm not waiting for you to complete me. I'm not waiting for you to fulfill me. Fulfilled, I'm responsible for being fulfilled in relationship with you. I'm not ceding my responsibility to you for my fulfillment. When I come into relationship with you, I'm already fulfilled. I'm not expecting you to complete me or to fulfill me. I've already done that.

Accepting, I allow you to be. You may be fulfilled if you choose to be, or not - it's alright with me. Accepting you, you're free to be with me however you be. Accepting, I allow you to be responsible for your completion. I accept your choice in the matter.

Our relationship thrives on this foundation of being fulfilled and accepting. Given by this possibility, our relationship won't undermine its own foundation. I love  this possibility of being fulfilled and accepting I invented for myself and my life.

* * *

Strolling through the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco I notice Buddha sitting serene in Zazen at the east end of the Long Bridge. With awe, respect, delight, and love, I suddenly get it:

Buddha's right hand is up, fulfilled. His left hand is down, accepting.



Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2007 through 2016 Permission