I am indebted to Clare Erhard-Trick who inspired this conversation.
One of the highlights of my life is being with people I'm close to.
When we meet, invariably the question is why we don't meet more often.
I'll make light of the matter by saying something like "I haven't yet
figured out how to be in more than one location at the same time.".
It's the lot of each of us human beings to be located in one place on
at any particular moment in time. And the place on
where we're located isn't always
the places on
where the people we're close to, are located.
It appears (on the surface, at least) we're all physically separate,
and if we're to be in relationship, we need to be near each other ie we
need to be in close proximity to each other, we need to be in the same
location as each other. Yet if I examine my relationship with each of
the people I'm close to, I notice proximity isn't a requirement.
Where I'm close to them isn't in a particular location we both happen
to be in at the same time. Where I'm close to them is in the space
of my being. The space of my being where the mere fact we're alive
and in the world at the same time, is the
of relationship, love, friendship, affinity, intimacy, respect, and
The list of people I'm close to this way is actually quite
and my family. There's my extended family. There are my friends. There
are my colleagues. There are my
There are my coaches and my mentors. There's my
This list actually has the possibility of expanding to and including my
neighbors, my community, society, and the population of
What I'm starting to notice is it doesn't
to wait until I'm in the same physical location as each of them, for
relationsip and love,
and affinity, intimacy and respect, and partnership to be fulfilled.
It's actually worse than that. It's that sometimes (in many cases) the
likelihood of me being in the same physical location as them at the
same time, is remote - to say the least. There's got to be a better way
of managing this.
And the truth is there is. There's an awful lot of struggle and effort,
a great deal of sturm und drang (German: storm and
stress), a huge outpouring of snot en trane (Afrikaans:
snot and tears) which is expended on relationships defined by
position, which is lavished on relationships bound by
proximity. That's because insisting on only being in
relationship this way actually misses the point of
who we really are.
No, it entirely misses the point of what it is to be
to include both those in my proximity and those not in my proximity,
allows all my relationships to continue without being bound by, without
being limited to being in the same physical location at the same time.
It creates the possibility of being in relationship across miles and
miles without any contact, sometimes even without any ongoing
communication. It's creates the possibility of a
if you will.
Yes its description (the descriptor
in particular) does indeed carry some unnecessary and therefore
distracting significance. Yet this description is an apt one. It
speaks to a way of being in relationship which occurs outside
of the ordinary way we regard being in relationship. It
speaks to the truth which sets me free from being attached to
relationship as position. It speaks to the truth which sets me
free from being attached to relationship as proximity.
The truth which sets me free from being attached to relationship as
proximity is simply this: there's
to be in relationship, there's
to be in relationship, there's
to be in relationship because we're already related.
Gee! I hope you get that ...
The discovery, the
the possibility this inquiry leads me to is when I come
from "We're already related", it takes out all the struggle
and effort, it takes out all the sturm und drang, it takes out
all the snot en trane from wanting to be in a relationship
with you. You and I are already related. In fact, we're Life
partners - with the emphasis on "Life". The relationship
we're already in, lasts for now and for all eternity.