Beginnings. . . Relationships

Beginnings. . . Relationships

on Nov 26, 2010 in Relationships | 3 comments

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh!” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw.
“I just wanted to be sure of you.”
—A.A. Milne


As I’ve been writing these introduction posts for each category, I’ve kept staring at “Relationships” and finding all kinds of ways to avoid it. I’ve not had an easy time with relationships in my life and by no means do I feel like I’m an expert in this area. In fact, my life has been one long trudge to learn what intimacy really means. An image of a scene from the movie Dr. Zhivago comes to mind, where the good doctor is practically crawling across the plains of Russia in the midst of a huge blizzard… yes, that’s what it’s felt like at times.

What does it mean to be “liberated” when it comes to relationships? I believe it means—

  • coming to know ourselves well enough so that our ‘stuff’ doesn’t get projected onto our loved one
  • understanding the beliefs that we’ve inherited about what relationships are supposed to be like – and letting them go so that we can be present for what our relationship is truly like
  • realizing that the most important relationship is the one with ourselves
  • knowing that we are in relationship with the whole world at all times

“Relationship” is defined broadly here – it may be with a wife, husband, partner, or lover. But it can also be with our kids, our parents, our best friend, our co-workers, the homeless young man down the street, that beautiful gnarled oak tree in the park. Remember, everything in a liberated life is bigger than it seems.

What this is really about is interconnection, that mysterious quality of life in which we are connected to everyone and everything, and at the same time we walk our path alone.

The Liberated Life Project will explore these relationship edges…with the intention of building stronger connections to all our beloveds. I’m sure I’ll be learning just as much as you : )


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  1. Dearest Maia,
    At last, I come to your beginnings: and find it inspiring and pushing the edge of my own wonderings and wanderings.
    Relationships: lightness, darkness, colors, emptiness, fullness, questions, answers, wishes, demands, not-knowing, absolute, clarity, surprise, lost and found.

    Only words yet, provide some meaning at any given time. And, perhaps I’ve come to believe that relationships of any sort are really a “slight of hand” because, just as you feel yourself into it, it changes or I wake up to yet another part of me that may or may not fit with who I’m in relationship. Sodium vs magnesium?!

    Jean Berg

    December 2, 2010

  2. John, thanks for you honest reflections and great insights here… I think you get the Liberated Life prize for freedom in the relationship realm this week! And I love the teaching about sodium and chloride. Look forward to seeing more of you around here…

    Maia Duerr

    November 29, 2010

  3. Like you, Maia, I have not had an easy time – or made it easy for my partners – when it comes to relationships. Many of the difficulties have come as a result of not trusting my own intuition about what I wanted, and not believing that what I wanted was normal or would be accepted by my partners if I articulated it. So I tried to accommodate myself to expectations that I assumed others had of me, without ever trying to put forward my own desires first. I wasn’t accommodating someone else’s ideas or needs: I was just making up something A) that they had not said that they wanted, and B) that differed from what I wanted, and making that imagined thing the plumb line by which I must measure up.

    What’s up with that??

    I have finally acknowledged that I am a person who recharges my batteries in solitude, but still loves the company of others, both friends and lovers. I am not likely to ever “settle down” in a conventional romance, but would love to have a steady presence in my life which I could reciprocate. (I also like puppies, long walks on the beach, long, languorous dinners with wine, yada yada…;-) ) So your second and third bullet points are particularly resonant with me.

    I’ve also decided that not meeting someone’s expectations or hopes for a relationship, while disappointing, does not make me a bad or unsuitable partner. Nor does their expression of their disappointment need to be taken personally by me. My metaphor: sodium and chloride make salt. Sodium and magnesium might make something else, but it ain’t salt, and sodium can’t blame magnesium, and magnesium can’t blame itself, for not making salt with sodium. If sodium wants to make salt, it needs to find chloride. Magnesium can’t make salt, but it can make other interesting compounds with other elements.

    See? It really is all about chemistry.

    Thanks for getting the party started. I look forward to keeping up with the Liberated Life Project.


    November 29, 2010

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