(A Thesis -- read through because I have a question and a proposal at the end! Love, Bears)
For weeks now, I have been exploring, contemplating and expanding my grasp of love relationships in my life. I realize that I have high-threshold love relationships and low-threshold love relationships.
I told my father as he died in my arms that I would always look out for Rosie, no matter what. If I had one piece of bread, she gets it before me. I have delivered and will continue to --- that's a high threshold love relationship for me.
Caiseal, who used to teach at the Institute and who has been a dear friend for years (still is), asked me with sweet tears in her eyes as she was about to relocate to the Southwest if I would guarantee, no matter what, that I would always love her. No matter what...now, ten years from now, thirty years from now as long as we were both still in a physical form. I smiled easily and said yes. And that was it -- day or night, whenever she calls, I will be there -- that's a high-threshold love relationship for me.
A sweet friend and an Option Institute employee some time ago disagreed with several decisions I made in my effort to guide the Institute (as best I could). She got quite upset, left the Option Institute employ abruptly and refused, even after I requested, to speak to me about her discontent and her issues about my decisions ----- in that case, that person would have held me in a low-threshold relationship.
What's this all about? High-threshold means I cherish someone or someone else cherishes me so much that no issue will break the relationship or compromise the love. In effect, no issue can trump the commitment to love. Low-threshold (or medium) relationship means a person can or will walk away based on the issues because the commitment to the relationship is not made in such a way that the person has said yes -- I'm here, I am showing up and I will continue to show up -- I'm in -- now, tomorrow, the next day. That's a declaration of Inner Strength.
I realized that I often, with folks who I adopt as friends, jump in and make those relationships high-threshold -- unless the issue is beyond anything I could ever imagine, the relationship and love will always be held in such high regard and treasured so deeply that the relationship trumps the issue.
I loving jumping in. I think commitment is not a burden but a freedom to show up big time for yourself and someone else (personal growth training at its highest level). Often we never evaluate how committed we are or want to be in given relationship -- sure, experiment, evaluate -- but what about, at some point for some relationships, really jump in -- fully. "I'm going always to choose to love you." "I'm going to always be there for you." And then delighting in the idea and feeling honored to so deeply treasure someone in that manner. It could be a friend, a parent, a sibling, a lover, a student, a college professor (I had one but I didn't think that way back then who opened my heart and mind to delight in ideas and the process of thinking), an employee who has challenges and you/we/me decide to make that person a "sacred cow" on the staff, not because of great contribution but because wanted to be there for that person -- no matter who we would ever eliminate on staff, that person would be the last to go.
High-threshold relationships and low-threshold relationship foster different experiences. In the chosen high-threshold relationships, full authenticity is not only encouraged but enjoyed. In a low-threshold relationship, full authenticity is often not tolerated -- because certain issues are to be avoided or they could trump the relationship. I realize how nourishing I experience high-threshold relationships -- how I love to find ones I can jump in like that. I also noticed the gift of others who embrace me in that fashion. But I also have some relationship where I show up high-threshold and the other person, nevertheless, shows up low-threshold (sometime, it's a surprise). Why would I do that, stay in low-threshold relationships? Because I want to maintain that relationship -- maybe it's with a child or a friend of a parent or someone I work with -- that's my choice. However, for me, it's the high-threshold relationships that I seek the most -- they endure in an awesome way.
It's a choice. It doesn't mean you decide to make all relationships high-threshold -- however, when you do, you declare it, you're in, solid, committed, blessed by the freedom to show up like that in the world.
Now...what about you? I know so many Option Institute students and friends might read this eventually. Write me. Make a list for yourself. If you've never made such a declaration, consider it now -- and then, if you want, do it. Let me know with who. Let me know how it felt. Let me know why you decided to create or reaffirm relationships in which you will never have an issues between you and someone else trump that relationship. We could make a special wall on the blog (I'll find out how). You put your name up and put names next to your who you've committed to in a high-threshold relationship. Wow! High flame!
Loving you, Bears