Community & Relationship


By January 12, 2009 No Comments

I had dinner last night with four wonderful women friends. As we sat in a circle around a large round table, it felt just right, as if this is how our spirits sit with one another in some other place all the time.
We are each working toward greater authenticity, new career journeys, and more joy in our lives, and we gather periodically to help each other do that. These women know my heart. They understand my hopes and see what’s just emerging in me. They’ve heard my inner critic give grand dissertations, and they’ve seen it slyly inch up and hack off confidence and possibilities.
These women have supported and changed me. In case you are forming a picture in your head, let me reassure you that it didn’t happen through hours of endless hours of sharing and venting and comforting on soft couches with the kleenex. Throw that image out. That’s form of support that buys into the sense of weakness in us and then hops in a pool to swim around with it for a while. Maybe that was the cutting edge of how women hung out back in some other time—if so, let’s wrap that period up now.
I am talking about a different kind of love, a love that’s efficient, focused, transformative. It doesn’t solve problems; it dissolves them. It doesn’t offer a shoulder to lean on; it offers new eyes with which to see. It doesn’t emphasize solidarity and alliance against the monster of life, sickness, the bad guy….but it offers all the power to walk out of pain. It doesn’t dab away tears and bring tissues; it asks the tears to share their secrets and put the truth on the table.
This love centers around what I’ll call light-casting, which is seeing the sacred, miraculous best in another person, and then responding to them — through one’s words, acts, presence —from that place. By seeing their greatness, you call it up and amplify it. Doing that is like pouring a wide shaft of light onto the person, and that light changes who they are. It can relieve them of the shadows that they’ve been carrying with them for years.
My friends chose to be mirrors for the best in me, for the capability and power they saw. They spoke to me with utter certainty about this vision. I experienced that they saw something. And then, slowly, I saw a little of what they saw.
This is love. Imagine if this kind of love was present in every relationships of parent to child, teacher to student, doctor to patient, manager to employee, friend to friend, lover to lover. And what if it were also there for all of us encountering each other in this busy world?
Start doing some light-casting in your own life, today. It feels really good.

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