On vacation in Costa Rica, my teenage son dragged me to a locally famous place where there was a rope swing into a river. The starting point was on a rocky cliff, maybe 25 feet high, with rocks on the bottom for about 15 feet. That is, if you let go too soon, you’d likely die or become crippled. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to do it.
On the cliff with me was a young woman, roughly 20 years old, that for a half hour, tried to screw up her courage (as did I), to go off. After speaking with her, I learned she’d been there for three hours that afternoon, and most of the day before, and still hadn’t gotten the nerve. People, including my son, tried to pressure her, but that wasn’t working.
An idea came to me. There were five of us on the cliff. I said, here’s what going to happen. All of us are going to count down from 10, and then you’re going to jump. She agreed to try.
At the top of our lungs we all shouted down from 10 and when we got to one, much to everyone’s amazement, she went! I realized I needed the same level of encouragement, and got everyone to count down for me, and, much to my amazement, I went!
There’s something about power in numbers, and about support, verses pressure. What if we all had that kind of support for our relationships – what do you imagine that would do to the divorce rate? What, instead of women getting together to complain, and go into agreement, about their husbands’ bad manners, callous ways, lack of listening skills, etc., the women supported each other? What if men, instead of complaining about their about their wives’ honey-do lists, nit-picking or whatever, really shared constructively?
Relationships don’t exist in a vacuum, but in an environment. With every relationship you encounter, you have the ability to help it slide down into a black hole, or lift up into a deeper connection.
A taller tree blocks the light, killing off some types of trees, while providing the necessary shade for other types of trees to flourish. But trees don’t have choice consciousness, and we do. Without consciousness, we kill off relationships; with consciousness, we help them prosper and grow.
What can you do to come up under the relationships in your world?