We just completed 4 sessions of 1 hour each. Here are some notes.
Love & Belonging are fairly easily seen as what matters most in life. What we focused on is what it looks like when everything is in harmony, and then what it looks like when they are not.
- Love is a delight in goodness.
- Belonging is the appropriateness of relating to that delight.
- Joy is the experience of Love AND Belonging together.
So why are relationships so difficult?
Desires for goodness without maintaining harmony result in disorder and disorientation.
- Disorder is the objective problem.
- Disorientation is the subjective problem.
What happens when disordered harmony triggers disorientation? Fight, Flight, or Freeze:
- Fight response often loses perspective due to seeing the problem but losing sight of the joy that is at stake. “Win the battle but lose the war.”
- Flee response also loses perspective but by trying to retreat from the joy that is at risk in pursuit of some other joy. “These are a few of my favourite things.”
- Freeze response loses perspective and momentum and is trapped in the loss of joy.
Is there a better way forward than these?
Faithfulness to the joy is the way to regain perspective and face fears effectively. How?
- Look back at past joys to remember what is at stake.
- Look forward to future joys to shape your tactics now.
- Look at your conflict with courage from these visions of joy.
How can I get a joyful perspective when I feel threatened?
This is where we discussed self-care that is not selfish. We explored how the stream of ideas related to Love & Belonging needs to be part of one’s essential identity.
Identity: We need a way to see ourselves as simply committed to the joy of Love & Belonging for ourselves and others.
Authenticity: For our identity to have stability we have to tap into the ideas by facing our fears about physical, relational, and spiritual “what ifs.”
When can I enjoy progress?
The flow of ideas about Love & Belonging is like a stream.
Our personal commitment to those ideas is rooted in our identity; like a tree.
Our progress in living out these ideas involves branching out through a cycle:
- Treasure joy in general as you approach specific issues.
- Prune ways of dealing with issues that are contrary to a joyful outcome.
- Support ways of dealing with issues by harmonizing with others.
- Extend whatever appropriate goodness that is in your control regardless of the factors that are not in your control.
- Celebrate the success of your process even before it bears fruit.