I know. What does MLK have to do with relationship? Pardon me while I meander today….
Today is MLK Day. People are off work. Some of us are out in community today. Some of us are out in community much of the time, while others come out this one day every year. Some of us are doing whatever it is we are doing and just glad to have a day off from work. Some of us only get into action when there is a chance to quote Dr. King in some way that serves our interests, but not necessarily the interests for which the quote was originally penned.
Anyway, this is what is on my mind today, and as usual, my thoughts meandered beyond that one point. I am usually out in community on this holiday, and many times during the year, but here I am at home recovering from COVID-19. So, I got to thinking about Dr. King, how this radical civil rights leader has been smoothed down over time — made to look more “acceptable” to the masses vs. who he really was and why he fought so hard and for which he gave his life over. I got to thinking about how some of us are in agreement with what he stood for, his actions, his thoughts. I got to thinking how that is very typical, actually, for a lot of different kinds of relationships, i.e., romantic relationships, friends, business, supervisor/subordinate, parent/children, etc.
Consciously or unconsciously we go through life creating and even undoing. Sometimes it’s on or with a purpose. We set out to create, change, or undo something. Other times we are just on autopilot or may not even be paying attention, yet we are still creating, changing, or undoing by our actions and/or participation. Some of these have ripples that carry out so far we may not even realize the motion is still in action, and long-forgotten by us. A lot of the time we don’t want to add our name to the co-creator’s list because the situation isn’t really a good one, and while we wish it were otherwise, we are a part of it still.
I believe that most of the time we are co-creating. We are in agreement by our participation, and even by inaction to reverse or change a course set upon. We participate consciously or unconsciously. As I said above, this is no different for a lot of different kinds of relationships. Supposedly there is a reaction for every action taken under the sun, which makes me wonder how much of those are done consciously or unconsciously.
I tried but couldn’t find this quote or story that someone once read to me, but it was something like this: In a romantic relationship where both people are assholes, they stay together because they each are in agreement to stay together so they can continue to be assholes. In other words, one of them started out as an asshole, and the response by the other (whether on purpose or not) was to also turn into an asshole. Therefore, they didn’t have to face the situation and the faults, it just gave each permission to continue on without recourse (or so they think). It was never talked about. (Or it could have been, but to no avail.) They just continued on being assholes, and one couldn’t call the other out for they would then be called out for their asshole behavior. One’s poor behavior was more important to them than talking about it, apologizing for it, and for sure more important than changing it. Whether it was verbalized or not, a written plan or not, or even if one or both were cognizant of it or not, what they got was something they co-created. They were in agreement, and the agreement was signed off by their actions (or inaction).
What could have been created had one of them changed course? ‘Doesn’t matter what change — any change. You can always interrupt the ripple effect by just causing a change in the ripples.
What about the mother that can’t accept that her son is gay? Now the son doesn’t come around because he doesn’t want to be ostracized or feel uncomfortable. It may be understandable why the son doesn’t come around, and maybe even necessary. Something is still co-created here. Co-creation isn’t just negative. Sometimes it’s positive, sometimes flat out necessary, but it’s still a co-creation. The parent in this staging set an energy in motion and the other responded.
Dr. King set out to co-create a movement, one that is still creating, moving and evolving to this day. Some of us are in agreement with what his intentions were, while some of us speak about it but never take on the lessons for ourselves, as if it’s meant for someone else out there somewhere. That’s still creating something (or possibly undoing), and others will fall into that and now an atmosphere of moderation or apathy is being co-created. There is an agreement — a co-creation.
Friends are friends because they are in agreement in enough ways that they can remain friends. The extent of your friendship with someone is the extent to which you are in agreement. This is universal, and it also applies to more than friendships. Again, this is seen in romantic partnerships, business, church, government, schools, etc.
Our agreements are about creating something together (good or bad), or undoing someting together. True enough that there are times when we don’t have a say in the matter, but then those aren’t the ones we are in agreement with.
How do you suppose this inter-relatedness, this agreement, is found in politics? In business? In friendships?
Whenever there is mutual participation (and even inaction is a type of participation, a type of agreement), something is created. Have it be something that’s good for you. Have it be something that is good for us.
Thanks for strolling through a maze that is my mind today.