“There Is No Me Without You”
If this week’s blog posts had a theme, it would be, “Wholeheartedness is the only appropriate response to minds, hearts, and bodies that are often fractured by hyperconnection and hyperdistraction.” Ask any sane doctor, therapist, pastor, life coach, spiritual guide, or person you trust, and they will tell you the same.
More than that, wholeheartedness is the only appropriate response to that portion of 24 hours in which we are awake. It’s not a self-improvement technique, as if any of us needed more of those. It is an only-way-to-live choice, one of countless others made moment by moment, day after day, and usually in the least sexy of circumstances (changing diapers, commuting to work, during a staff meeting, taking out the trash).
Easy to blog about. Very, very difficult to live. I need help in my steps toward wholeheartedness.
This weekend, I am headed back to Cannon Beach, OR, for yet another retreat. I’m not speaking at this one; I’m a civilian like the rest of the dudes. I will tell you honestly that I feel more comfortable with a role – especially a very visible role – than I do being “one of the guys.” I dread sharing a room with a complete stranger who likely snores (the speaker gets their own room). I dread all those get-to-know-you conversations (the speaker is sought after to answer the difficult questions of life). I dread the mornings, having to face my fellow men before coffee, before showering, before my hair product has time to ripen into perfect waves and spikes.
But for all I dread, I’m going because, if it’s one thing that has become even more clear since moving to a brand new town and starting over with life, it’s that I need others. Why?
That sucks, because I’d prefer to be a self-contained, self-reliant Lone Ranger. But even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. And Silver, the horse. (And that nifty black mask and grey outfit that reminds me a bit of Liberace – an image which now makes me rethink the Lone Ranger’s motivations for all those lonely nights on the prairie with Tonto).
The point is, wholeheartedness – that appropriate response to the hours we’ve been given on this planet – can only be experienced in companionship with others. It can only result from entering into the messiness of human relationships and wrestling to find common language and common ground. It has to embrace the snoring stranger, the pre-caffeinated conversations, and the start-from-scratch friendships. It has to embrace the need for others.
“There is no me without you,” wrote Melissa Faye Green. And her story of serving AIDS-ravaged children testifies eloquently to our shared need for one another in the pursuit of wholeheartedness.
With her words ringing in my ear, I go now to pack my toothbrush, ear plugs and hair product. Have a wonderful, wholehearted weekend.