Eating the Tensions (Excerpt from Open Heart, Open Mind)
It is a given that our relationship to everything and everyone is going to change, no matter what we might hope to the contrary. Those points of change are always points of friction, too. So if we really care about somebody, then we must be concerned about getting through these transition points with as little tension as possible. In the long run, this allows the relationship to mature to its full potential.
From time to time, any balance between people will be reorganized. As that process takes place, we will experience resistance, fear, and so on. If we identify ourselves as growing people, however--instead of by gender, work, politics, or any of the other identities available to us--then these experiences of reorganization can happen more often, more powerfully, and more deeply for everyone's growth.
All the emotional and intellectual structures--the individual identities we establish--exist to buffer us from these experiences of reorganization and to suppress them. As we remove the buffers, the depth of our experience increases. In the process, we will confront fear and anxiety. During all that, we want to maintain our own inner balance and understand that, if we do so, we will establish an equilibrium of increasingly finer and greater magnitude. This is what I call "eating tensions."
By eating tensions I do not mean stuffing them down. This is not about absorbing environmental negativity to the detriment of our own well-being and growth. What I do mean is that we do the inner work to transform the tension back into creative energy. We do this by opening ourselves deeply to it, taking it in, learning to relax with it and digest it, in order to recover its deeper substance as nourishment.