Part 1: Why It Takes a Village to be a Loving AdultBy Emily Agnew
December 13, 2016
Dr. Margaret Paul has challenged us create a Loving Action Revolution by making loving action our highest priority. Making this commitment is our essential first step. After that, are we on our own with this? Or Is there a way we can help each other keep that commitment? In this article series, Inner Bonding facilitator Emily Agnew explores how we can support each other as Inner Bonding buddies.
Do we really need each other's help to sustain Loving Adult consciousness and action? Isn't Inner Bonding all about self-responsibility?
The answer to both questions is “Yes!” We need to take responsibility for ourselves, and we can’t do that in a vacuum. This rose is a perfect demonstration of these twin truths.
It is cold and dark here in Rochester in December, and the days are short. We’ve had two snowstorms already, and they are predicting a foot of snow tomorrow.
Yet this rose bloomed in our garden just five days ago, defying the wintry conditions.
How is this possible?
The rose lives in a corner of the garden that catches the light: a weak, wintry light, but four or five hours of it. The cream-colored walls of the house reflect the light to warm the corner a bit more, and the black driveway absorbs and radiates some warmth to do its part. Even our furnace contributes to this miraculous microclimate: the exhaust pipe emerges from the basement a few feet away from the rose trellis.
This is the power of environment. We planted this rose last May, and it did its part all summer, shooting up from an eight-inch stem to more than five feet high. But once winter hit, it couldn’t possibly have kept going without the special help it got.
The great spiritual master Paramahansa Yogananda said it clearly: “Environment is stronger than will power.” We need will power to commit to loving action, but will power alone is not enough to overcome a spiritually unsupportive environment. As we move into 2017: the world looks as dark as a Rochester winter. Each of us is like the rose: in the current environment, we need each other’s support to reflect the light of Spirit.
How does this translate for us as Inner Bonders? It means we seek support when our internal resources run low and our external circumstances challenge us beyond our current capacity to handle. At those times, we need Inner Bonding “buddies” who can help hold Loving Adult presence with us when we can’t. And we do the same for others.
With our biggest fears—personal, political and others—we can get completely taken over by our wounded selves. Our toughest issues are precisely those around which Loving Adult presence is a “missing experience” for us. This is Einstein meant when he commented that our significant problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking in which they were created. At these moments, we need someone who can hold Loving Adult space for us so we can fill in that “missing experience.”
My dad did this for me when I was eight years old, to teach me how to ride a bike. I had obviously never ridden before and had no way to know what balancing the bike would feel like. I was scared of falling, but I trusted him because I knew he knew what he was doing. Over and over, he ran down the street along beside me, holding the back of the seat to stabilize me…until one time I looked back and realized he wasn’t there: he had let go, and I was riding on my own.
Now more than ever, we need each other’s supportive Loving Adult presence, just as I needed my dad’s stabilizing hand. Sooner or later, we all get wobbly. We need to know we have a friend to hold the bike when that happens. And we need to know how to hold the bike for them too.
How can we be that hand to each other right now? In the coming weeks I’ll write more about exactly how to do this. Mutual support comes down to a simple, powerful skill that is portable, universal, always in good taste, and always welcome. costs nothing. It creates an environment where miracles of growth and change can take place. And it is free. The skill is deep listening, and I’ll describe it in depth in Part 2: The simple, life-changing support we all yearn for, but almost never get.
Photo and text ©Emily Agnew 2016
To learn more Inner Bonding buddy skills, check the schedule for Inner Bonding facilitator Emily Agnew’s free Listening Lab teleseminars or click here to read more about the upcoming four-week Becoming an Inner Bonding Buddy online course. You can find Emily at www.luminoslistening.com. Emily offers private sessions and teaches classes in Inner Bonding and Inner Relationship Focusing by phone, Skype, and Zoom.
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Keep the vision in your mind of what brings you joy. Let the vision of your joy guide you. Let the feeling of joy enliven and sustain you. Your feeling of joy is an invitation to Spirit to support the manifestation of that which brings you joy.
By Dr. Margaret Paul