Can you invite more openness?
Certainty blocks connection. Let me explain...
"When we are so sure. We can get into such trouble."
~ Kōshin Paley Ellison
I heard Zen monk and MFT Koshin Paley Ellison say this in his book Untangled. It had me thinking about when I become sure and certain. And I wonder, what are you sure and certain about?
I know that for me, I step into certainty when I’m angry, afraid and/or hurt. I go there when I’m afraid you won’t see my point, or seek to understand. I get certain when I want you to be wrong.
And I know for certain, that certainty blocks connection.
When we’re certain we’re not open. It’s not relational.
And all relationships are innately generative. When we are not curious and open, we make it so the relationship can no longer generate meaning and expansion for us. The relationship begins to die because it is not being nurtured by two beings looking at the relationship as a place that contributes to their growth and perspective.
We can extrapolate this to every area of life and every relationship we have… from intimate relationships to the way our human systems move and organize.
We live in times where people are more afraid than they’ve ever been, and yet they are SO SURE of their position. That it is the right one. That it’s what a good person would do, and how a good person would see things.
This hierarchy also blocks connection, because it prevents humans from seeing eye to eye. In romantic relationships this is contempt, and contempt is poison to relationships.
And yet, we can find our way out of this. Not only can we, but we must. Our relationships depend on it. And, I would argue that the evolutionary leap that our consciousness is desperately asking for requires that we embrace curiosity and openness as values that course through our veins, our relationships, and society.
It begins with us seeing where we are closed, where we are righteous and indignant, and where we can invite more openness in others. It requires that we move towards the perspectives we push away so we can put ourselves in uncomfortable ideological situations. It really demands that we sit in rooms with people we don’t agree with and foster relationships with diverse thoughts. Something to think about.