Thursday, January 19, 2012

Late Night Conversations™: Letting Go

[edited slightly to be more readable]

Not Me:
Coincidentally, this is one of the reasons I've always been shy about the idea of pushing boundaries, pushing limits. I should think the best environment for letting go is one that is at all levels completely safe and comfortable, where you can know without question, or hesitation, where you can really feel that you won't ever be put in a place where you don't want to be, so you can surrender that need to protect yourself more comfortably. Do you have thoughts about that?

I think that the idea you describe is partly (partly, mind you) an illusion. No matter how well-meaning others are, and no matter how much they love you, they will sometimes push you too far, or in the wrong direction, or say something wrong. In that sense, there is no such thing as a completely safe environment. I have said things which unintentionally set you off before, but you feel no less safe with me.

The point being that safety is not really about being safe. Surrendering that need to protect yourself comes when you feel comfortable enough with your ability to communicate your needs. Because the whole point of lowering those barriers isn't that there is some guarantee you won't be hurt. It's the slow (as slow as it needs to be) process of realizing that hurt happens and what's important is that we are with people who listen to us when we say "hey, that hurt," people who will respond to our needs, try to help us and help themselves.

So I guess what I'm saying is that yes, in part one should of course do one's best to safeguard the environment in which one does this sort of work. But there is a cliff of uncertainty no matter what, and I posit that instead of only coming up to the edge and stopping and remaining completely safe, one should, when one is ready, bungee jump. Because that is how we grow.

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