Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Matter of Focus

It appears to me to be a question of focus. Focus on you, or on me, or on “us.” I think (at this juncture) that those are the defining elements of any relationship. Where are you focused? Where am I focused? No other question is as critical to the definition of any association of parties. And, this world all around me makes me keenly aware of the results of unharmonious focus. Where you and I are both focused on you… we get along just fine… harmony… agreement. Where you and I agree to focus on me, we, again, have no conflict… hence harmony. (Sounds a bit like the “courtship game”… does it not?)

Where two have opted to demand focus on and prioritize different elements of their relationship (to the exclusion or minimalizing of those of their mate‘s), they… can (at their option)… be as destined to running aground, or crashing on life’s rocks as any ship being navigated by two separate navigators charting separate courses. This is, all too often, dealt with by living lives of “confrontation avoidance” that sail inefficiently around potential dissention hazards in a course that leads nowhere. Or… they …can (again, at their option)… accommodate those individual sets of priorities in the charting of a course of living that compliments both sets of intentions. All is well (but limited in comforts, possibilities, and pleasures) while we each maintain responsibility for the safe passage of our individual little one-person life-craft. But in choosing to unite our abilities and seek out deeper life-waters by launching a joint endeavor known as “Us”, we then choose to share in the navigational responsibilities of that larger vessel of a Relation-ship that we commit our mutual best hopes to.

It seems to me to be just that simple. Yet how complicated when considering the matter in our daily walk. So many voices urging us from so many divergent pulpits all declaring the righteousness of their ideology. How many books and television shows are making a healthy income from individuals selling their particular formula for satisfaction of this desire for a rewarding relationship? And we find ourselves just “trying to be happy” in our simplistic naiveté and desire to experience a life of serene harmony (that we are hard-pressed to find demonstrated by any living soul in our personal world of awareness.)

I live with an insight painted across the canvass of my awareness. An illumination that is, by no means, a new revelation. A reminder of long known truth. And a sometimes-unpleasant reality. I am reminded (by the Author of all truth) of my role in the myriad relationships of my life (it is called “personal responsibility”)… youth to present… business relationships; religious relationships; community relationships; and yes (the most disappointing of all) personal relationships. My present states of personal aloneness; strained economic status; religious separateness; and social isolation will give ample testimony to my success in all of the aforementioned. Hence I can speak, with some degree of authority, on the subject of divergent focus in a relationship… of any kind. Yet, My Dear Friend, please be aware… these are all the result of my own conscious and willful election. I have chosen to Be… to physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually Be that person that was specifically created to be who I am, with my focus where it is… as my own responsible and intentional determination. (But that knowledge does little to mitigate the occasional pain of solitary confinement… even though it is by choice.)

So, Dear One, I am telling you from a place of living truth… please be mindful of where your focus, in your life, is. I promise you that there are inescapable consequences to your election of focus. Pay heed to the focus of that organization with which you are affiliated. If it is your intent to remain with that group… ask yourself “Do we share the same focus?” Then determine, from that insight, what the likelihood of long-term harmony is for you there. And (yes… I know that your mind has already raced to the following applications ahead of my ability to type the words… but here it is) apply that same test to all of those people, places, and things that you are entertaining hopes or aspirations of being part of today… and in your tomorrows… and permit yourself the healthy and constructive examination of focus comparisons.

And… (I ask that you pay particular note here)… because there are social, familial, and economic imperatives that sometimes require our participation with those with whom we have divergent focuses on life matters… please mitigate the potential damage done to your spirit by these occasional associations with the implementation of some (or even one) providing positive and reinforcing support. Balance the damage with pleasures… the tears with laughter… strained and difficult relationships with those of acceptance, accommodation, and comfort.

Though I know that all of this can seem vague and somewhat generalized to the point of scattered… I also know that there are some for whom this perspective is exactly where they are in readiness… at this very moment. For you (if you are one of these), I offer this encouragement. If you are one for whom these considerations seem somewhat abstract and foggy, I offer this seed for your planting until such time as your life is ready to utilize its germination.

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