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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %TEACH LEARN OBSERVE STRUCTURE HEALTH INTIMATE 900210 Each generation needs to teach/observe/learn the structure of healthy intimate relationships. Because of the ways in which collusions, addictions and networks of codependent relationships function, it is not always clear what is the structure of healthy intimate relationships. It is possible for dis-eased relationships to appear to be healthy, desirable, respectable and worthy of support. It is possible for healthy relationships to appear to be improper and not worthy of respect and support. Examples of these facts are present in daily life for all who will to observe and note the structure of how we do/don't recognize the structure of healthy and dis- eased relationships. Because of the structure of collusions, addictions and networks of codependent relationships, it is not always safe to overtly comment on the structure of actual dis-eased and actual unhealthy intimate relationships; or of those which pass as such. Perceptive commentary may violate the dishonest conventions of powerful people, and so such commentary may need to be framed in meta- perceptive ways which reveal the essence of disintegrative relationships, without launching a direct attack/threat upon the persons who are insecure and powerful; and who might move to squash such honest insights. Many insights may be gained in intimate healthy relationships which are of such a character that many powerful people will not respect them. Being too explicit about the context within which the insights occurred may undermine the possibility of communicating the insights to those who most need to understand them. In such instances it may be helpful to extract from the situations/insights, abstract integrative principles which are worthy of respect on their own, and are likely to promote both personal and communal integrity. It need not be made obvious where the insights came from; and it may threaten the insecure, defensive and powerful people to make it unnecessarily obvious where they came from. As we approach the possibilities of becoming intimate with another person we need to ask questions and make prudent judgments: 1. What are our motivations? Is either of us looking for a complimentary "other" to fix us in an addictive/codependent relationship? 2. How healthy and honest are our respective self esteems? Are we looking for a post to cling to or lean on? Are we hoping to gain respect by propping up a broken chimney? 3. How reliable to each other are we? Is there much promise but minimal performance? 4. Are we performing, acting-out to impress; or are we being authentically our own selves, and owning who we really are? 5. Can we together learn from our own and each other's mistakes; or are we always trying to pretend that we are the victim of other's mistakes, failures, neglects, etc? 6. Does either of us take unfair advantage of the other; or is our relationship naturally balanced and good natured? 7. Do we seek to resolve conflicts which do exist between us, our values, our ideals, and our goals; or do we try to win out over each other? 8. Are we moving towards authentic openness and honesty; or are we developing more and more clever ways of misleading each other as to who and what we really are? 9. Are we trying to figure out who and what to be to impress each other; or are we trying to authentically get to know each other as we really are? 10. Are we more concerned with what "others" will think and do, than we are with our own integrity? 11. Are we trying to stake a claim to and to possess and control each other; or are we learning to know each other as free agents who like to spend time together with free will, and of free choice? 12. Can we, and do we take proper care of ourselves as competent persons; or do we look upon each other as filling a need in our unhealthy, unbalanced, dishonest needing and caring? 13. Is our relationship developing within and as a growing part of a healthy social context; or are we isolating ourselves from healthy social contexts in the process of developing our relationship? 14. Can we and do we discuss our relationship with other friends with respect and appropriate concern for privacy and confidentiality; or are we secretive with regard to, or make unfair use of our relationship in the presence of other friends? 15. Are we looking together towards future growth and change from the vantage point of what we have learned together in the past; or are we burying ourselves together in preoccupations with mistakes, fault, guilt, shame, regret, etc. which are clinging to the past? 16. Does our relationship work to help us be more imaginative, creative, productive, sensitive, responsive, responsible, reliable, etc.; or does it drain us of time and energy so that we are becoming less imaginative, creative, productive, sensitive, responsive, responsible, reliable, etc? 17. Does our relationship work because of who we are to and with each other; or because of the props, possessions, purchases, entertainment and misleading activities with which we indulge ourselves individually and together? 18. Where is our relationship headed; how is it changing, what are the long-term prospects for health, happiness and joy within the relationship? 19. Do we stay in this relationship because we can not conceive any other relationship; or because of the many possible healthy relationship, we choose to develop this relationship since it is particularly healthy, honest, creative and satisfying? 20. Within this relationship do we seek to be of service to others with prudent regard for maintaining our integrity and and prudent regard for keeping our relationship healthy; or are we either imprudently generous or selfishly stingy? 21. Are we safe within this relationship: can we trust each other with our lives, for that is what happens in all healthy intimate relationships; or are we playing dangerous games of mutual manipulation and coercion which are bound eventually to turn into extreme forms of psychological and physical violence? 22. Are we constantly on the defensive in ways which tell us that we are not really secure, that we are NOT really safe to be vulnerable; for such safety is the essence of security? Or, do we freely give each other the gift of a context where we are free to be vulnerable in real security? 23. Is our relationship likely to contribute to the increase of communal integrity and the integrity of other individuals? (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================