“More grass means less forest; more forest less grass. But either-or is a construction more deeply woven into our culture than into nature, where even antagonists depend on one another and the liveliest places are the edges, the in-betweens or both-ands..... Relations are what matter most.”
― Michael Pollan
A friend of mine was telling me the other day how beautiful and deeply healing Hoh Rainforest in Washington was to her. We were in a car driving down the Central Expressway. It occurred to me that if all were rainforest it wouldn't be so wondrous and healing. I felt truly grateful to live here and made a mental commitment to visit Hoh someday. Diversity is the key to harmony. The more the eyes can see the broader the mind and the greater appreciation we have for the unfamiliar, unseen, and unknown. Experiences shape and influence themselves. We're the sum total of our experiences, and greater than them.
The less experience we have the more we expect from it and vice versa. This is a key understanding of psychological maturity. The imposed limitation on diversity can minimize the exposure to risks. Having familiar faces, places, and regular routines are essential to nurturing children. Once mature they can find their ways in the great unknown and build security in diverse conditions and relationships. Adults don't need other adults to shield and protect them like children do. I've yet seen men telling their partners what to do in a yoga class. I have seen women instructed their partners as I was teaching. Why do we need to control someone else's experiences?
Expectation is a killjoy. It is rooted in insecurity and limits the imagination and creativity. By exposing ourselves to diverse conditions, people, and activities we come to expect less from any of them. Neediness is the least appealing quality in a mature relationship as it reeks expectations and vice versa. A relationship can either expand and heal or contract and harm. I'm blessed to have a mature adult partner who is neither needy nor detached. When we no longer need to control each other we can live in pure attraction. The greatest healing power lies in the contrast, the opposition, the yin and yang. I intend to visit more places, connect with more people, create more things, and learn more subjects to celebrate our vast, wondrous, and diverse nature.