Dancer from the Dance

For me, every relationship - whether it's with one other person, a group of people (like a family or a team), a workplace, or even a World - is a system of mutual influence. When I have an experience of my self and of some "other" (whoever or whatever that other might be) as partners in a bidirectional system, I can see that I am a creator - actually, a co-creator - of every one of my relationships. I am a major part of the driving force that creates and recreates the relationship moment by moment. I realize that I impact on the direction of that creative force, whether I am mindful of this or not. I remember that -- in changing my own actions the larger system itself will change too, and not always in predictable ways. I remember that the "other" is also a creator, is also affecting and being affected by the larger interpersonal system

The simple truth is this: Each relationship is always changing. I'm changing it, the "other" is changing it, we change it together, and it changes itself in ways that seem to have little to do with either of us. When I'm in a relationship, then, there's really no "me" and "you" - there's only this dynamic entity called the relationship what we create and recreate together moment by moment. This idea is expressed Yeats' well-known couplet:

Oh body swayed to music, oh brightening glance,

How can we tell the dancer from the dance?

Relationships are dances. I have an impact on my partner, who has an impact on me: each of us changes, each is influenced by and exerts influence on the other; influence flows both ways, in a kind of a circle. As such, conventional "causes" and "effects" can never be determined: In a dance, everything is interconnected with everything else, and it's impossible to identify and beginning or an end of the chain of influence.

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