Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Identity and relationships

"Women are in relationship with others for the sake of the relationship, not as a means to something else. These interpersonal relationships elicit autonomous satisfaction, giving a woman a better sense of her individual identity. By simultaneously merging autonomy and connectedness, women demonstrate a symbiotic process in their psychological lives." --Ruthellen Josselson

This idea is something that I love about women. We hold deep within ourselves a deep need to relate to others for relating's sake. It is important to our souls that we connect with others. This is a beautiful need that we have, that God placed in us for a purpose. Granted, we all mess with that vulnerability in ourselves and others. It is uncomforatable to need something from someone else and not be able to control the results of asking for it to be filled. This is the place where risk and vulnerablity are the most beautiful to me. We say, I need you because I need you, that's all.

This is the place where I ask for God's grace the most because I am scared of what happens when you ask for a relationship and instead of finding mutuality, you find rejection. However, I am resolutely convinced that the risk is worth the reward. That this gift, this powerfully vulnerable and needy gift is holy. What is worth having without risk? We know who we are in the face of crisis when it does or does not work out the wa we pictured in our mind's eye. We know who we are becoming, either way. This mirror called relationships is what is necessary to help us become who God intends for us to be and it helps us know when we are too off the mark from that goal.

I love who I am becoming and I am thankful for those in my life who are in relationships with me for the sake of the relationship. You are a gift!

1 comment:

  1. Jessica,

    You have a sneaky profile picture. Ha. I'm glad you are blogging. Blogging with friends is the best.

    All of this reminds me of ubuntu. And how I am because we are. And how beautiful, and how necessary and how kind of scary. But, you are right. It IS worth the risk. And we have to keep reminding each other that when all the rest of the world would seem to say otherwise. Which, kind of unrelatedly reminds me of something my favorite poet, Mary Oliver, said, "One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice."

    I'm glad I have you in my life.