Love Letters to Humans (no. 52) — Both+And

Relational joy practice: Both+And

The decision to regard and cherish complexity—to hold without judgment that multiple things can be true inside us at the same time—and to create possibilities for joyful connection from the apparent mess.

The practice of both+and lies in acknowledging what is true, asking the question “What now?”, listening for the possibilities available to us, and making decisions that serve us and our vision for the world we desire to live in.

Both+and is not for the faint of heart. It requires courage, capacity, and faith that there is more available to us than we recognize in this moment. It requires us to suspend judgment and open ourselves to a future that is different than the reality we currently inhabit. Both+and reveals the possibility of making a different choice than our habitual relational fuckery of either/or… and making a different choice after a lifetime of familiar choices can be scary.

Some of the ways both+and can show up in our most intimate relationships: I love you & I feel hurt by something you did • I want to spend time with you & I want to honor another commitment • I want to repair our relationship & I don’t know know how yet • I want to talk with you about something important to me & I feel very angry in this moment • I want [abc] & you want [xyz] • I want to trust myself & I carry a history of trauma/abuse • I expected [abc] to happen & [xyz] actually happened • I have gratitude & I have grief • I care about you & I have reached or exceeded my capacity for giving [time, attention, money, information, etc.] • I love you and enjoy your company & how you treat me does not meet my requirements for continuing to share this level of intimacy • I want to be understood & I fear saying what is true for me • I recognize your innate worthiness of love & I love myself without compromise

More than one thing can be true at the same time.

*** What now? ***


Relationship is. Right relationship nourishes.

If you want to dive deeper into your practice of right relationship in your life and your leadership this year, let’s talk. I have space for 1:1, couples/partners, and small team coaching (and I love it).