Love Letters to Humans (no. 61) — on Contempt

What if we stopped wanting for other people what they do not want for themselves, and gave that energy to building relationships with people who desire and celebrate what we have?

Those feelings of resentment, frustration, and bitterness that come with trying to help someone when they are committed to being where they are… those are the flowers of our contempt.

Contempt doesn’t always show up as disdain. Sometimes it looks like help, paternalism, or saviorism. It shows up sweet and ends up bitter.

Contempt is a disregard for what is so.

When people show us what they are firmly committed to and we insist that they change, we disregard their commitment—and the sustainability of our own energy.

When we insist that we are a better judge of someone else’s peace or integrity than they are, we disregard their sovereignty. When we insist that we cannot choose peace or integrity unless someone else changes, we disregard our own sovereignty.

Are you having the same infuriating conversation over and over—with yourself, someone else, or the world? Check for contempt growing roots and crowding out responsibility, creativity, consent, and sovereignty.

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What if we stopped chasing others to be different and started cultivating joy with folks who want to be in nourishing community with us? What could we create? How much more faith in ourselves and humanity could we access? What would that feel like?

Relationship is. Right relationship nourishes.