Tag Archives: human condition

Competing Forces: Centripetal In Here and Centrifugal Out There

There are two competing forces exerting pressure on me these days. Maybe you feel them, too.

Centripetal: Inward Toward Unity

Here’s a list of things in my life that tell me it’s possible — desirable! — to bring opposites together, to transcend beyond the duality of opposites.

competing forces in 2020
  • Yoga, which means the yoking of opposites. Such as inhale/exhale, inner/outer, masculine/feminine, upper/lower, right/left, front/back, root/rise, effort/ease, contraction/expansion.
    • I want to be both strong AND flexible, not one at the expense of the other.
  • DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, is a “philosophical dialectical process of hypothesis and antithesis, followed by synthesis.” Through metacognition (mindfulness), I expand my thinking/believing/feeling to cover both poles, both opposites. Being able to do so can make me feel more whole.
    • I aim to love all parts of me, including the ugly ones I try to hide even from myself.
  • Open-hearted adoption. Over and over again I see that a BothAnd view serves all parties better than an Either/Or view, which splits the baby. The BothAnd concept goes not only for “real” parents, but also for the range of emotions anyone in an adoption has about adoption.
    • When I honor my children’s connections to their original family, it adds to my children without taking away from me. Also, I acknowledge that open-hearted adoption is really hard at times — as well as rewarding.
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Thoughts on 18

My Kid at 18

My eldest child turned 18 recently. It’s such a strange line, an arbitrary line, a legal line, between childhood and adulthood. Things change and things stay the same.

We held a party for our newly proclaimed adult, and of course my parents were part of it. My mom brought a present — for ME.

Me at 18

It was a poem I’d written on my own 18th birthday decades ago. Mom had framed and adorned it with a miniature version of my senior portrait.

It’s not the world’s best poetry (or prose, perhaps; not sure which I was going for), but it does give renewed insight into what it is like to be in the newborn days of being an adult.

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What Enlightened Self-Interest in Adoption Can Teach Us About Race Relations

Gosh, is it scary to talk about anything race related. But I’m going to zoom out and talk first about things that are power imbalance related, using adoption, political theory, and the enlightened self-interest of sharing cake.

chocolate cake & power imbalance

Power Shifts in Jim Gritter’s Hosting & Guesting Model

Jim Gritter, a pioneering social worker for open adoption, suggests in Hospitious Adoption (if you can’t find it to buy, try your library) that people in adoption relationships should take cues from the hospitality industry. Think about what makes a good guest. Think about what makes a good host. And then when you find yourself in one of those roles, take on the mindset of a good guest or a good host. (I submit this means to be able to imagine yourself in the place of the other and to then follow the Golden Rule.)

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