Reverend SOS

Giving oneself, taking care of oneself, letting oneself be taken care of and respecting others

Dr. Carlos Chiclana reflects on four relational actions: you with yourself, you with the other, the other with you and the other with himself. He affirms that one's own freedom increases when one enters into a relationship with the other. 

Carlos Chiclana-March 29, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes

"Your freedom ends where mine begins". Do you agree with this statement? I don't, although it might be useful in litigation. We can transform it if we consider the personal growth and development that occurs when you transcend your self, go out to meet another person, enter into yourself and let it affect and transform you. Your freedom becomes more freedom if you enter into relationship with the other and let it affect you with all the good and bad.

When, with empathy, you allow the other person to get inside you, touch your heart, connect with that part of you that feels the same, and activate that particular sensitivity - be it with pleasure and attraction, or with disgust, repulsion and rejection - you allow them to question your freedom: you have to make a move. It is you who must respond and you are being asked if you recognize that the other is worth in itself, if you value that the experience of the other deserves to be understood, welcomed, validated. 

For your freedom to grow, to become freer, more authentic and more yours, in addition to letting yourself be affected and "suffer the other", it is necessary to elaborate a response, and not only a reaction, to this vital proposal. A response that chooses a balance between what is good in itself, what is good for me, what is good for the other and what is good for the relationship. My freedom increases thanks to your freedom. 

Yes, by affecting you, it generates emotions, thoughts, feelings and questions you. A spontaneous and involuntary reaction of attraction and affection or of rejection and disaffection arises, which asks to be regulated by you in order to elaborate an adapted response. You can choose what is good for you and for the other, become more yourself, relate to other parts of yourself and, at the same time, transcend. Make yourself and the relationship. 

It is necessary that, if you are eager to transcend and be attentive to others and serve them - typical manias and habits of priests - you should also seek a balance between giving yourself and taking care of yourself, so as not to wear yourself out or remain in the red. To give yourself you need to possess yourself, to go out you need to be inside. In every action you carry out, you can consider these four relationships: you with yourself, you with the other, the other with you and the other with himself. In this way you distribute "relational forces", according to each specific situation and relationship, and specify the way to give and take care of yourself. From this will emerge a reciprocity that can be concretized in:

1.- You act on others: you give yourself, you are solicitous and available; you relate with gratuity; you interact with the different; you unconditionally welcome the other; you look away from yourself and give thanks.

You take care of yourself: you set limits, you say no or yes in a proportionate way; you value what you give and you are satisfied with it; you do not need someone else exclusively and you do not depend absolutely on someone else.

3.- You make it easier to be attended to: ask for help, let yourself be helped and served in a proportionate way, receive from others; open yourself to the action of the other; accept some questions that they suggest; let them be grateful to you; value what you receive and make it easier for otherness to form, conform and transform you.

4.- You let the other person have their space, make their own decisions and take responsibility for their life and happiness: you do not invade or protect unnecessarily, you respect and let them act according to their own criteria; you do not take responsibility for matters that do not correspond to you and you do not homologate reality to your criteria.

In this way you don't have to contrast giving yourself with taking care of yourself, but you can choose I give myself and I take care of myself. My freedom is enriched when it meets yours. 

You allow yourself to be put in crisis by the other, in disposition to change, in movement, because you are "forced by yourself" to give a reason for your behavior with the other and challenged to define your own identity. Therefore, you will glimpse the mystery, which is much more than what appears attractive or repulsive, as physical good or bad, as psychologically or morally pleasing.

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