‘Wonder is a beautiful style of perception; when you wonder at something, your mind voyages deep into its possibility and nature. You linger among its presences.’*
We’ll never be whole if what we mean by wholeness is to be complete.
But if wholeness is about knowing ourselves and bringing all that we are into the present moment then we’ll be more than enough. When we’re able to stop reacting to the world beyond ourselves and, instead, begin to respond, we know we’re enough and we are living out of our wholeness. When we begin to initiate and create, we’re understanding wholeness is a generative state, and we are more than enough.**
‘Wholeness (head,heart, and body, all present and positive) can see and call forth wholeness in others.’^
In the last few days, someone I’d not seen in thirty years spotted me on social media and reconnected. Remembering painful experiences in work for me back then, they hoped I hadn’t been scarred for life. Put another way, we understand, in extreme situations, people can be imprisoned by the past and are unable to live in the present and conceive of a hopeful future.
I assured them, these memories are important to me in a positive way.
More than that, they’ve shaped what it is I must do and helped me to move in the direction of doing all the things I must do. Bad experiences can lead to us closing down to others, but opening to others leads to wholeness, and wholeness makes it possible for us to embrace the other, not to worry about differences but to enjoy them. None of us are born as little versions of who we are and we simply get bigger and older. We are who we are through our interaction and connectedness with all that is around us:
‘The intrinsic self is not a genetically programmed entry that simply unfolds with time … . It is instead a set of potentials, interests, and capabilities that interact with the world, each affecting the other.’^^
Some live out this interacting and connectedness in amazing ways. I know a civil servant who’s taken off to Colombia to find out how climate change is affecting people there, improving her Spanish along the way, and hiring motorbikes to get to otherwise not easy to access places.
All of us, though, can learn to do this more and more – a day is a helpful unit to work with. Wholeness can be grown day by day and we can become more than enough.
(*From John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes.)
(**Brené Brown uses this phrase in Daring Greatly. It connects with what Nassim Taleb is exploring when he writes about antifragility.)
(^From Richard Rohr’s The Naked Now.)
(^^From Edward Deci’s Why We Do What We Do. David Shenk’s The Genius in All of Us is another good read when it comes to the importance of this interaction.)