“The function of a leader within any institution: to provide that regulation through his or her non-anxious, self-defined presence.”
Edwin H Friedman
This morning, Thursday, October 11, 2018, I think of Edwin H. Friedman, God rest his soul. He took his psychiatric training, his Hebrew roots and offered, through writing to help us live. To really live.
I never met him, and yet, when life crunches, when I fall to the horrible temptation that it will always get better before it worsens, when I’m not sure tomorrow will have fewer clouds, when I’m tossed and turn by the next Michael, if I stop. I mean really stop. Really, really stop.
And read Dr. Friedman’s quote above, I am the better. Because, and there’s no year of my life when it hasn’t worked, I do whatever I can to become a non-anxious presence. That means in one factor, I am not sufficient unto myself to live most effectively. To become non-anxious requires self-differentiation. Self-differentiation that is founded upon the truth of who and whose I am.
Direct: I need God.
Direct: I need others in my life who are more willing to understand than judge.
I need to be a non-anxious presence who self-differentiates the light and not the shadows.
Sometimes that takes such colossal energy.
So. This morning. I read about Michael. I look at our national splintering, politically and economically, I consider churches I have served as their pastor and as their judicatory and sadness looms because so many of them are limping more than walking…and to dance like Zorba? Not likely.
I look at the storms and wonder where and/or Climate Change is a factor. I wonder why so many Native Americans in North Dakota will not be able to vote…or the hundreds of thousands in other states who have been removed from the voting rosters. I wonder about families beset with medical hurricanes.
So. Not wanting gloom to be the full picture and wanting new breath and life and hope to quit its atrophy cycle, I now stop writing, give thanks for Dr. Friedman and let non-anxiety have its day. Even more. Have its manner of living. I’m going to do my damndest to become better inside. So when I open my ears, when distress echoes in words and conditions of my friends, I don’t succumb to a non-response. Rather I’m very able to be non-anxious presence…especially for myself. Especially.