- TWIL (This Week I Learned)
This week I learned about “Yes, and…”.
I had a week where I had the privilege of supporting someone through a breakthrough. Since we’re not living in a simulation and this is real life, it was super messy at times but also beautiful.
Nearly every morning I also had the chance to do my morning pages, and I kept noticing that they were full of the word “Blessing” and not at any time did I feel saccharine. It was just true.
My life was incredibly messy (at times precarious) and beautiful. Blessed.
How? I think in large part it had to do with “Yes, and…”
“You do not think yourself into a new way of living as much as you live your way into a new way of thinking.”
“Good powerlessness (because there is also a bad powerlessness) allows you to “fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). You stop holding yourself up, so you can be held. There, wonderfully, you are not in control and only God needs to be right. That is always the very special space of any positive powerlessness and vulnerability, but it is admittedly rare.
Faith can only happen in this very special threshold space. You don’t really do faith, it happens to you when you give up control and all the steering of your ship. Frankly, we often do it when we have no other choice. Faith hardly ever happens when we rush to judgment or seek too-quick resolution of anything. Thus you see why faith will invariably be a minority and suspect position. And you also see why the saints always said that faith is a gift. You fall into it more than ever fully choosing it, and only then do you know how grace, love, and God can sustain you and strengthen you at very deep levels.”
Faith is not, first of all, for overcoming obstacles; it is for experiencing them—all the way through! +Adapted from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, pp. 153–154.”
“Christianity is a lifestyle—a way of being in the world that is simple, nonviolent, shared, and loving. However, we made it into an established religion (and all that goes with that) and avoided the lifestyle change itself. We could be warlike, greedy, racist, selfish, and vain throughout most of Christian history and still believe that Jesus is our personal Lord and Savior or continue, in good standing, to receive the sacraments. The world has no time for such silliness anymore. The suffering on earth is too great.”
I am not an improvisational comedian :)
but and I really think in some parallel universe maybe I am? I am pretty obsessed with how improv comedy — one key is the “Yes, and…”
Whatever the other actor says you accept and build on.
I think I did this over the week with my morning pages — unintentionally, but there was a lovely effect.
Several quite stressful situations were in place and, I noticed, nothing truly “bad” actually happened — and lots of relationship deepening happened, as well as character growth and, yeah, a deepening of faith.
So, I thought, why not try it as an exercise? The idea is Yes, this pretty gnarly thing is true AND this pretty amazing thing is also true.
I want to be careful because it is close to silver lining but I assure you it is not that. You fully acknowledge and accept the yucky stuff — the next bit, the part where you realize that yes, actually, you do have enough food to eat, you are breathing, etc, flows from that first acknowledgement.
(Message me if you think I could explain this better! Doing my best and I think it’s worth it.)
Well, yes :)
Try this week to Yes, and… a few situations that you might normally “Yes, but…” or “No” :)
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
This is a fun game that we used to play when the kids were little — just in case it lands for anyone.
It’s simple: You take a spiral notebook and the first person starts with a sentence. The next person simply adds to that sentence and you pass back and forth (or around a circle if there are more than two) until you have a “story” I honestly think it’s one of the gems of relationship building because built in to the mix is not only lots of fun, but skill in staying together and building conflict…and resolving conflict.
Otherwise, it’s over fast — in which case you start again, if you’d like.
And yes — it’s just as much (maybe more?) fun as a drawing game.