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Me and you

Me and you. My back is against the wall. I feel the cold, the hard surface and the fear. There’s nowhere else to go, nowhere else to escape. The adrenaline kicks in and prepares my body for battle. “Fight or flight,” I hear in my head. I look down, I see the remnants of the past on the ground. My past – a circle that has room for me and then some.

Your eyes – they look at me. There’s something animal about them. Your past also lies at your feet. But you have the whole room in front of you, you i just have my wall. I see fear or aggression. In this case, maybe everything merges and is one. It’s name doesn’t really matter. Me and you…

My past with your past – a circle of two arcs that intersect. I once had the feeling that we are one, there is no past and no future, only the present. Me and you….

You’re looking at me. You say you feel backed against the wall and you have no choice. “Fight or flight.” Adrenaline enters your body full force. You don’t see the whole world behind you. Just like me…

I understand. Now the two circles are slowly offset in the center of the room. Now we are together, you and I – with the places we came from, looking forward together, but not taking our eyes off each other. We are here and now. I can see you, I know you can see me. We don’t look at each other – we see each other.

I can see that your back is a little tense and tired. It’d been up against the wall too long. I can feel mine, too, still bristling and bruised from the surface. For us, the place is all about those two arcs of intersecting circles. There we meet.

Can we step together? Is there room for 4 legs? Maybe there is a room for only two legs? How can we find stability? Me and you, each stepping with only one foot? Or you, with your two legs and two outstretched arms, on which I just hang? If you let go I fall. If I let go I fall.

Partnership is often a similar metaphor. The places we come from participate in shaping who we are. We meet, young and in love. Falling in love has no age, it’s that magical place where we are always young, invigorated and full of energy. But there is a time limit, science has measured that this magic, euphoria or whatever word you have, lasts up to 24 months. What happens then? We realize that we have limitations. Me and you.

However, we are often met with our expectations and confronted with limitations – our own and the other person’s. Then two fine lines form on the ground and draw a circle. This is me and all I come to our meeting with.

When I feel I’m up against the wall it’s hard to be nice and kind. I’m just defending myself. When you’re up against the wall it’s hard to be kind and understanding. You are fighting for your life. Hormones pour into us and pound on our bruised surfaces. The conflict is on the face. Powerlessness, resentment, anger, impasse, sadness. Love gets trapped along with acceptance.

Thus we come to one of the pioneers of Gestalt therapy, Fritz Perls:

I am me. And you are you.

I do my thing and you do your thing.

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,

And you are not in this world to live up to mine.

You are you, and I am I

and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.

If not, it can’t be helped.”

Fritz Perls (1893-1970)

It’s so hard to let the other be. The paradox is that by letting go of the other, we let go of ourselves, but it’s so hard. Clinging to the other makes us vulnerable, not secure. Love is in the touch, insecurity in the possession.

I am me. And you are you.

If we meet, it would be really wonderful.

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