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.
that’s the gestalt prayer, a 56-word paragraph summarizing the fundamentals of gestalt psychology.
pretty chilling, right?
- no one’s here to fulfill your expectations
- you might not even meet the people you want to
- the friendship might fail
- you’re free from others’ expectations
- if or when you meet, it’ll be more impressive
- the friendship could work out
the beauty of following the prayer comes from its background. you’re fully realized at the outset and from there you make a conscious choice to be with others. these genuine, sincere interactions emerge from fullness, not need or lack.
remember graphing coordinates in math class? if you think of x and y as time and space and the dots as people, then the graph becomes an example of social interaction. but unlike horrible math, where two points occupying the same space implied a mistake, in this case it’s exciting. or at least a learning experience. but not a binding one. each dot stays in the coordinate, sharing space but retaining its identity.
here are some reminders if this self-autonomy philosophy sounds more devastating than liberating.
- think about your obligations and the “ok, fine,” resignation they provoke. do you want an interaction based on that feeling?
- following your fulfillment shapes you into a more developed person. since like attracts like, you’ll find receptive folks.
- it’s an expansive world-view, where "good" and "bad" alike are held lightly