making the gestalt prayer work for 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.

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

conversely

  • 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