But sometimes, this giving and taking gets terribly out of balance. Systems don’t like that! They can sustain it for a while (like during a crisis), but eventually, a balance in the giving and taking wants to re-assert itself. It’s why so many communities like New York City and New Orleans, which have experienced hurricanes, have been ready to give to Houston – it’s a way to balance giving and taking, and it feels good.
This is the same balance that serves solid partnerships, whether in business or in romance. It is in service to reciprocity, dignity, and the reality that at times, all of us are strong, and all of us are weak.
A few weeks ago, I introduced my video series on the Orders of Love. Today we continue with a discussion on the Balance of Giving & Taking. Here is the intro I wrote for that series a few weeks ago:
All systems have patterns they “prefer.” Without those patterns, systems become unhealthy for the participants, and unsustainable in the long run.
Bert Hellinger, the founder of Family Constellations, called these patterns “Orders of Love.” (If for any reason you don’t like “orders” – a very German word! – then “patterns” or “rhythms” work fine, too.) Hellinger observed families, in particular, and over time noticed that there were a few basic ways families, at an unconscious level, “liked” to be organized. When those didn’t get maintained somehow, there was dysfunction.
When we meet a family or other system that isn’t working well, we can use Hellinger’s categories (“orders”) to inquire into what is going on – how, specifically, is the distress being maintained? And, these orders can hold the key to healing.
Hellinger noticed a number of specific patterns. Some of them are:
- Honoring & Including “What Is”
- Respecting Belonging
- Respecting Seniority, Role & Contribution
- Respecting the Balance of Giving & Taking
- Addressing Wrongs (without Revenge)
Today, I continue with the third order: Respecting Seniority, Role & Contribution. It leads us to ask, “How do we keep groups of people and organizations healthy?” (If you missed the first two, you can still see my videos on Honoring & Including ‘What Is’, Belonging, Seniority, part one and Seniority, part two.)
If you enjoy these videos, please consider some upcoming offerings that will go much more deeply into this work: a constellations workshop in Mt. Shasta, California this weekend, my constellations training that starts next week, or a Nature Constellations workshop toward the end of the month.
And, it will be yummy and useful for all of us who want to enjoy all the ways we gather as humans in community.
We all grow when we share our stories. And, I am really supported when people who connect with my writing share it so that others can see it. If you have a response, to please share it on my blog, below. Thank you!