Two weeks have passed since I, Bonnie Sachs, finished the first online workshop of The Power of Partnership based on Riane Eisler’s book of the same name. Over seven weeks my colleagues and I explored partnership in the context of our relationships. Beginning with ourselves we moved outward through intimate relationships and into the larger world of work, community, national and international communities, nature and spirituality.
This is a vast territory to explore in a few weeks. Yet this group of individuals dared to think deeply and share from the heart, knowing, perhaps intuitively, that those of us gathered would listen attentively, respect all that was shared and hold it in confidence. This group of men and women from across the globe was for me a powerful example of good-heartedness in action.
Since the end of the workshop I’ve returned time and again to the idea of partnership carried into ever expanding circles of relationships. For me, this requires that I always attend to the partnership I have with myself. I have been a nurse for 40+ years and I know that if I don’t take care of myself I cannot care for anyone else. This is hard won knowledge because I was raised during the 1940’s and 1950’s when it was common for a woman to be socialized to think and care for others before thinking of her own needs. Over the years I’ve learned a different way of being in the world and caring for myself is one part of partnership with myself. This becomes the solid foundation from which I draw strength and comfort to participate in partnership relationships in all its forms in the larger world of my life.
I am approaching my 70th birthday actively engaged professionally and deeply embedded in many supportive, loving relationships with family and friends. I know I’m in an enviable place. I still have work to do that will be healing to others and myself. I also know that relationships have been my greatest teachers throughout my life and therefore relationships will be the way that I enable healing for others. Specifically I don’t know what this may look like, and, frankly, I don’t need to know. Great adventures lay ahead and my heart is filled with joy.