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  • Fe Robinson

We only exist in relationship

I’m currently reading the beautiful book Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli. It’s quite a read, exploring the current thinking around quantum physics, and its implications for how we understand ourselves and the world.


Quanta are a strange phenomenon, and not one I am going to try and explain. What I did want to reflect on is the insight that we exist in relationship, and only in relationship. What we are arises in relationship to what everyone and everything else is. It is not realistic any longer to think of ourselves as fixed, separate entities operating independently of our contexts.


Relationship is the stuff that experience is. It is the medium through which we exist and evolve. This is true at a cellular level as much as it is true for us as self-experiencing human beings. Wow, that is quite a statement, and yet, it is also deeply familiar. Meditating for example on where I end and the air I breathe begins, or when my food becomes ‘me,’ or what ‘me’ even is in the context of so many non-human cells in my body leads naturally to the idea that I am relationship in every sense.


For me this way of thinking is empowering. Change is continual, much is possible, and we do not need to limit ourselves to imagining that all will stay the same. At the same time, it can be daunting to realise that we are not quite what we imagined we were, and that the control we perceive we exert may not be as we thought.


I used to think in psychotherapy the therapist’s role is to provide a looking glass, a mirror in which clients can see themselves more clearly. I now know that the observer really does change the system, it can be no other way. We, in relationship, develop new insight about the way things are, right here, right now, based on our current experiencing of the past and the future. Of course, in each new moment possibilities change and new information comes to light, nothing is ever still. We hope that the stream of insight and experiencing is one that moves in the direction of peace and healing, after all, that is what people come into psychotherapy for.


If you’d like a therapeutic experience curious about your lived experience and open to enabling you to explore many possibilities, get in touch.




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