Change Our Story

Composer, author and philanthropist Peter Buffett on finding your own path to life fulfillment.

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Without You

7/24/2012 4:21:42 PM

Tags: Relationships, Self-Help

Peter Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is an Emmy Award-winning composer, NY Times best-selling author and noted philanthropist. Currently, he is releasing socially-conscious music and touring his "Concert & Conversation" series in support of his book Life Is What You Make It

holding hands

This is a song about relationships:

“Without You” by Peter Buffett

It's about the fact that when we find truth in ourselves, we find it reflected in everything around us. We can only have authenticity if we ourselves are authentic. We will only see love and vulnerability when we allow the same in ourselves. 

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. - Martin Luther King Jr. 

Let’s look no further than Rush Limbaugh. Rush is clearly hurting. His need to name call is such a clear reflection of someone that is wounded from the very same thing. This doesn’t make it okay. But it makes it possible to have compassion – even as you may feel intensely that he should never be heard from again. I don’t respect his opinion, but I have respect for how it was formed.  Rush has shown us who he is.

I believe that we form our first line of defense from the center of our deepest wounds. Then, I find that compassion can come naturally. Imagine a light saber burning with intensity being powered by personal trauma. This power can also be used positively; Eve Ensler’s phrase, “pain to power,” and her body of work, show that this power can be an incredible force for good. But most of us are too afraid of being hurt—of showing vulnerability. Massive walls get built to protect us from reliving the pain that was created so long ago.  And we play this out on many levels. People that are in positions of power end up hurting entire social, environmental, political and economic systems—public destruction that starts with personal pain.

When I was a kid, I remember my cousin telling me about how terrible the Soviet Union was. They were the enemy. My response was, “Don’t we need them so that we’re the good guys?” It seemed so obvious that the relationship was critical to keeping things in balance.

So, where to begin healing these wounds? With a new respect and understanding of what it means to be in relationships, with ourselves first, then with each other, and extending out to everything in the world around us. 

“And when I touch you I feel happy…. inside” - Lennon and McCartney 

Beyond just one of the five senses, touch runs deeper. Being in touch with our inner selves means being connected to what makes us feel, and feel things in others. When you’re “touched” the feeling starts in the heart. And it allows—maybe for just a moment—vulnerability. Which is the key and necessary ingredient to being in open, honest relationship. Once it’s clear that being vulnerable is a courageous act. It allows for interaction in empathic ways that neutralize artificial boundaries created out of fear. “Us and them” melts away.
 
“I wouldn’t be without you
nothing to see without you”
 

“Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.” - Margaret Wheatley  

Visit www.peterbuffett.com and Change Our Story to learn more. 

Image courtesy of josie lynn richards, licensed under Creative Commons. 

 

 



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Post a comment below.

 

KEN MELVILLE
7/25/2012 8:22:33 PM
People wondered why Hillary Clinton crying in New Hampshire turned the polls around overnight. Was it because she showed weakness and people felt sorry for her? Just the opposite. It showed the power to be vulnerable, which people instinctively sensed is an awesome power, a supreme confidence the electorate felt it could bank on. Letting your defenses down, showing the real pain of life we all carry around, this is a critical step to healing and establishing real connection to others. There is none of this in the current ugly political dynamic of harangue and taunt and bloviation. Is it any wonder the public's instinctive trust level of their leaders is at an all-time low? Where there is no vulnerability, there is no humanity.

Keith Thompson
7/25/2012 5:15:58 PM
You have made a beautiful expression of how to follow the path away from disappointment and resentment, to move forward toward the ultimate inward realization of our greater human purpose, which is to give personal thanks and to have a daily, ongoing, deep and abiding gratitude, for the simple gift of your life. The depth of your understanding is realized when the beauty of your love is directed toward our fellow travelers in this frame of space/time and away from your own suffering. We are each tossed, bruised and torn by our experience of the common human condition. What sets apart those who are awakened from those who continue to wallow in their own self-pity is, your empathy and your realization of our shared participation in the pain and suffering of others. Our culture teaches us that suffering and hardship have to be battled in the same way as one would fight a war. And, those who are lost wandering in the pain of life’s bad luck have lost that battle and are forever banished from the pleasures of a simple life. The eternal external battle of “good versus evil,” has many casualties. The accumulated guilt and shame are but a cloak which, can be taken off, at any time and discarded. For this holy war and the competition of our society is external, a mere trapping of our modern culture; and, an impediment which separates us from our own beautiful selves. We each fight a personal battle against our fears, our desires and the consequences of the expression of our ego. But, behind the individual personal struggle lies a higher consciousness and ability to accept a personal realization of the timeless wonder and beauty of this gift of life. Or, as Joseph Campbell said: “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” Joyfully participate in the sorrows of your life, for it may be your only chance, in this eternity of space/time, to transcend to the ultimate unity of shared love and our shared joy of being allowed to exist as mere droplets in the ocean of this interconnected universe. Mystical K

David Lunbeck
7/25/2012 3:47:17 PM
Some one once told me that what we see in others is a reflection of ourselves. That has kept me wondering for years . If isee something I don't like in some one does that mean I have that quaility and I am just projecting onto the other person ? . What if Isee only negative things in the people around me does that mean I am a negative person ? . Later in life I found that the source of my happiness is within me and I can not rely on others to provide me with happiness. The mirror of relationships however I need or I would not have anything to compare my self with ? I am still wondering about that . .....



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