The Space Between Us

connect-20333_640.1Yesterday I read an online article in a well known newspaper of a conflict in a relationship that led to rather serious consequences. It brought again to mind the tragedy of a relationship where the one person is held captive in the expectations of the other.

Not only is such captivity a form of emotional control and imprisonment, but it robs the other of his or her inalienable right to the free unfolding of their own true identity. It raises again the crucial issue ย of the space between people in relationship being just as important as the needed closeness.

Rainer Maria Rilke has a beautiful way of describing this space. ย He says: “Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.”ย  You can’t put it better than that.


About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Identity, Letting go of Ego, Relationships, Spirituality, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to The Space Between Us

  1. Val Boyko says:

    Thank you Don. It makes me think of one of the most helpful re-framing questions we can ask in relationships. Instead of asking “What do I want from them?” Ask. “What do I want for them?”
    The first keeps you bound. The second offers loving distance.
    Val x


  2. For me, this is much easier to accept in theory than it is to actually put in practice. My name is Sheila, and I’m a codependent. I think I’ve tried more than 12 steps to overcome it. Small steps forward and big steps back!!
    Thanks for the reminder, though.


  3. nrhatch says:

    BFF live side by side and THRIVE!

    As an aside, the domestic violence program I ran in NJ was called: Side by Side.


  4. ladyfi says:

    That is beautiful!


  5. I so love this – you have no idea!
    Diana xo


  6. Rilke’s words ring true…and live on: “…loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.โ€ Beautiful post, Don.


  7. Pingback: Friday Pick 93 | talktodiana

  8. jmgoyder says:

    I love this and needed it tonight when I saw my estranged brother after a long time of misunderstanding – thank you. Oh yes and Diana sent me!


    • Don says:

      I’m so glad you found it helpful and I sincerely hope that you and your brother will find one another on a deeper level now. Strength and wisdom to you both.


  9. A simply-put yet thought provoking post. Thanks for sharing this. Rilke is one of my favourite writers. Love the way he encapsulates this theme so poignantly ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. Tremendously powerful, short message Don. Thanks to Diana Schwenk for pointing me towards you! I’ve forwarded this to my wife! ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. terrytrekker says:

    I like this! Thank you! Very profound!


  12. Yet another heart felt and deeply touching post Don. Thank you for sharing! Gina


  13. What a profound way of stating it — “the tragedy of a relationship where the one person is held captive in the expectations of the other.”

    Our expectations of ‘the other’ are limiting and debilitating — love how you express it and then use Rainer’s words to strengthen the truth.

    BTW — Diana sent me! ๐Ÿ™‚ so glad she did. I love finding aligned mindfulness on the path.


  14. Space, like silence, is to be intentionally created and valued. We can often nurture ourselves and others when we respect what is essential.


    • Don says:

      Yes, I’m with you on that Eric. A respect for the space of others is probably just as important for them as it is for us providing it. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚


  15. I want to thank you specifically for this post Don, it resonates deeply with me. Eric’s and your comments above are watering seeds of trust, faith and yes surrender in my soul garden….the clincher for me is Rilke’s words. I would like to use that quote in my own post today for they are nurturing new life. I truly and humbly thank you for your insight. Walk well today my friend.


  16. Pingback: Infinite Distance Yet Side by Side | Deep Souldiving

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