The Left Has an Enmeshment Problem

The Left Has an Enmeshment Problem

This was originally published August 18, 2021

The left has an enmeshment problem

Enmeshment is when we are so fused to another that we don’t know where they end and we begin.

This gives rise to a messy mix of behaviors that are aimed both at shaping ourselves to fit others and attempting to shape others to better fit us.

The alienation of capitalism has left us in a struggle to know what healthy connection even looks like.

We’ve come to think that sameness and conformity is safety.

To think that fusion is what will hold us together.

But it won’t.

Enmeshment is both shallow and volatile. It is incredibly easy to disrupt enmeshed relationships, and this fact inevitably ends up tearing apart our communities to the benefit of the ruling class.

The solution to enmeshment is differentiation.

Differentiation is the foundation of interdependent bonds.

Differentiation is when we know and hold ourselves so deeply that we can navigate closeness and separateness, sameness and difference with resiliency.

It is when we have a solid enough grasp on ourselves that we can accept another’s influence without compromising our integrity. And at the same time we have a solid enough grasp on ourselves that we can withstand the discomfort of difference.

Maintaining differentiation is a constant practice. It is a commitment we make to ourselves first and foremost to approach relationships and community with integrity.

It is not always fun. In fact it is often a challenge, either in putting down our pride to accept the influence of another or in confronting our fear of upsetting others when we stay steady in our boundaries and values.

Solidarity building must be rooted in differentiation.

Sustainable movements for our collective liberation begin first with that commitment to ourselves to maintain our integrity.

This commitment naturally flows into a commitment we make to create strong, healthy, and sustainable bonds with others.

The pursuit of these commitments is how we grow individually and collectively.

We grow together in our ability to hold tension and vulnerability at the same time.

The Left Has an Enmeshment Problem

This was originally published August 18, 2021

The left has an enmeshment problem

Enmeshment is when we are so fused to another that we don’t know where they end and we begin.

This gives rise to a messy mix of behaviors that are aimed both at shaping ourselves to fit others and attempting to shape others to better fit us.

The alienation of capitalism has left us in a struggle to know what healthy connection even looks like.

We’ve come to think that sameness and conformity is safety.

To think that fusion is what will hold us together.

But it won’t.

Enmeshment is both shallow and volatile. It is incredibly easy to disrupt enmeshed relationships, and this fact inevitably ends up tearing apart our communities to the benefit of the ruling class.

The solution to enmeshment is differentiation.

Differentiation is the foundation of interdependent bonds.

Differentiation is when we know and hold ourselves so deeply that we can navigate closeness and separateness, sameness and difference with resiliency.

It is when we have a solid enough grasp on ourselves that we can accept another’s influence without compromising our integrity. And at the same time we have a solid enough grasp on ourselves that we can withstand the discomfort of difference.

Maintaining differentiation is a constant practice. It is a commitment we make to ourselves first and foremost to approach relationships and community with integrity.

It is not always fun. In fact it is often a challenge, either in putting down our pride to accept the influence of another or in confronting our fear of upsetting others when we stay steady in our boundaries and values.

Solidarity building must be rooted in differentiation.

Sustainable movements for our collective liberation begin first with that commitment to ourselves to maintain our integrity.

This commitment naturally flows into a commitment we make to create strong, healthy, and sustainable bonds with others.

The pursuit of these commitments is how we grow individually and collectively.

We grow together in our ability to hold tension and vulnerability at the same time.

The greater our differentiation, the stronger our connections.The stronger our connections, the more formidable we become a  s a force for societal transformation.

About the Author

You may also like these