Choose Love Ministry Blog
As a spiritual counselor and minister, part of my job is to offer relationship advice. This week I thought I might share a bit about the relationship model I use that works with any kind of relationship you might have – child/parent, romantic, friendship, or even co-workers. Below is the image I use with my counseling model – it’s the CHOOSE LOVE TRIQUETRA. Each leaf on the triquetra is a skill for you to master, and the heart is the synergizing of those skills when you make the choice to use them in your relationships with equanimity.
The first leaf of the triquetra is highlighted in burgundy. This area is called WISDOM – specifically, wisdom of SELF.
This skill is first because it is the most important. Yes, for you to have healthy relationships with other people you must first have a healthy relationship with yourself. Know who you are. Know what you want. Know what you like. Know what you dislike. Know your own dreams and desires and wishes for your future. Know your fears and flaws. It sounds sounds so simple yet so few people have mastered this skill. Get to know yourself – flaws and all – then you will be ready to get to know someone else.
The teal leaf on the Choose Love Triquetra is the next skill to master for healthy relationships and is the skill of COMPASSION. This goes beyond kindness, though kindness is vital in being a healthy human being regardless of relationship. When creating loving, mature, win-win relationships, compassion takes a great deal of SELF RESPONSIBILITY.
Own your stuff. Take care of yourself. Follow your dreams. Understand that other people don’t “owe you” love, happiness, stability, or comfort. It’s a beautiful thing when others do something kind for you- cooking dinner, doing your laundry, covering for you at work so you can leave early – this is certainly done from compassion. You should also receive it compassionately with gratitude in knowing that they owed you nothing but did you a kindness.
True compassion comes from having zero expectations for what others will do for you and building the habits of self-sufficiency and reciprocity. You clean up your own messes and show sincere thankfulness for the things others do to help you out. It’s helping others, but not so much that you create co-dependency or prevent them from being self-responsible. It’s going after your dreams and passions and living a life you love so that you are a happy, healthy, whole person in the relationship.
The blue leaf on the Choose Love Triquetra is one of the hardest for us to do in romantic and parent/child relationships. This is the skill of FREEDOM. It is about you controlling the only person you can control – YOU. It’s about changing the only thing that is rightfully yours to change – YOU. It’s about letting others live their lives free from your judgement so long as they are not causing actual harm to you or others.
We are ALL born with FREE-WILL. Everyone. No one has more free-will than any other human being. We make agreements with one another to live in communities and establish rules to follow. But we are also free to vote for new rules and new leaders, or to move to a place aligned with our desires- at least we should be.
We also all have the right to set boundaries for the behavior we will accept from others and are free to remove ourselves from toxic relationships.
In relationships – your friend – your partner – your child – your parent, should feel FREE to be who they are and know that you will not reject them with conditional love. It is not your job or your right to control anyone else. It is your job to control you – your behavior, your thoughts, your judgements, and your happiness. You should also be free to be who you are and to follow your dreams and to express your truth. We all have the right to feel free.
The pink heart of the Choose Love Triquetra represents the synergy created when all three of the triquetra leaves are operating in equanimity. This is the natural state of being when you choose love over fear and conditional love. Relationships flow easily and joyfully.
The heart represents love, this is no mystery. Once you learn the three skills and synergize them with your habits and beliefs and behaviors, you will naturally be living in the flow of love. Unconditional love. This allows you to live in a state of equanimity -calm responses, thoughtful decisions, even tempered personality, a grateful attitude, peaceful mind, self-confident, composed, emotionally mature, and desiring only health and happiness for others.
IF you can learn and synergize these skills in to your very being, you will find an improvement in your own self-esteem and in the way you respond to others, the way you treat others, and the expectations you have for others. You’ll trust yourself more and rely on others less. You can have truly equal partnerships and friendships where there are benefits for both of you. This should be the goal in relationships – that they are win-win for all involved.
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