Create the Life You Imagine ~ November 2019

The Three Triangle Model: Making Connections

“A conscious relationship is one that calls forth who you really are.”

~ John Welwood, Buddhist Psychologist

So far this year we have been building this three triangle spiritual model to help us understand the relationship between the different levels of our being. We can refer to these three levels of consciousness as body, mind and spirit, or as Personality, Soul and Spirit. As we have been working inside this model, we have focused on activating our higher operating system by using our deeper awareness to remember who we really are, and to stabilize our consciousness more consistently at the level of our “True Self” or Soul. We have also been working with the awareness that the purpose of life is to offer us the opportunity to learn and evolve through our experiences, and to gradually shed the limiting patterns of our personality in order to become more and more aligned with the truth of who we are. We have used the metaphor of a high-tech, self-driving vehicle to think about our Soul as the invisible navigator of our life journey, and we might imagine that our Soul is arranging each turn and each life experience as an opportunity for us to learn the next lesson we need in order to reach our destination. The destination is simply to evolve to the place where we can live in deep alignment with our Soul in a joyful and authentic expression of Spirit.

From our personality’s perspective, some of the roads and life experiences our Soul may choose for us will feel positive and uplifting, and some of them will feel darn right difficult and discouraging. If we are living inside this new awareness, however, we won’t judge our experiences by the pleasure or the pain, we will simply ask, “What am I to learn from this experience about who I really am?” In this model of unfolding awareness, we must remember that our outer experiences are simply a reflection of our current inner state of consciousness, because our thoughts create our reality. If the experiences we are having in a particular chapter of life are especially intense or challenging, we might think of these chapters as times of intense alchemy of old and restrictive life patterns, and as potent opportunities for deep transformation and real growth in the work of our Soul.

Some of the most powerful learning experiences we will have during this life journey will come through our relationships with other people. We will have many varieties of relationships in life and all of them hold the potential to help us expand our awareness. Sometimes we can learn a critical life lesson in a fleeting encounter with a seeming stranger, and sometimes we will learn our most important lessons as we struggle and grow through the grit of deeper life relationships with family members, spouses, close friends or mentors. If we continue to work with the notion that nothing in our life experience is accidental or coincidental, then we will also learn to ask ourselves in every relationship or encounter with another person, “What am I to learn from this experience about who I really am?” From this perspective, the people we encounter in our relationships will become our best mirrors and our most powerful teachers.

In the image above, you see the familiar image of our spiritual self-system side-by-side with a mirror image, to represent our Self in relationship to another person. In every encounter with another person we can use our deeper awareness to notice the level of being from which we are operating, and the level of being from which the other person is operating. Let’s imagine this image represents you and a close family member or significant other. That relationship has the potential to exist on a Soul level or on a personality level, and in deep relationships both are often happening at the same time. When we feel wildly in sync, alive and free inside a significant relationship, we are likely meeting each other at the Upper Triangle level of our Souls, where each person sees the incredible beauty and presence of the other person and reflects that light back to the other through the lens of the relationship. When we are struggling with each other inside that relationship, we are likely engaging each other through the Lower Triangle level of our personalities, and then we often find our two small-self personalities battling through our own shadow patterns and fighting for a feeling of power and control to protect our fragile ego needs and desires.

In our most significant life relationships we often share some common wounds in our lower triangle personalities and our relationship presents the opportunity to become mirrors for each other as we try to bring those wounds and the limiting patterns that go with them to the forefront of our awareness so that they might be transformed and healed. Too often, however, we get so caught up inside the small self patterns that we just engage in reoccurring battles based in our wounded histories, and end up just battering and bruising each other as we fight to get our small self needs met. But if we can engage the spiritual awareness of our higher operating system, we can begin to watch our patterns in the relationship and get curious about what is happening. If we can watch the relationship patterns from the perspective of our Soul, we can notice the ways our small self personalities are getting caught in old destructive patterns and open up the possibility for something new to happen.