3-D Relationships

3-D Relationships: Decide, Devote, Develop

Deciding whether this is the person for you is not a one-time event. Deciding occurs when we are dating and when we are in an ongoing relationship. We are always choosing, whether we are conscious of our choices or not. As we choose, we create our lives.

Conscious deciding requires self-awareness, especially awareness of our desires, our values, and our sense of purpose.

Conscious deciding involves discernment, the ability to perceive clearly. To consciously decide, we need to look at the other person with our eyes wide open—not closed in denial or squinted in judgment. We seek simply to see them as they are.

As you are deciding, ask yourself whether you can wholeheartedly devote yourself to this person. If you chose to be with them or to stay with them, you are choosing the whole package and your job is to devote yourself to them. Make it a valid experiment by taking it the whole way.

Devoting yourself to your partner and the relationship is also an ongoing process, not a one-time event. “Devote” means to wholeheartedly give time, energy and attention. When we fully give our time, energy and attention to someone, our love grows. We don’t expect a plant to grow without tending and we should not expect a person or relationship to grow and be healthy without tending.

Again, this is an eyes-wide-open process of seeing someone as s/he is, not as we wish she were or think he should be. We give up attempts to change and control. Devotion involves loving our partners as they are, the whole package. It is not a cafeteria plan—I’ll take this, add a little more gravy, but none of that please.

Devoting ourselves to our partners is not about being a doormat or being co-dependent. Devotion involves seeing our partners as the beautiful children of the universe that they are. A relationship based on devotion awakens us to our sacred interconnectedness—the oneness of the Universe.

What if you feel unwilling or unable to devote yourself to your partner? Honor yourself and the relationship by doing some soul searching and healing work. Do what is necessary to stay and devote yourself to your partner or leave with integrity if that is the best choice.

Developing ourselves in the context of our relationship is another important step in the ongoing process of loving in 3-D. “Develop” means to make fuller, bigger, better. Relationships are a primary context for our full development as human beings. Committed relationships bring to the surface our historic issues and patterns. The good news is that when these issues and patterns are at the surface and operating in present time, they are available for transformation.

When we are frustrated and annoyed with our partner, we can ask, “What is my pattern or process in this? What can I to differently?” We can also seek to understand what the Universe is seeking to grow and develop in us, rather than what we need to try to control or change in our partner.

I am not suggesting that we deny or repress our needs or wants. In fact, speaking up about them may be exactly what the Universe is seeking to grow in us. I am suggesting that our “work site” is ourselves, not our partners.

As we develop, we come back around the circle to deciding. Continuing to develop requires that we revisit the question of whether this is the person and relationship for us. If it is, then we must fully, lovingly devote ourselves to our partner and continue to develop ourselves in the context of the relationship. If it is not where we are called to be, we need to leave.

3-D can apply in almost any area of our lives. Decide whether this is the job for you, devote yourself to it, develop yourself in the context and reevaluate periodically. Decide whether this is a volunteer project you are willing to commit to, devote yourself to it, develop yourself in the context and reevaluate periodically.

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