I awoke this morning after my usual complicated, half-frightening, half-supernatural, all-meaningful dreams, thinking about threes. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I finished Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons last night, with all its scientific/religious intersectional themes.
Aside from thinking about the classic Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (or ” the Holy Spigot”, as claimed by Rowen Atkinson in his short but sweet role in “Four Weddings and A Funeral”), I was thinking about the concept of love – true love – being something that is mind, body and soul.
Love can start in different ways. It can start as friendship. It can start as passion. It can start as a sense of partnership. It can start as a vibrant energetic connection. Or it can start as some combination of the above. In order for it to succeed and strengthen, the three core elements – mind, body and soul – must all be allowed to bloom. And not just between two people but within each of those two people.
If you are mentally compatible with someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you share the same level of intelligence or education. It does mean that you are eager to expand your thinking to consider ideas or ways of life or activities that you might not have considered before. You are willing to be open-minded and non-judgemental of how you – or your potential partner - experience life. And you are willing to involve your partner in your life and become involved with theirs.
If you are physically compatible, well, it’s an amazing thing. You can have a successful love relationship without intense physical passion – you can be perfectly fine with average physical passion and attraction. But when you do have the intense body connection, it can transcend the physical and touch the spiritual. Due to our nearly-inborn Christian conservatism which we all want to deny, we can think that having an intense physical relationship is “bad”. We can place put on our shame-colored glasses and imagine that we should not be in such a relationship, because if it is that good, clearly that’s all there is to it, and that makes it wrong. Not so. An intense physical connection is just a part of the trinity, and something that should be nurtured, cherished and honored.
If you are spiritually compatible, you find yourself expanding in unexpected ways. Your life is full of minor epiphanies about yourself, about the universe, about each other. You each fuel the flame of spirit that burns within the other – and the result, while sometimes confusing, is ultimately most joyful. While I don’t think any element of the “Love Trinity” is more important than another, the spiritual element is the most rare and the most frightening. It takes courage and strength to confront yourself daily. When the cares of life are overwhelming, the unclouding of the soul can feel like it is simply too much to manage. It is easier to find a relationship where you can be less (or be the same) than stick with one that makes you grow. At least then you have the illusion of peace. Ah, but what you miss.
Back in college, I had a therapist who said that when you were choosing to be with someone, you needed to be sure that your head, your heart and your crotch were all aligned. I’ve never forgotten that. I’ve certainly gone with the “two out of three ain’t bad” approach once in a while. But for a life partner? Nope.
I will not compromise the mind-body-soul trinity again. And I feel sorry for those who do.
I know what can be. I know what I have to offer. And I know what I’m worth. I believe there’s a saying that good things come in threes. (I know there’s also a saying that disasters come in threes, but we’ll put that aside for the purposes of this post. I believe in the power of good.)
I am a good thing.