The Relationship of Three
The Trinity of Marriage and Relationships
They wheeled her off in the hospital bed. That was it. A breath and a smile as our eyes locked one last time. I remember watching the wheels of the bed make their way down the hall, saying a silent, hopeful prayer for my new wife.
I was left in the room standing, alone.
I sorted through the styrofoam cups and pieces of plastic that had accumulated in the hospital room during the surgery prep. Then, carefully cleared off the table. I folded blankets and tucked Natalia’s bag neatly in the corner. I took a few breaths and looked around, as if time stood still. I felt a dull ache in the base of my throat, so I picked up my backpack and left.
Finding my way to a small courtyard nestled in between hospital walls, I sat on a neat little bench and began to breathe deeply. The sun was gently shining and rays of light were reflecting into my little sanctuary. I wept quietly in the stillness of a rising day.
Then, I let go of it all.
“Expectations. Understanding. Fear. All things that I do not need right now. All I need is my open heart.” I said all these things to myself. “All I need is to feel the loving presence of the Divine. To feel safe and guarded, cared for and held, no matter what.”
It was in these next moments that I began to pray. I prayed for a perfect surgery and positive outcomes for my wife. I also submitted myself to the Divine plan and did my best to trust the process. As I had done in the times before, and would continue to do in the times following, I gave my mind something to focus on (a successful surgery) while simultaneously surrendering to something greater than both myself and my beloved Natalia.
You see, marriage is not just a relationship between two people. In fact any one-on-one relationship is not really just a relationship between two people. We may fool ourselves into thinking that we live in a purely physical world operating solely on the laws of cause and effect, but this is an incomplete picture…
What I have been offered and what I offer to the reader here, is what I refer to as “The Relationship of Three.” It is simple. You, me, God. Or perhaps, my field of consciousness, your field of consciousness, and the collective consciousness that is generated by the overlap. Something special happens as you spend more time with someone you love. You begin to realize that there is a “bigness” behind the relationship that operates independently of personal preference or desire. This is a truth I have come to know through heart-wrenching nights in a hospital waiting room.
What happens when health and other externals rise beyond you and your spouse’s control? How do we move through the greatest challenges of this life experience? Why is it important to not only understand, but to full-heartedly believe in a Divine plan?
I am still learning the answers to the questions, though what I can tell you now is that it all becomes a little easier with The Relationship of Three. There is something innately perfect, within each of us, that is pulled to the surface during these challenges, should we let it. My suggestion is to acknowledge this prayerful presence from the get-go, allowing marriage to not just be a sacred union of two, but indeed a sacred union of three. You, me, God.
The perspective takes the edge off for our egos, which want so desperately to play a helping role. Yet, by acknowledging a Divine plan that is beyond comprehension, we are enabled to do our best with the time and resources we have while simultaneously letting go of any expectations of an outcome. Instead of being attached to fixing or changing the circumstances that are beyond our control, we can decide to lean into and indeed trust a Divine plan. There’s a certain humility and sometimes painful acceptance that comes with this process. Remember, it’s not just about the two people.
Embodying and enacting the Relationship of Three is a simple thing that can play out in regular, day-to-day life. It is trying your best to be what that person in front of you needs while also acknowledging the bigness behind the scenes.
The Relationship of Three has many applications. I find myself acknowledging it in my practice constantly: “Listen, I am not here to fix you. I am here to listen to your body’s wisdom with you in order to help facilitate an empowered healing process. Does this sound good to you?” It is a simple agreement yet profound in the scaffolding of a relationship; it takes the pressure off both the chiropractor and the client to have it all figured out. The chiropractor tries his/her best to listen to that person’s innate intelligence and adjust the nervous system while the client does his/her best to breathe and listen to their innate intelligence while taking steps to do the work at home (mindfulness, home stretches, diet, lifestyle modifications, etc).
By acknowledging and trusting the healing process, respect is given to the inborn intelligence of life that wants to be contacted. If we don’t take these steps, life will inevitably force us to listen.
Through various trials and tribulations, life provides the opportunity for the egoic mind to surrender into love. It may seem harsh, though I would argue that anything in the natural world simply is. It is what it is, so what are you going to do about it? Through hard work and self-mastery, we can commit to the principle of love. We can give our ego a role without being attached to that role, in the simultaneous endeavor of trying our best while also letting go. There is perhaps no greater example of how this plays out than that of a marriage.
In the late summer of 2020, I sat through what I thought was the greatest challenge of my life. To watch a loved one undergo the pain, turmoil, and experience of surgery was not something that I wished to endure, but it was something I accepted via the Relationship of Three. I acknowledged that there was a higher purpose for it all, that these dramatic experiences were somehow necessary for Natalia and my healing on many levels.
I knew in my mind that there was wisdom to be found in all experiences, even the ones that involved immense discomfort, emotional pain, and cold fear. Yet, as I sat in that hospital courtyard, I had to acknowledge the reality that trust is not a head thing. Trust is a heart thing. Sitting there praying, just moments before my wife would be under full anesthetics so that she could receive a surgery to drain inflammatory fluid around her heart, I acknowledged this truth.
There is a simple healing that comes with trusting the intuition of the heart.
This truth of the heart is perhaps the one consistency that can quiet the qualms of a racing mind. The heart knows all, so despite the situation that laid before me, as I centered into my heart, I somehow innately knew that everything was going to be alright. Deeper still, I also knew that even when a time came when things were not alright, it would be this same heart that would offer the opportunity to find grace and profound wisdom.
As the sun rose higher and higher, I sat cross-legged with palms up. I breathed and listened to my internal reality. I breathed and let go of tension and all the fearful thoughts. I breathed and felt an awareness that Natalia would be alright and felt very connected to her. I felt this connection through the Relationship of Three, that bigness which is beyond mental comprehension and physical limitations. My heartbeat steadied and my chest calmed as my belly began to fill with slow, nourishing breaths.