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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Third Identity

We all want to have the most beautiful relationships…kindred souls sharing our thoughts and feelings, listening to each other with perfect engagement, affirming the amazing gifts we see in each other, sharing the joy and pain of our adventures.


The “instant snapshot” of this idyllic picture reigns mostly in our hopes and dreams and in our imaginations…for real relationships take a great amount of work…and patience…and nurturing… and, often, our egos join in and cause even more complications.

Recently, I heard a podcast by Meredith Murphy of Expect Wonderful in which she discusses “whole relationships” and how to achieve them. In this presentation she says that every relationship between two people has a third identity, too…and, that is, the energy of the relationship that is created between them. And, this, according to Meredith, is an important place to put our attention, especially when there is discord and strife.

As I reflect on this thought, I feel drawn to the invitation to leave self and move beyond to this energy vortex. Tuning in to this energy field seems to change the picture for me. It releases my personal reactions and, instead, focuses on what is going on in this energetic exchange and, especially, it focuses on the question of where/what is the energy of the other person in the relationship at this time.

This conscious choice naturally (and immediately) introduces caring and compassion directly back into the picture for me. It shifts the focus to a loving place. And this is what I aspire to.

It is so wonderful to find a way to get to love so directly during a time of dissonance and unrest.


  1. This feels empowering. We have a saying in our department (which we took from the Coordinated Management of Meaning theory) that I think fits this post: "What are we creating together?" I think this could refer, at least in part, to the third identity you reference.

  2. You have touched on an alternate way to evaluate an emotionally charged situation through the the prism of "Love." The thought of a third identity in any two person relationship is an unusual one, but it really makes resolution of differences a bit easier to achieve.