Third Tier Relationship Agreement
A Sample Third Tier (Coral-to-Coral) Relationship Agreement
for a Close Relationship
by Rev. Alia Zara Aurami-Sou, Ph.D.
Head Minister, “Amplifying Divine Light in All” Church
Version July 13, 2013, based on version 1/19/07
Sometimes, in a close relationship like a friendship, work partnership, or romantic partnership, it is helpful to clarify where each person is coming from with respect to the relationship, what their intentions are, what their operating principles and guidelines are, so these can be compared, and potential sources of friction from differences, can be dealt with up front or more consciously/explicitly.
This is not meant to be set up as a legal contract, although it could morph into one. Rather than having the terms of one's relationship set according to the government, a couple can set their own, which might include matters of finances, property, criteria for maintaining vs dissolving the relationship, and terms and manner of any dissolution. Right now, these are all set by "the marriage laws."
This DRAFT is intended to be a cafeteria or the building materials from which you can design and create your own version which suits you and the other person. It can also be a catalyst as you add in things of importance to you, or modify things to suit you.
As with everything I write, I would hope that my readers pay less attention to whether I attribute something to the correct Spiral Dynamics stage, than to whether the ideas are useful for their own purposes.
If the terms "knowing" and "knowingness" bother you, then substitute the term "perspective."
By the terms Spirit-Self, multi-dimensional Self, Higher Self, Spirit, and similar terms, I mean all the same thing.
The term “Kosmic” I use in Ken Wilber’s meaning of it, to include not just the physical universe but everything in the universe of consciousness, as well.
I acknowledge the shaping of this draft from fruitful discussion with my friend Paul diFuria.
This article uses the language, concepts, and color-codes of Spiral Dynamics, and readers unfamiliar with that can fly with my implied descriptions below, or can check out the fuller descriptions at spiraldynamics.net.
This Agreement is meant to transcend and INCLUDE any agreements which would be appropriate for less-mature or earlier levels. Thus there are excellent specific agreements which are not explicit here, such as the principles of good communication, good negotiation and good conflict-resolution, and such as understandings of gender differences, plus many systems and principles for good relationships, etc. This article tries mostly to capture what might be ADDED or UNIQUE at a Coral-to-Coral relationship.
WHO MIGHT USE THIS AGREEMENT
This particular relationship agreement is meant to pertain to two people who are relating from within a third-tier worldview, in the Spiral Dynamics color scheme, the first stage being Coral and the second stage being Teal, which would be the most mature of all currently-glimpsed worldviews. (Second Tier stages would be labeled Yellow/Integral and Turquoise.)
From a Third Tier worldview, the notion of an explicit, written relationship agreement would be a little peculiar, as so much is known, understood, shared, agreed, and ongoingly refined, without words. And an agreement as it is normally understood in some way denies that your relationship can be seen as always unfolding perfectly, with no need to project anything into the future or declare what the future will be. So there is a sense in which the wordings below are actually "outside" of a usual Third-Tier experience. However, I am suggesting we look at these words for whatever usefulness they might have, for anyone looking from any worldview.
I believe this Agreement, as is, would work only if both parties are late Turquoise, or early or mid-Coral. Anyone of an earlier color would probably regard it as unrealistic, laughably unworkable, and ungrounded. For Yellow, in particular, it might seem too upward-facing and expecting too much for human behavior. A person of late Coral and Teal would probably regard it as completely unnecessary, cumbersome, and far too limiting to the movements of Spirit as us.
In my understanding of the Teal worldview, all is understood, automatic, part of the Beingness. In Teal, the distinctions made herein implode because our languaging implies separateness; human self and Spirit Self, are not separate, even though they are distinguishable, and the idea of "guidance" can disappear in non-dualistic awareness.
At Teal, a written agreement really does make no sense, as it could be seen to block the flow of Divine Action and Divine Will. But it could be fun, and if it's fun for both, then why not? One of the things about Third Tier is there are no necessary limits or rules; those are optional. So just because there is Flow does not mean that agreements are ruled out. That would block the Flow, paradoxically !!
Second Tier has a very different perspective. At Second Tier, an explicit written agreement is for the purposes of assessing whether the potential partner is on the same page as you, and for offering guidelines as the relationship evolves. It sets something by which everyday actions can be evaluated, compared. It establishes a natural hierarchy of useful or non-useful (conforming or non-conforming) behaviors. So this Agreement could prove useful from these perspectives for Second Tier. (I have written a Second-Tier Agreement years ago; I just have to locate it so I can publish it.)
The suggested Agreement below is most definitely not to be used in First Tier ways, namely, to hold the other to in spite of changes in life -- in Blue/Amber fashion -- or to accuse the other of not abiding by, or to be used as any kind of weapon or chain/restriction.
CONTEXT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP
I agree to always regard you, myself, and our relationship in the largest Kosmic context that I am aware of. I agree to live and act from the perspective in which who you are, who I am, and what our relationship is most Kosmically about, are the most expanded "story," the Biggest Picture, that I am currently capable of being aware of -- and I agree to be always expanding that capability and awareness.
This includes that I agree to have the perspective, and act according to that perspective, that the fundamental nature of every moment of our relationship is Spirit providing opportunities to expand human consciousness. I also agree that the Kosmic Purpose of this relationship includes it being an arena of Self-expression of the multi-dimensional Master I already Am, and of the All and of the Infinite Power of Creation and the Void/Field of Infinite Potential, or whatever I consider Ultimate, through me as me.
I agree that, in the Bigger Kosmic picture, there are aspects and dimensions and purposes to our relationship which I might not be consciously aware of on the human level. I agree to seek ever-increasing conscious awareness of these to whatever extent I am able, and to "live in the mystery" for the rest.
I hereby disclose to you that the ultimate Purpose for which I enter and continue this relationship is simply that the One Will wills it thus. And the primary conscious reason I enter and continue this relationship is to allow its Highest Purposes [here, spell out whatever I/we think they may be] to be fulfilled.
This also means that I agree to stay aware that my relationship with you is not ultimately about YOU, it is about my relationship with my own Spirit, which is also, in the ineffable ultimate, your Spirit as well. This means that all "agreements" with you are also agreements between my human self and my Spirit Self, and, transcending that, their ultimate Oneness.
This also means that I agree to abide in (or be reminded of) the knowing/perspective that every moment of our relationship takes places by mutual agreement of our Spirits, even if it doesn't look or feel that way to our human selves, so from this perspective, no human-level agreement is ever "broken."
I agree to, in our relating, come impeccably from my own inner guidance in all that I say and do. In other words, I agree to follow without hesitation whatever I sense my Spirit is prompting me to do, and I agree to abide in the knowing that whatever you do, you are coming from the same agreement and same source of actions.
Thus, I agree to come from the perspective that everything that happens in our relationship, is for the best and highest good of all concerned.
I agree to seek always to become aware of what that good is, especially if I don't like what you are doing. In other words, I will persist in inquiry, especially if you say or do something I don't like, until I have an answer to "How was this behavior in my best and highest interest, for my highest good? How does it help me create my ideal world?"
I agree to give you the best and highest within me, as I relate to you, and that includes my impeccable Being of my own Highest Self. That means I agree to have the courage to do things I imagine/predict you might not like, if I am guided to do them by my Highest Self, my inner Guidance.
I agree in our relationship to live as much in the principle of non-duality as possible. This means I will know that nothing is not-God, that ultimately there is no difference between my/your Ego and my/your GodSelf, that ultimately my/your shadow is my/your Light, that ultimately there is no distinction between "coming from my/your ego or Small Self" and "coming from my/your Guidance or Highest or God-self," that ultimately all is the Ineffable Leela of the One Consciousness We Are.
Therefore, I agree that in our relationship, I will regard you as whole, complete, and perfect just as you are, and if I appear to be behaving as a fixer or rescuer, it is because I am being Guided in that moment to do so, for your and my Highest Good, and I agree to help us both discern what that Good is.
This also means that I will be constantly examining my own behavior for Shadow elements which are calling to be healed/dissolved, which it is my responsibility to be doing/allowing.
This means also that I agree to live in knowing that each of us has our own unique path of evolution, that our path is inevitably and always unfolding/manifesting/taking place, and that neither of us can really know, as humans, the specifics of what is Best or Highest Good for the other.
Therefore, also, I agree to live in the knowing that everything you do, and everything I do, is ultimately an expression of Divine Will, regardless of what we might believe are our reasons, causes, or circumstances. Therefore, discussion of those might be interesting, but is not about the ultimate cause of our behavior, which originates in The Mystery and Ineffability of Kosmic Will.
Because of this and because I know that each of us is ultimately following our own inner Guidance or Spirit in choosing what to do when, I acknowledge that you or I might not "know" the "reasons" why we did or said something.
POTENTIAL OF RELATIONSHIP
An interesting thing about the commitments within this Agreement is they work even if unilateral because the potential is determined partly by the other person's willingness. So you can do all you can, within the limits set by the other.
The real trick of commitment around potential is that potential changes over time !! So the commitment really is life-long. One cannot say it has ever been fully achieved !!
I commit to maximum unfolding of all the potentials of this relationship which means hanging in there and relating, no matter how that relating unfolds. I recognize that this allows for periods of non-interaction, as long as I view those as breaks in a very long-term pattern of interacting.
I understand that not all the potentials will be pleasant. I commit to honor the maximum unfolding of all the potentials of this relationship which are of mutual benefit. But since "benefit" can be obtained from any experience, that's not really different. So I commit to optimizing the mutual benefit of this relationship.
I commit, to the best of my ability and courage and openness and daring to take risks, to explore and discover what I sense might be the mutually beneficial potentials of this relationship. I commit to maximally attempting to actualize those potentials. I commit to cooperating with all of your attempts to carry out the same commitments.
I agree to act so as to maximize actualization of the potential of our particular relationship for mutual benefit, mutual enjoyment, and mutual spiritual expansion. I agree to have an optimistic view of this potential, and to have the courage to err on the side of over-estimating this potential until otherwise demonstrated. In other words, I agree to enjoy you as much as possible, and benefit from your presence in my life as much as possible, and grow spiritually as a result of our relationship, as much as possible, and to foster the same for you!
On the other hand, I agree to abide within what I perceive (as accurately and optimistically as possible) as the limitations of our relationship, such as not expecting you to provide everything I might want from relationships in general. I agree that maximizing THIS relationship will leave us with the best we can experience of THIS relationship, given the natural limitations of our areas of overlap, mutual interests, etc.
I commit to devoting – within ecological balance with my own life, health, wealth, and wellbeing, and coming from my own highest guidance -- time, energy, attention, and compassionate caring, to the maximum unfolding of the maximum mutually beneficial potentials of our relationship during the really tough times in which deep differences emerge, and there are unwillingnesses, denials, divergences, about-faces, changes of heart, falsehoods, and other significant operations of Shadow dynamics or of simple ordinary kinds of personal changes seen to be operating.
(The above is addressing these questions:
- What does maximum unfolding of potentials look like when your relationship partner falls in love with your close friend?
- Or what if one aspect of your relationship is spiritual guidance and your partner finds another teacher?
- Or what if one sexual partner decides that they want to pursue sexual relationship with someone else or they don't want to have sex anymore at all but they don't want to break up?
- What does maximum unfolding of potentials look like when one partner is unwilling to explore aspects of their psychodynamic history, spiritual materialism, or Shadow?
- What if one partner is in denial about some of these dynamics but is still committed to the unfolding?
- And of course, what about some of the more obvious things like careers, money, whether to have children or move etc. etc.
- Could you flush out in advance what the commitment would look like in those differing circumstances resent even healthy - putting your attention on what you don't want?)
I commit to see you in your highest light beyond the story you may have about yourself and I vow to honor whatever you do as the expression of Spirit's impulse to know itself more fully.
I commit to not regarding you as a makeover project, instead to accept you as you are, all the while asserting my own needs and desires in a healthy way, and all the while offering my views about what changes in you I believe would improve your experience of your life -- offering them in ways that you regard as respectful and acceptable.
I commit to always be learning and exploring and practicing what a healthy relationship is, such as for example, good communication skills and understanding of gender differences.
I commit to not seeking to put the form of our relationship into a socially defined box of expectations with a label, but to allow it be and unfold as it uniquely is.
I commit to treating you in ways that you regard as kind and respectful. This includes not sitting on my own discontents, but learning how to express them in ways that enhance the quality of our relationship. This also includes respecting your need for space and for intimacy.
I commit to discussing, in timely and respectful ways, issues of importance to myself and you, and to seeking mutually satisfying resolutions. Such issues might include children, monogamy, marriage, and particular sensitivities.
I commit to ever-increasing understanding and appreciation of and respect for the nature and purpose of our relationship, for example, whether it is basically for healing, for learning, for team-collaboration/mutual work, or for celebration/enjoyment.
I commit to not demanding that this relationship be more than it can be, even while seeking to make it ever more than it is, to unfold all of its potential.
I commit to being open to surprises and changes in this relationship, allowing it to evolve in different forms and expressions over time.
I commit to allowing you the freedom -- even to encouraging and supporting you -- to change and grow and evolve as a person, no matter what the consequences for our relationship might be. I commit to my own changes and growth as a person, and to seeking ways for my growth and your growth to be done in ecological balance with our optimal relationship.
I commit to recognizing the changes and growth in you, and to doing my best to adapt and dance with the new.
A. If you do something I don't like, I agree to call your attention to it in the following ways:
1. I will describe it to you, and to ask you whether you regard it as consistent with the way you want to act, consistent with your own integrity.
2. I will describe it to you, and then describe to you how I prefer people in my reality to act. In other words, I agree to express and make you aware of my preferences in the matter at hand. I may leave it as a description, or present it as a request of you, which you may agree to grant, or not.
If I present it as a request of you, and you agree to grant it, I in turn agree to know that any future "broken agreements" on this matter are to be treated according to my present agreements pertaining to something I don't like. This includes acknowledging to myself that your "broken agreement" is Spirit-chosen and in my highest interest, and that I will use the opportunity for greater self-awareness/spiritual growth.
B. If you do something I don't like, I agree also to take 100% responsibility for it by asking inside myself, and persisting in the inquiry:
1. How is this behavior a mirror for me? How did I create it to be in my attention, "in my face," to help me learn about myself and help me in my spiritual evolution?
2. How can I use this incident to help me clarify to myself how I want people to behave, in my world, in my reality? What can I learn from it about my preferences And then, how can I be clearer and more emphatic in expressing my preferences to you and to the Kosmos?
I agree that when you do something that is consistent with my ideal world and ideal relationships, I will make a Big Deal of it through expressing acknowledgment, enthusiasm, rejoicing, and appreciation. And I agree that when you do something that I regard as not consistent with my Ideal World and Ideal Relationships, I will not give it emotional energy or attention other than what was described above; I will deliberately seek to minimize my energy-attention, so as to create less of it in the future for myself.
I agree to live in the perspective at all times that the content of our relationship, what we say and do, is at all times in the context of the larger Purpose of my life and your life and the larger Purpose of our relationship. I agree to allow that perspective to guide my responses to anything you say or do, especially things I don't like. Thus, I agree to inquire of you and myself, and stay in the inquiry, of how this matter serves those purposes.
I agree that if our relationship is not as I would like it to be, if it does not match the characteristics that I choose to have in all my relationships, that I will follow procedures A. and B. above, affirming to you and to the Kosmos what my preferences are.
I hereby inform you and the Kosmos that my preferences that I choose to have mutually in all my relationships include (but are not limited to) the following characteristics: harmony, respect, balance, conscious mutualness, synergy, honesty, truthfulness, upliftment, support, encouragement, benevolence, integrity, reliability, sincerity, goodwill, empathy, and caring -- and I agree to learning of/employment of all the techniques, understandings, knowledge, and skills that are known to contribute to those.
I also prefer that this relationship be at all times in all ways in full ecological balance with my life, health, wealth, well-being, and all my other relationships.
I agree to share with you my idiosyncratic preferences for how our relationship would be most enjoyable and beneficial for me, and to listen carefully when you do the same. I agree to adapt to your preferences as much as my Spirit leads me to do, and I agree to acknowledge and make a Big Deal when you do the same for me.
I agree to distinguish, in our relationship, between issues pertaining to my idiosyncratic preferences and issues pertaining to more Bigger Picture matters, and respond appropriately for this distinction.
I agree to regard you and enjoy you as your Beingness, not just your Doingness.
I agree to, within the Guidance of my Spirit and within my perception of the Highest Context and Purpose of our relationship, foster your own unique empowerment, upliftment, flowering, and manifestation of your Life Purpose, and to be responsible for using our relationship to gain the same for myself. In other words, I agree to regard -- and co-create and act accordingly -- our relationship as a Sacred Space that brings out the Highest in both of us.
LEVELS OF RELATING
I agree to know that we are in communication in more ways that words, and I agree to be alert to communication that is happening through non-verbals and through upper-dimension communion. I agree to check these out in words as much as I can, yet grant them their own reality. I agree that I can form my impressions of who you are through these means as well as through your behavior. I agree that I disclose who I am through these means as well as through behavior. I agree that as much as possible, I will include these levels of communication and self-disclosure in the "space" of our relationship.
I agree to acknowledge that you will "Know" things about me and about our relationship that you cannot put into words, or express in ways that I will easily understand, and that you will act on the basis of these "knowings," in ways that I might never be able to understand, and that this is part of the mystery of relationships, and part of the limitations of human consciousness. I agree that as much as possible, I as the "knower" about you, will seek to become conscious of what I "know," and to convey these knowings consciously to you, in ways that I believe there is the best chance of you understanding. However, I agree to accept limitations in myself and you, in this process, with good grace.
I agree to allow our relationship to be "open," open to spontaneity, open to upper-dimensional influences and input, open to growth, open to its own evolutionary life and life cycle. I agree to allow our relationship to grow and change with time, and to accept all these changes with as good and benevolent a grace as I am capable.
(Could be signed and dated by both. Could be spoken in a ceremony among friends and family.)
by Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D., Head Minister, Amplifying Divine Light in All Church
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