I realized while driving to work earlier this week that there is a third set of three rules.
I'm not sure where it started, but it kind of went like this: Something's missing. ... What's left out of the series? I have physical, experiential, early life - like 0-Kindergarten age. ... Then definitely that outward looking stage, the where do I place myself in the world and how to I choose my path? stage - Effective Prudent True. .... Wait. ... Ah, relationships. That's what's missing.
I snapped immediately to where I started my thinking on all of this, from the start. It goes back to the Quaker marriage vows.
I take thee to be my husband, promising with Divine assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful wife so long as we both shall live.
Period. (substitute the reverse roles for the male vows - they are the same.)
Loving and Faithful is just two, though. Where's the third, I thought?
Wait. It's right there... 'with Divine assistance' - but, if you're not a person of faith, THEN what? And what is it that this one is trying to express? What is the one-word core and essence of 'with Divine assistance'?
One of the fundamentals of the faith of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is the concept of being open and waiting for the still small voice within, and the messages that can be received for oneself and others.
Another is the concept that there is that of God in everyone - everyone shares in the essence of the Divine. Sometimes the still small voice is coming from another person. One has to be open to receive that.
But 'open' has rather different connotations in a relationship, in modern usage. So, um, open is out. Dang.
Floundered. Asked epeepunk what he thought.
After some thought, he came back to me with 'Acceptant' - willing to accept. Receptive (though that word again has some other connotations that exclude it as the word). Willing to be open. The choice to allow in or accept or be open to. It implies an action, the waiting-ness, and not just 'doormat' or 'personality like a sheep' (as 'accepting' can imply). It does not include 'accepting harm'. I love love love that it uses the concept of WILLING. This is an act of will, allowing guidance in. A choice to be open to that which is offered.
Acceptant is for guidance (Divine directly or Divine through inspired communication from others).
Acceptant is for information, the understanding of the other person, the understanding of ourselves.
Acceptant takes ego out of the process, and allows therapy in. It allows trust, and disallows blinders and refusal to face problems.
Acceptant allows for boundaries, and when necessary, firm and solid ones.
Acceptant allows the relationship to end, or to begin. It includes our weaknesses, fears, and errors, and our core strengths, power, and intentions.
So, Acceptant, Loving, Faithful.
So, now I have three sets of three.
Safe Respectful Kind - for the core physical processes, and the main experience of the early years - pregnancy through Kindergarten or so. It covers health, self/integrity, empathy.
Effective Prudent True - for the understanding of self and action, choice, decision-making, and the intersection between self and other - any other. Not yet to relationship, though the edges of all overlap. Starting around first grade, this matches the social and emotional development - up through middle school, I'd say. This covers will, choice, and identity.
Acceptant Loving Faithful. - for interrelating over the longer term, for marriage, for children, for the people with whom we choose to have relationships. I'm still exploring what this covers - any thoughts?
I'm going to keep them in that sequence (Acceptant Loving Faithful) for now. I haven't had a chance to work through the filters, but I'm fairly certain that the order was correct as stated in the vows. These things are not done casually.
So, three. Three of three, a powerful set of principles.