I have had a rough week, personally. Lots of past history (abuse-related) coming up due to some other events. Just one of those bad cycles, though I haven't had one this bad in a very long time. I tried to track back how long it has been (I initially thought 10-12 years), but the last time this bad, where it was interfering with my daily functioning, was 15 years ago. After 15 years, I didn't really expect it to ever happen again.
Kinda took me by surprise. Which meant I had a hard time getting my feet under me. Huge physical reactions, getting the shakes at work, having to work at not crying in meetings. Bad, in other words. Fortunately, just two days of bad, and then three days of waiting for the next flashback or surge of emotional pain out of nowhere... meanwhile, trying to build a social net, and leaning into the net I already have (letting people know that I might need some support, and why).
What does this have to do with the triad? (Acceptant/Loving/Faithful) I realized that while these three filters are my internal measures of action toward others, they are also what makes others' actions toward me feel 'right'. The more attuned to this triad a response it, the more it feels good, appropriate, effective. Hmm, the more it is acceptant, loving, and faithful, the more it feels safe, respectful, kind, and the more it tends to also land in effective, prudent, and true, too.
Pretty cool, that.
Two of my coworkers (one also a friend) are extraordinarily good at this. It is part of their character, though it comes out in different ways, and with different emphasis. And okay, the 'loving' part is not the same definition as I'd have for ep - but 'loving-kindness' is definitely there. They let me be me (even if that's not what they would expect of someone else), they respond with warmth and caring regularly (more often than I would expect, certainly), and they have faith in me. That last one really matters - without the faith in me, I end up feeling weaker, not stronger. They trust me to handle myself, which includes asking for what I need. I know where I'm likely to err, and their faith in me helps me ask for help in just that space, instead of being treated like I can't handle things at all (which would just make me angry if I didn't give in to it, and ashamed if I did).
Both of them helped me get my feet under me. Interestingly similar strategies to do so. One spent a longer time on the acceptant part of the conversation (listened and asked over a longer span), but they both did all three. Just having the conversation was important to getting my balance. And having the conversation with those three filters in evidence was the critical part.
Interesting to feel how that feels applied back. I could read through those filters how I am valued. More than interesting, humbling. Makes for some thoughtful moments about how much I need to stay attuned to that in the other direction - if I feel this way when someone else is acceptant, loving and faithful toward me, then I can expect that my kids will feel this when I am the same toward them.
I suspect I have been using this triad much longer than I thought I had. When I think now about my other friends and relationships, the ones I think of as 'best' are all a match to this triad, which I came up with specifically for talking to my kids about relationships of all sorts.
Using the triad as an outward filter (for that which is incoming) may also be why I have an easier time being friends with people who have very different values from mine - it isn't what values they have that matters most (maybe some, but not most), but the quality of their ethical exercise. If they are true to their values, I can trust them to be true to their values. I know where they are, and where they will go, and what matters, even if I don't believe the same things. It is easier for me to be acceptant when I know the other person is true to their values. There's more to it, of course, but that's a big part.
Meanwhile, loving is a direct return in the middle - even if the form of loving-kindness from them is not the exact form of loving-kindness I express back.
Anyway. Back on my feet, now, I think. I had the second of the two conversations yesterday, and this morning I woke up not feeling scraped raw. Much better.