Relationships are truly central to the human experience. Sound and rational human behavior is key! Building a relationship benefits and fulfills many of your fundamental needs.
That same relationship also help to benefit and fulfill the other person, too, so there are mutual advantages in what you’re building together.
But at once some questions arise. Who do you let into the sacred center? And how do you decide who is safe and worthy of permission to enter? No doubt you must meet people at work, at social occasions, or at large in the world.
It’s ok to deal and mingle with others, but you also must learn to improve on yourself. To understand what’s acceptable behavior.
Thinking about what life has to offer.
That’s the external process. But what’s the internal process of making contact with others? How do you decide who is really right to let into that level of emotional and physical intimacy?
How do you decide who is right for you – and right to let into your sacred center? These are the matters which one must focus on.
Well, that’s a crucial question. On the most basic level, the person has to be someone you trust. Does he or she respect you? Listen to you with an open mind and open heart? Value your opinions? Honor your feelings?
If this person’s response to you over time justifies your trust, then he or she is probably someone you can allow into your sacred center.
He or she must be a person who hasn’t severely damaged or hurt by life, who doesn’t feel major self-esteem issues, who doesn’t have a deeply guarded sense of self-security – someone who’s not going to have a hard time letting you in.
In turn, your behavior and attitudes – your respect toward the other person, your openness, your valuing of opinions and honoring of feelings – will be the evidence that he or she can trust you and allow into his or her sacred center.
I believe that most of us make these choices carefully. Most of us spend a lot of time interacting with people before we allow them into the sacred center. Many couples will circle around each other, trying to decide.
They’re fond of each other, but they wonder, Is this my soul mate? We have good times together, we share many values.
We think we’d both like to start a family together. But is he ( or she) the right person? (See How to Select a Compatible Mate).
There’s still a guard mode about whether to let down all the barriers and be completely vulnerable and trusting to his person.
So is it appropriate to be a little cautious about this process? If you’re going to build a relationship strong enough to last forty, fifty, sixty years, shouldn’t you be careful about whether your future spouse is honest?
Whether he or she is likely to honor the commitment to your marriage? Is that caution appropriate? It is.
If you’re going to let someone into your sacred center, you have to be sure that person has the qualities listed below that will enable him or her to meet your most fundamental needs:
How do you determine whether these attributes are present? Well, there’s no fail-safe test! It’s easy to say, “Trust your intuition,” but intuition, through certainly valuable, isn’t always adequate for judging others’ intentions or character.
It’s not uncommon, for instance, for people to get involved repeatedly with romantic partners who seem charming and well-intentioned, but turn out to be dismissive, demeaning, or even abusive. More than likely it’s the only way this person knows how to behave.
I recommend that in addition to evaluating potential mates with a mental checklist like the one above, you keep an eye out for danger signs like these:
In addition, I urge you to take the following steps to safeguard your physical, emotional, and spiritual safety:
Don’t be too busy. I’ve touched on this subject before, but I’ll mention it again. If you rush the process of getting to know the other
person, you run the risk of making snap judgments and leaving yourself vulnerable to getting hurt.
Take your time! You have little to lose and much to gain by moving thoughtfully and carefully.
Avoid wishful thinking. Out of a desire to find love, it’s tempting to overlook the other person’s shortcomings or the incompatibilities between you.
It’s also tempting to compromise on crucial issues, deceive yourself about the nature of the relationship, or view your prospective partner as someone whose habits or character you can change or reform.
Stick to your principles, values, and morals. Be honest, straightforward, and true to your deeply held beliefs. Finding love is important, but not at the expense of what you value most.
Communicate. To get to know another person – and, especially, to allow him or her into your sacred center – you need to discuss what matters to you openly and fully.
To reach an understanding of basic issues, you need to talk about them together. Again, there are no shortcuts and no easy answers in dealing with these issues.
If you can follow these principles, however, proceeding carefully and letting each other into your sacred centers will be much more likely to work out to your satisfaction.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 30, 2017 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.