Excerpt from from my upcoming book, You're Already Hypnotized: A Guide to Waking Up.
We have all heard that the best relationships are comprised of two whole and complete individuals coming together as one. It’s a nice theory, but unrealistic. I don’t know any whole and complete people, do you? If we all waited until we were healed before we had a relationship, we'd be sitting home alone every Saturday night. It would be more accurate to say that the best relationship is made up of two people willing to grow toward becoming whole in the presence, and with the help, of each other. Then at least we stand a chance.
Relationships are the most important aspect of our lives because through another we come to know ourselves. One of my favorite lines from A Course in Miracles says, “The ark of peace is entered two by two.” The story of Noah’s ark is a metaphor for how we save ourselves from drowning in this illusory world. We arrive at the safe haven of love by bringing another with us.
Under our current hypnotic spell, it appears we live in a chaotic universe of random, accidental meetings. But the conscious mind’s perception of life is painfully narrow. There are no accidents, even in relationships. A Course in Miracles tells us relationships are assignments. They are chosen by our higher selves for one purpose: To learn to see each other as God sees us. As we see another, we see ourselves. As we see ourselves, we see another.
Every person we come in contact with is a holy encounter. Meaning, within the relationship is the potential for us to awaken to Truth. The form of each relationship assignment is different, but the content is always to remember that only love is real.
A Course in Miracles says there are three levels of relationships.
Level One Relationships
Family members do a good job of testing us, but there is another group who sometimes test us even more: People we don’t know—the woman who doesn’t let us merge into traffic or the pushy man in the bank line. In our hustle-and-bustle world, they are some of our greatest teachers, catching us off-guard while we’re asleep. We would call them "chance encounters" but A Course in Miracles tells us, "Those who are to meet will meet." Level One assignments are people you seem to know very little about, but this may be your tenth lifetime of spilling a drink on one another. Whether we label it bad, pleasant or uneventful, no matter how brief, the relationship carries tremendous potential for healing. You will continue to meet until your assignment is complete and forgiveness is found.
Level Two Relationships
These relationships would most likely, though not exclusively, be friends, lovers, co-workers or exes. More time is spent in Level Two relationships, offering you deeper self-examination. Once you enter a relationship, you remain connected through the love you shared or through the need to unveil it. You may appear to separate when the assignment is over. Often this is the feeling of having “outgrown” each other. Or you may simply take a break from the relationship to learn other lessons before you continue healing with that person again. It can also be true that you are never physically with these people again in this world. Regardless of the circumstance, the lessons of Level Two relationships can impact an entire lifetime.
Level Three Relationships
Level Three relationships are life-long. They include parents, siblings, children, spouses and close friends. Life-long does not necessarily mean amicable. It means there is a considerable amount of karma, so to speak, with these people. Level Three assignments can be extremely gratifying and offer profound moments of love, but they can also be ugly and messy. These people bring out the best and worst in us. I understand these relationships as soul contracts that we form before coming here. Both parties agreed they would try to learn their lessons of forgiveness and love through what the other had, or didn't have. The growth potential is nothing short of a quantum leap if we are willing to perceive these people as our teachers in awakening, rather than just "mom" or "dad."