Relationships make us ill or can cause us to heal, grow, become stronger. People interactions are loaded with a complex mix of ambivalence, toxicity, good energy and exchange, and many times a confusing combination of emotions. There's a dynamic between people, something bigger than either person, a mysterious third force, energy, dynamic.
When things take a bad turn it signals the presence of a psychological dynamic gone awry. But, things go wonky for a reason. That purpose reveals itself if we are open to what I call the mysterious third.
The mysterious third is a psychological force, energy, spirit. Thomas Ogden, depth psychologist, writes of the mysterious third as inhabiting all relationships. It attracts us, repels us, causes us to hate, to love, to lust, to settle in quiet intimacy.
A couple states, 'I don't know what gets a hold of us. We're out of it. Not ourselves and we end up fighting. Or, sometimes there's so much caring and love we can barely contain it." This is the mysterious third.
The mysterious third speaks to us. It makes us feel things. It does not lie. There is always something for us in the mysterious third!