All emotions are relational. As we’ve seen so far, the relationships of Victim Mode are persecutor/victim, the relationships of Interpreter Mode are adversarial, and the relationships of Observer Mode are neutral. When we move into Partner Mode, the relationships are cooperative. You can identify a Partner Mode emotion by its cooperative nature. Whenever you feel friendly, helpful, or harmonious you are operating in Partner Mode. Of course, because you are already a friendly, helpful person you have lots of experience with these emotions. You know what they feel like – and you know their results.
There will be times when you don’t feel at all friendly or helpful, when you find yourself operating from Victim or Interpreter emotions, so let’s take a deeper look at the Partner Mode aspects of cooperation, connection and choice.
Like most aspects of empowerment, cooperation begins within. When you make choices from self-knowledge and self-respect, your decisions tend to enrich your life. Recognize your skills and talents. Accept the hand you're dealt. Be willing to laugh at yourself. Open your senses and enjoy the world around you. When you extend such Partner Mode emotions to yourself, you can avoid most inner conflicts. (Observer Mode provides a gentle, hopeful middle ground.)
My marriage of 26 years was troubled. For many complex reasons, I stayed with it until after my children were grown. At about year 25, I decided to leave my husband. I thought I would keep this a secret from him, delivering the news as I headed out the door. Then I reconsidered, figuring it wasn’t fair to blindside him, so I gave him advance warning. Delivering my news evolved into a discussion and then the discussion devolved into a promise from me to not leave him. Afterward, I felt I had just sentenced myself to life imprisonment, and I plunged into the darkest despair of my life. I sobbed my heart out for several hours before concluding my only option was to get strong enough to stay. At that moment, I entered Observer Mode.
From the neutral space of accepting what was, I saw the glimmer of possibility that somehow I could make things better for myself. I wrote out an affirmation that went something like, “My life is one of peace and happiness. All negativity has departed, leaving only love and harmony.” I wrote it out by hand, filling pages and pages with it, until I felt it in my heart, until I believed it. At that moment, I entered Partner territory.
All negativity did not depart. All my negativity did. Sure, there were times when I slipped into interpreter Mode, but now I had a tool. I had internalized that affirmation at such a deep level that repeating it brought me back into cooperation with myself, and with my intention for happiness and harmony. I eventually realized that if I got strong enough to stay, I’d probably be strong enough to go.
One of the powerful results of operating in Partner Mode is discovering what’s true for you. When you are in cooperation with yourself, you come into greater cooperation with your values. In Interpreter Mode, your values can conflict with each other, or you can find yourself in conflict with them. To honor Value A may be to betray Value B. To hold firm with Value X may mean you have to relax Value Y.But when you move into Partner Mode, your values become your allies in creating a fulfilling and happy life.
From the spirit of cooperation implicit in Partner Mode, you begin to see your connection to everything. Everyone and everything becomes a potential partner. Think of all the people who reside in your life or pass through it: family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, clerks, patrons, teachers, students, clients, competitors, fellow travelers – even enemies. What would it be like if you could find common ground with every single one of these people? What if you saw every single one of them as willing to cooperate with you?
In Partner Mode, this is not a stretch. When you approach someone with friendliness (instead of suspicion or resentment), the positive energy you emit will overwhelm any hostility they may carry. When you internalize a Partner emotion, it’s yours regardless of the situation. Regardless of the state of mind, outward appearance, previous behaviors or agendas of the other person, you are trust, willingness, confidence, serenity, affection, or appreciation. When you are these attributes, this energy, you will be the strongest power in the room. You draw others into cooperation with you. You may even draw them into cooperation with their best good.
(Always remember, however, that the other person possesses free will, and may choose to hold onto their destructive actions or emotions.)
Now think of all the things and situations in your life: house, car, equipment, work, play, hobbies, studies, traffic, animals, food, sleep, money, energy, time, health, spirituality, etc. What would it be like to be in cooperation with every aspect of your life? What if you saw everything in your life as willing to cooperate with you?
Again, in Partner Mode this is not a stretch. Partner Mode reaches out. It recognizes your connection with everything else and extends the hand of friendship. After Observer Mode neutralizes conflict, Partner Mode makes friends. For instance, embrace harmony each morning as you get in your car, and traffic will flow more smoothly during your commute. Become friends with money, and money will become friends with you. Approach tasks with eagerness, and your tools and equipment will join with you in the accomplishment.
Expand your view of everything, and you will discover an unseen partner. I don’t have a specific name for this unseen partner, so call it whatever feels right to you: the universe, god, spirit, your guides, quantum energy. By whatever name, this unseen partner is infinite, available, willing, non-judgmental, supportive, constant, and unconditional. You never have to prove yourself, earn its love, obey some set of rules, or follow a procedure. The instant you connect with a Partner emotion, you open your connection with this unseen partner. (The power of this unseen partner is always available, like electricity wired into a home. But Interpreter Mode forgets to turn on the lights, and Victim Mode also keeps the drapes drawn.)
When in a cooperative relationship (with anyone or anything), you accept your personal power. You know your emotions are a choice, and you choose emotions that will empower you and others. You choose the cooperative emotions that will bring about best good.
You also accept and respect the power others bring to the situation. Their choices will be different from yours, as will their talents, their energy, and their particular focus. You bring your power and emotions, they bring theirs, and together you can create something neither of you could do alone.
In Observer Mode, you become aware of the wide scope of possibilities open to you. In Partner Mode, the scope of possibilities continues to expand, and you become more fully aware of your power to choose. As your ability to choose what you want gets stronger, so does your ability to discard what you don’t want. For instance, when you choose health, you discard the option of illness. When you choose abundance, you toss out the option of scarcity. When you choose happiness, you eliminate the option of misery. In Partner Mode possibilities narrow into probabilities.
You let what you don’t want illuminate what you do want, and by discarding what you don’t want, you narrow the range of possibilities. Misery, for example, stops being a possibility. Or scarcity, or loneliness, or illness, or frustration. Imagine you have a bushel basket full of apples. Imagine sorting through all the apples and discarding any with bruises or rotten spots. In the end, you have only ¾ of a bushel, but they’re all Grade A. Do you mind that you have fewer apples?
By moving from Observer Mode to Partner Mode, you essentially eliminate the undesirable options. All the shiny, delicious, crunchy, juicy possibilities remaining in your basket become probabilities. And from your selection of good options, your best good will arise.