If you could consider a committed, intimate relationship as a Spiritual Path, you may find a new possibility for healing and joy that can bring a greater truth, vitality, and aliveness to your relationship. For many people, an intimate relationship is about getting their needs met, feeling safe and loved by another. This can often be a complicated arrangement that creates issues of misattunement with each other, such as feeling ignored, misunderstood, forgotten, criticized, shamed, betrayed, hurt, etc. Instead, consider viewing an intimate relationship as being a form of a spiritual quest or path for learning how to connect more deeply within yourself.
Falling in Love
In the first bloom of a romantic connection, you fall in love and it feels ecstatic! This falling sensation is one of letting go of control (with little fear), of surrendering to a sense of yourself that is beyond you. It is akin to the ecstatic feeling of spiritual enlightenment. As Marianne Williamson puts it;
“From a spiritual perspective, the original high of a romantic connection is thrilling …. For in a quick moment, a gift from the gods, we are likely to suspend our judgment of the other, not because we are temporarily insane, but because we are temporarily sane. We are having what you might call a mini-enlightenment experience. Enlightenment is not unreal; enlightenment—or pure love—is all that is real. Enlightenment is when we see not as through a glass darkly, but truly face-to-face.” – Marianne Williamson
Falling Out of Love
And then, one day, the veil lifts and what you experience is an illusion of separateness with your intimate partner. This is actually a delusion because the other presents an opportunity for you to consider the possibility that you are actually seeing a reflection of an unowned aspect of yourself in the mirror of your ‘other’. The separateness is actually within you, projected externally as your experience of what you attract and how you perceive your reality.
You notice differences, you don’t agree on something, communication skills are awkward and maybe even an argument ensues. You want harmony and peace again, but there is something completely at odds that is blocking it. You get confused, maybe a bit contrary, shameful, or righteous and exasperated. Feeling stuck, most people don’t understand how to move through it to transform these uncomfortable experiences. Or how to shift conflict into more permanent healing experiences of deeper connection with their other and within themselves at the same time.
Consider Another Possibility of Relationship
Or – you could consider a new possibility. You could view your intimate relationship with an attitude of seeing all differences, disconnection or experiences of separateness as opportunities to experience yourself (and your partner) with deeper levels of compassion, healing, and forgiveness. Feeling stuck, having conflicts or blocks with your partner, have the potential to become a gift for you to discover what it is within you that is closing you to the experience of love, connection, and wholeness – within yourself. A committed relationship can become a spiritual path that leads to a greater sense of freedom and healing.
“When we change the context of relationship to include this view, it opens up a whole world where we can grow deeper individually and together. Instead of seeing the pain and challenges of relationship as potential roadblocks, each “obstacle” becomes an opportunity to grow. Seen in this light, relationship frees us from the habitual need to have our partners, family members, or co-workers “be a certain way” in order for us to feel safe and okay.” – Jayson Gaddis
Commit to an Intimate and Spiritual Relationship
A deeply committed, intimate relationship has the potential to become a spiritual path that is a constant, daily practice of how to softly witness or notice when you are open or closed to receiving or giving love. Love as in the caring and compassion for others and loving as in the experience of deep trusting connections with another.
Like a garden, you can plant seeds and simply let the sun and rain feed it. But if you pay close attention, notice when it needs more (love) nourishment, pruning, caring or watch when you might have been distracted or disconnected within yourself first, you can keep things clear and flourishing with a healthier aliveness between you and your partner. Like the weeds that can begin to take over a garden of neglect, you may discover that when you blame others first for how you feel or experience them, it becomes much harder to care for your love garden and keep it clear, fresh and vital.
Learn How to Love Disconnecting from Love
By staying present to both the loving and blissful feelings of love as well as the negative and uncomfortable feelings of disconnecting from love that can come up, together you can learn how to welcome the more challenging feelings into conscious awareness to be safely exposed and considered with gentleness and caring. It is truly possible to transform deep wounds of the past with each other. By growing together with conscious intent you can relax into the sacred crucible of a compassionate, heart-centered relationship,
“Flow. Be adaptable. Be sensitive like water, feel the other so you can attune and harmonize with your partner.” – John Friend
The physical, emotional and spiritual love between two people is a micro-reflection of the mysterious energies of love that we can access within ourselves from Source, God, or the Universe. With the body presence of an alchemy of acceptance and loving attunement, both people in relationship can learn how to let go into the true spiritual energies of love. This can be deeply energizing and inspiring between two people. We simply need to be reminded, soulfully reflected with how we relate to each other, to remember and reclaim the abundance of love that potentially surrounds us everywhere.
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