Many of us study the healing properties of crystals and keep an altar, meditation has become so commonplace that mainstream scientific institutions are presenting research to validate its personal and worldwide benefits- there are even meditation apps easily accessible, and it is uncommon to meet anyone who hasn’t at least heard of Reiki, energy healing or chakras. No doubt about it, neo-spirituality as a focus and a lifestyle has only grown in influence since the ‘free love’ days of the 60s and 70s, the popularization of yoga from the 80’s through the present, and many worldwide esoteric lineages feeling the call to disseminate knowledge for the enlightenment of humanity and the good of the earth.
Perhaps one of the last and most central spiritual practices of our generation is to turn those spiritual realizations inward to shine the light into our most cherished relationships. Just like everyday life can begin to feel mundane or even like a constant struggle, so too can our relationships- the lifeblood of our hearts, be left in the dark away from the illumination of spirit.
Yet to weave the consciousness of spirit into our relationships is to be willing to experience transformation in the deepest places of ourselves, as others are certainly our mirrors as we expand and develop. It can be more common and easier to only experience our relationships from surface levels. We can become focused on merely the sexual dimension of the relationship, we can be caught in painful dynamics of arguing and separation, and we can also be so focused on navigating survival and the everyday needs of a family or life together that no attention is being paid to our development on a soul level.
The Infusion of Spirit into Relationships
“When you enhance your spiritual connection together, you form a relationship built on inner security and healthy communication. As you work to become conscious of your partner's needs, you can prevent or solve the more difficult problems as they arise.”- James Redfield
What if we were to look at our partners or lovers through the eyes of spirit instead of simply our human perspective? Rather than focusing on what we can gain from the other person, seeking to control their behavior or to cause them to fit into what we want them or need them to be, what if we could allow them to be who they really are and loved them completely just as they are?
Let’s take a look at a simple strategy that can help infuse spirit into your relationships to transform them with compassion, communication, and a wider more accepting perspective.
1) Forming a Spiritual Union
Each person has their unique curriculum to fulfill in a lifetime, lessons we all must learn, character traits we must develop and valleys we must go through. When we come together in relationships we are two people one different journey creating a new dynamic together. In order to move forward together in harmony and in such a way as to empower one another, we must be unified on a spiritual level. By unifying spiritually, we can coalesce our paths and move through the journey together as a team, lending support and working towards similar goals.
Some couples may choose to meditate or pray together, to chant or practice yoga, or to observe the serenity of nature while spending time outdoors. You must learn to trust your significant others’ intuition as well as your own. Forming a spiritual center to your relationship will ensure that both parties can continue on in the path of your highest and best.
2) Appreciate Each Other’s Uniqueness
Simply because you may both be on a spiritual path and have decided to make spirituality a
foundation for your union does not mean that you see eye to eye on every philosophy, value, and practice or that it will all be easy sailing from here on out. We still live in a reality of duality and therefore, we will always live with polarities and differences in relationships. Yet deciding to bring the truth of your spiritual essence into your relationships sets you up for success so that you have the peace and security to explore other values and perspectives with an open mind.
A few examples may include:
- A significant other with very different interests or perspectives can be challenging and also exciting. You may find yourself exploring new interests and activities that you never noticed in the past. Sometimes you may choose to do this for the benefit of your partner because you wish to show your love and support for who they are and other times, this may truly serve as exposure for you to expand yourself in new directions that you may in time come to love and cherish.
- As with any relationship between two unique individuals, there will be differences in viewpoint whether that is relating to social or political issues, perspectives on religious and spiritual topics or anything else. Our distinct experiences in life and upbringing will shape what we see in the world and how we interpret it. By practicing the spiritual value of acceptance and openness within reason, we can, again, expand our reality and our hearts to include a wider expanse of existence. IF you choose to be open, you can allow your partner to feel accepted and this dynamic allows the relationship to be a safe haven as well as a place of learning and growth.
- If you make a decision to have a spiritual relationship one of the biggest benefits, though not always easy in the moment, is that you will have the opportunity to overcome your negative personality traits and behavioral tendencies that hinder the flow of a healthy relationship. In order to relate fully and spiritually, high –quality honest communication is an absolute must. Coming from a place of the spirit and learning to not give in to your selfishness and anger, you can together learn to honestly overcome or shift the patterns and habits that are hurting each other and to move together through the tough times together with grace. This leads to the next strategy: communication.
3) Up-level Your Communication
While we learn to read, write, and solve math problems in school, we never sit in an organized or intentional setting to learn how to effectively- let alone compassionately- communicate. Most of us learn communication skills subconsciously over our younger years and throughout life by watching and unintentionally absorbing the way our parents and families communicate as well as other influences in the media or our social circles. The problem is that most people today habitually practice some or many ineffective or even detrimental communication styles that can hinder and harm relationships. In fact “communication breakdown”, though it may be about any number of things, is almost always the end reason we cannot resolve differences and stay together.
In order to communicate from a place of the spirit, you must learn to listen with your heart.
Remember that many or most people are not equipped with excellent communication skills. Try to read between the lines and to glean what it is the person really needs to communicate or to hear in response. Rather than listening with our figurative hand on the trigger, just waiting to respond, be willing to really truly listen. When you do this, you will always be able to recognize that any anger or pain is, at a root level, about your partner. You can choose to offer empathy by either repeating or otherwise demonstrating that you have heard and understood. Once both partners feel that everything they need to have heard is on the table, resolutions to issues can almost always be reached and a feeling of safety and care pervades the relationship. These concepts are roughly a reflection of the work of Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D., author of many books on the method of Non- Violent Communication- highly recommended resources for transforming relationships with love.
4) Get Familiar with the Love Languages
Be willing to open an honest dialogue to reveal the specific ways of showing love that mean to the most to yourself and your partner so that you can build a more fulfilling relationship through intentional action. In order to find your love language, you can reference the famous book by Gary Chapman, “The Five Love Languages.” The Five ‘Languages’ at a glance:
-Thoughtful gifts, like surprising your love with a new addition to a favorite collection of something
-Acts of Service, such as mowing the lawn or preparing a meal for him or her ahead of time
-Words of Affirmation, meaning to affirm and acknowledge the one you love with compliments or kind words
-Physical Affection, Showing your love by offering physical touch either to express sympathy,
attraction, support, or love. This can be a hug, a pat on the back, or cuddling on the couch
-Quality Time: lavishing the resource of your time on your partner, going on a trip together, or anyone-on-one undistracted time to connect
5) Embracing Humility and Forgiveness
Just as in all relationships, your spiritual relationship will be punctuated with rocky patches of
disagreement, hurt feelings, or even broken promises or expectations. When this occurs, you and/or your partner may already be feeling reactive, hurt, or defensive and at that moment it is most important to remember the foundations of your connection and the value each of you has to each other.
Be willing to step down from your pride and apologize when necessary, stepping into a moral high ground will only lead to the breakdown of what may otherwise be a beautiful relationship. Part of spiritual maturity is reaching a point where we can readily accept responsibility for the wrongs we have done or the ways we have contributed to the communication breakdown. Patience here is crucial because as we discussed earlier, each personality is different. Your partner may accept your apology or may apologize but may still need space and time to process and calm down before reconnecting.
6) Never go to Bed Angry
It’s an old adage but it applies just as much here as anywhere. Though the soul goes on forever, even in spiritually focused relationships it can help to acknowledge that our experience and our life is temporary. Grudges and resentment are an insidious poison to a relationship, causing it to become brittle and weak over time. Don’t give in to the impulse to hold onto your anger or disappointment. Tomorrow is never promised and in the end, your soul always moves toward love.
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