A Relationship as a Spiritual Path
A relationship can be an exciting path to the unknown. It offers an ever-present opportunity to grow spiritually — a path to transformation and mutual discovery and ultimately the divine when partners open to one another.
The concept of spirituality derives from “spiritus,” meaning vitality or breath of life. Like an electric charge, our soul awakens when we’re connected to that force. The more we’re aligned to it, the stronger and more alive is our soul. We tap into this power each time we express ourselves authentically.
Consider spiritual concepts, such as faith, surrender, truth, compassion, and love. As we practice these principles in our relationships, they have a synergistic effect, reinforcing one another and strengthening us.
Faith and Surrender
Faith is the first spiritual premise. A relationship with a higher source or higher power, however defined, must be our priority because, when we make someone or something (like an addiction or ambition) more important, we not only live in fear, but we also lose ourselves — our soul.
In relationships, faith in a higher power enables us to surrender our well-being and self-worth to something other than another person. It helps us rise above our fears and build autonomy and self-esteem. When we trust that we won’t disintegrate from loneliness, fear, shame, or abandonment, we’re able to brave rejection and separateness from our partner.
Surrender requires patience, which also comes from faith. If we want to relinquish controlling our relationships, we must have the confidence to wait. On the other hand, when our fears and defenses are activated, we end up hurting the relationship in our attempts to maintain it.
Our spiritual and psychological development soars when we speak and act congruently in alignment with our Self, especially when we feel we have the most to lose. With faith we gain the courage to chance our partner’s displeasure and speak the truth. Honest, authentic and assertive communication replaces passive and/or aggressive attempts to please and manipulate. Expression of our vulnerability invites others to be vulnerable also. This builds our spiritual power, resiliency, and autonomy. By giving loving, non-interfering attention, a safe, healing environment is created. When reciprocated, we no longer feel the need to hide, and our ability to risk and be vulnerable grows. Then true intimacy becomes possible.
Compassion and Love
Acceptance is essential for satisfying relationships. Yet, we can only accept and have compassion for our partner to the degree to which we accept and have compassion for ourselves.