Many spiritual traditions teach that being in any kind of relationship is the… “most rigorous spiritual practice we can undertake.” This is because relationships force us to confront both what is easy and what is difficult to accept about our inner nature.
Spiritual relationships offer us an opportunity to own both the positive and negative elements about what our relationship beliefs mirror back to us.
Sadly, I often go unconscious to how my spiritual relationships mirror back to me my positive characteristics that I have yet to “own.” Meaning, the positive aspects of my Self that I have yet to claim or fully express as part of my Godlike nature.
According to Carl Jung, relationships are a crucible in which we “project” both positive and negative aspects of ourselves. He states, “To confront a person with their ‘shadow side’ is to show them their inner light.”
Spiritual relationships challenge us to love differently, by not controlling or possessing others, and also by not permitting ourselves to be controlled or possessed by others. To do this without withholding our love, while “walking our spiritual talk” as openly and lovingly as possible is, as my former staff member stated, “hard.”
Learning to love differently is “hard” because it requires us to love with hands and hearts wide open. To love openly without any posturing or hidden agendas is “hard” because it forces us to live by a different set of rules than most of us were taught in childhood.
Love that grows from emotional integrity, trust and intimacy without restraint or defense supports mutual freedom and growth. It opens an inner doorway that allows our spiritual relationships to bloom and, as it does, we get to feel and experience… the closet thing to heaven on earth.