Ten years ago I would never have thought I would ever be writing an article about spirituality and relationships. At the time I would have described myself as an atheist or at best an agnostic. I had little or no interest in spiritual matters and spent most of the time using my head to solve problems logically. I had numerous judgements about what I believed were controlling and hypocritical religions. This all came to a painful end when my marriage suddenly failed and I can face-to-face with my insecurities and hidden emotions. With little to fall back on I was thrust into a process of self-discovery and began to ask the bigger questions about life.
The experience of my divorce caused me to open my heart and through a number of relationship workshops run by the Psychology of Vision organisation I began to understand the profound link between our relationships and our spirituality. Although I hadn’t been terribly conscious of it in my marriage, there was something important missing in my life. I soon realised it was a lack of spiritual awareness. I also realised that my idea of love was like a commodity – something I would be given by a woman. This made me incredibly dependent on my wife for happiness. When she left me, I was forced to face the emptiness that had been inside me for most of my life. It was my belief in the scarcity of love that was at the core of my problems.
I was soon to be introduced to an idea that transformed my life - that love is not something we gain and lose - it is our essence. Love is who we are, it is our spirit. It defines us. It makes us feel whole. It is unchanging.
The implications of this idea turned everything I knew about love on its head. Our relationship problems do not come out of a personal lack of love but from an inability to know ourselves as love. Our fights and our withdrawal are a denial of our most precious essence. When we know ourselves as love we will feel complete and no longer have to desperately search for it in the world around us. We will learn to love ourselves and be able to form successful and happy relationships with other people. Such an understanding of love also provides us with a simple yet profound explanation for our spirituality. We do not need complex religious doctrines or philosophical ideas to discover our spirituality - we can simply and very naturally embody our loving essence and feel our loving connections with the people and the world (indeed the Universe) around us. The spiritual is not something full of mystery and superstition that lies at a distance or something that we must earn through religious devotion. It is the love that is ever-present in our lives and is available to us when we choose to experience it.
The other critical change in understanding comes when we release love from the constraints of the physical body. When we think of love as spirit, it becomes infinitely bigger than any of us. In the past I thought of love as the result of biochemical reactions within my brain but now I can visualise love as a Universal field of consciousness, of which I am an intimate part. This loving ‘field’ joins us to everybody and everything rather like a gravitational or magnetic field. Being in a loving relationship with other people and the world around us is therefore our natural state of being. Our suffering comes when we deny this state and believe that we are independent, physical entities. As soon as we disconnect and deny the love that we have for people, we create problems for ourselves. We can think of our relationships occurring on several planes – with a physical, an emotional and a spiritual dimension. In truth these are three manifestations of the same thing, but it can be useful to consider them separately, especially when we are trying to work on certain aspects of our relationships. Such a holistic understanding allows us to consider the whole rather than just the physical person. Working at the spiritual level will always have a positive impact on our physical and emotional relationships.
In a practical sense, the idea that love is our spiritual or divine reality, encourages us to remember who we are. Rather than wonder why we can’t find the right partner to love us in the way we want, we can ask ourselves why we won’t allow ourselves to feel all the love that is our spiritual birthright. In a relationship - the question is - "why won't we allow our partner to love us fully?" By dismantling our own barriers to our spirituality, we naturally discover the self-love that lies underneath. If we forget who we are, we will project out our lack of love (which is another name for fear) onto the people around us and this will trigger their own sense of scarcity. The chances are that they will then attack us or withdraw from us. The solution to every relationship problem or any other problem we might face in life is therefore to rejoin the people involved and re-discover the loving connection that is our true destiny.
It’s not always easy to do this but we can ask for help from God or our higher, intuitive mind. All of us are on an unconscious journey back to the oneness of love and although we might delay our progress, ultimately nothing can stop us. The ideas that I introduce in my website and these articles are designed to assist the process of remembering who we are and forgiving ourselves and the people around us so that we can re-connect with them in a loving bond. At any moment in our lives, a choice for love rather than fear, will help us stay on the spiritual path back home and bring great happiness to our relationships.
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