"Spiritual Relationships"

from my book Pillars of Awesome Relationships . . .

We are spiritual beings and we never get farther away from our true spiritual nature than when we are triggered in an intimate relationship. Intimate relationships can be the most challenging part of living a spiritual life because they demand that we look into the darkest parts of our being and bring light to the farthest reaches of our past. Having an awesome, blessed relationship that nurtures a rich spiritual walk requires the mindset where we see problems as opportunities to deepen our intimate connection as well as our spiritual walk, rather than falling into a ME vs. YOU mindset in our relationship. And it requires the emotional and communication skills to heal the underlying hurts that hav ebeen triggered by the relationship and deepen our connection to our beloved with authentic communication.

How do I make my Relationship match my Spiritual path?

When we feel attracted to another, in any way, we want to get closer to that person. The opening that occurs when we fall in love is the first part of a potential transformation, the relationship can be the vehicle for that transformation. Love calls us to be vulnerable with our beloved. As we fall in love, it feels good to be vulnerable in the wonderful feelings of love. If we do not allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we stop the good feelings and we stop the transformational process and get stuck in the relationship. Why would anyone want to stop the awesome feelings that love brings? It doesn’t seem logical, does it? Why would we keep ourselves from feeling one of the most wonderful feelings that human beings could feel? The answer lies in dark shadows.

Dark Shadows come up in Relationships because it is part of our Spiritual path to heal the hurts we have buried inside.

As we get closer in a relationship, the bright light of love causes any unhealed hurt inside to show up as a very dark shadow. Those dark shadows do not feel good; we feel threatened, hurt, alienated, disrespected, resentful, scared, or unappreciated. These feelings do not feel like the wonderful love that has brought their darkness to light. When these feelings come up in the relationship, we have to feel them and share them with our beloved in order to heal them. When we allow ourselves to feel this hurt, and combine it with the opening that love brings, then love can begin to heal the hurt. This is why learning emotional, communication, and listening skills is so important in relationships! Without these skills, the hurts continue to pile up.

If we feel some kind of hurt in a relationship and avoid confronting the hurt, our avoidance will prevent us from getting closer to our beloved and it will prevent any resolution to the pain and ensuing conflict. In order to get closer, we have to begin to heal this hurt.

Avoiding pain is not a problem; unless you want to get closer to someone you love. When we want to get closer to someone and also want to avoid a buried pain, this is a perfect prescription for an “impasse.” The father of Gestalt therapy, Fritz Perls, popularized the term “impasse,” which he used to refer to the sick points in our lives and in our relationships. How many of us have ever come to an impasse in a relationship? All of us!

Fighting in relationships is a symptom of spiritually being stuck

When couples bump into these impasses or roadblocks and do not have the skills to heal the hurts and fears that come up, they get stuck. This stuckness is like putting one foot on the gas pedal of a car (wanting to feel the wonderful feelings of love) and simultaneously keeping a foot firmly on the brake pedal (avoiding feeling the deepest pain because of not knowing how to heal the issues that have come up). Couples then are stuck between feeling the love they have for each other and the inability to heal the hurts they feel. This is the point where most couples begin to fight.

Author's Bio: 

Marcus Ambrester, MA, received his master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University in Boulder, CO, and has been a practicing therapist since 1998. Pillars of Awesome Relationships is available on Amazon and from www.PillarsofAwesomeRelationships.com. He is in Private Practice in Nashville, TN and can be reached through his website, www.marcusambrester.com.