SPIRITUALITY AND RELATIONSHIP
What does "being spiritual" mean? I feel that there is only one real measure of spirituality: A person's capacity to love. That is all there is to it.
What a person believes or practices, whether they go to church or not, whether they like modern spiritual teachers or ancient teachings is irrelevant. If they cannot love, or refuse to try to love more, then their spiritual side is not really being developed.
I received a card recently with a quote from the Bible
"Love knows no limit to its endurance,
No end to its trust,
No fading of its hope,
It can outlast anything"
Corinthians / Verse 13:7
So In truth, it has always been the goal of spirituality. It is not just a "modern" idea. And so-called religious people who, in the name of God persecute and kill others who don't agree with their ideology, are so far from "being spiritual" that it would be humorous if it weren't so destructive to others.
Personally I have great tolerance and respect for anyone's spiritual beliefs and practices, as long as their basic capacity to love is being developed as a result. I do not expect, nor do I require anyone to practice religion or spirituality the way I do. But I do want respect for what I do, if I become more loving as a result.
I have seen people dying, and I have heard it said of others who were dying as well, that the only question a person wants answered (when they know they are about to die) Is "In my life, did I love well? And have I loved enough?" Nothing else seems to matter at all when one passes through that mysterious portal beyond life.
If these are the most important questions when we die, why should they not be the most important question while we live? From a spiritual point of view,
I think they most certainly are.
In my own approach to spirituality, I have aligned myself with various teachers – some who advocated ancient religious teachings, and others who have a more modern approach. All of this has served me well during my life.
I am grateful for what I have experienced and learned as a result.
At present, I no longer belong to any exclusive religious organization or group, nor do I feel the need for more teachers. But from time to time, I enjoy being in the presence of wise beings and learning from them. Why not? One can only benefit from this.
WHY IS SPIRITUALITY SO IMPORTANT TO INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP?
The question could also be asked "Why is intimate relationship so important to spirituality?" It all comes down to the capacity to love. – that is for one to really be able to give love, and to really be able to receive love. The more we are committed to loving, the more we can give and receive love, and the greater is our capacity to move through the difficult times that inevitably arise in any intimate relationship.
If we cannot really give love to another, because of our selfishness and wounding from the past, we make it harder for the other to continue to love us. If we cannot receive love from another, because of our selfishness and wounding from the past, no matter what the other does to show they love us, it will never be enough.
Then love fails. The lovers separate and look for a "better other" to be with, and try again. But if they refuse to learn their lessons, they repeat the same destructive process over and over again.
The only difference between people, with respect to this most important matter, is that some accept this truth about love, and some do not.
But the difference is critical. If a person accepts this, they can remain humble, and realize when they fail to give or receive love. Then, they can learn
to do better. If a person does not accept this, then they stay rigid and unbending, usually blaming the other for their own failure to give or receive love, and refuse to learn how to do better.
Everyone has faults and wounding from the past in this area. Everyone. We are all imperfect beings, and I certainly am no exception. However, these faults are often in our "blind spots" which we are usually unaware of, or refuse to look at.
Consider the experience of driving a car. There is a "blind spot" in using the rear view mirror of a car. If no one tells you about it, or you refuse to accept that this is so, you can make dangerous mistakes in turning or changing lanes, and you could easily cause a bad accident as a result
Blind spots make dangerous lovers as well as dangerous drivers. If you don't know about them and how they affect your feelings and perceptions of reality, or you refuse to accept that they exist, you can blame another for what is only the effect of your own wounding. And you may destroy relationship needlessly as a result.
It seems apparent that one cannot engage this process of self-understanding alone, no matter how independent one is, because of the "blindness" that each of us has Therefore, I suggest that spiritual practice should include the willingness to communicate with trustable others about such matters. It can be one's friends, a priest in a church, or others who share one's way of spiritual practice, etc. Who or what or how, does not matter as long as it works to awaken you.
And once a person develops the capacity and willingness to admit such failures to "see", and can invoke Divine assistance, the aid that is needed will surely come to him or her in a most effective form. The spiritual process is completely unique in each and every person's case. If we can honor and support these differences, we can be of immense service to others. Why not?
Then Trust can truly arise – First of all, trust in the Divine, then trust in oneself, and finally, trust in others.
Love is like a flower, and trust is like water. With water, a flower lives and grows. Without water, the flower dies.
With trust, love can grow and flourish. Without it, the heart closes. Love withers and dies. If a person wants trustable others in their lives, then they must first become trustable themselves. It does not occur otherwise.
Therefore, become committed to greater self understanding, learning to love and trust more as a result, and asking for forgiveness when you fail to do so.
Why not do this? We are only here to love. All else is secondary.