Relationships are for spiritual growth is a common idea in the spiritual community.
I believe that this fallacy is harmful to relationships and confuses the real purpose of relationship; the giving and receiving of love. While spiritual growth does happen in relationships, to make such growth primary is confusing. To place spiritual growth before love and whatever nurtures love actually short-circuits a well-meaning, good-sounding intention.
Relationships that endure place love first.
Love is the energy that enables spiritual growth. Without love, spiritual growth is stymied. Love must be the central focus.
Many world traditions make the claim that God is Love. The spiritual aspirant knows the source gives all possibility. Love heals all wounds, causes growth, gives faith and power to live a fulfilling life. When love is the focus, the ability to function with integrity is simple and fulfilling.
Spiritual growth is a natural process strengthened with the presence of love.
With love as the core focus in relationship, striving for spiritual growth is unnecessary. Spiritual growth is always happening. Love nurtures spiritual wisdom in the most profound ways and accelerates spiritual growth beyond mental concepts and causes paradigm shifts at the deepest levels.
Pride and false ego are easily and willingly yielded. The soul blossoms effortlessly. One hears and serves the needs of the other with joy. Communication and understanding are facilitated. The love relationship maintains a power that endures time and life trials.
When the relationship focus becomes spiritual growth, love is placed on in the background.
The beloved becomes a tool for an ideal that may or may not become a livable reality. It is a subtle form of usery. A love relationship bears the expectation for bringing oneself closer to god-source. The conscious or subconscious demands placed on the other to act or be in ways that support ones own personal growth remains the anti-thesis of love. Expectations and demands at any level can drain loves vitality, where as healthy boundaries protect and nurture love.
Who can judge what is and is not spiritual growth? The ideal for enlightenment remains elusive, a mental construct formed of ideas, perceptions and concepts. The living truth of spiritual life and self-actualization are different than what the mind imagines. The beauty of relationship endures when endowed with life-nurturing love.
Spiritual practices are not love nor illuminating. Only love itself is the light that dispels darkness.
Focusing on spiritual growth and using a relationship as a spiritual tool objectifies everybody involved.
Rather than feeling and being a channel of love and allowing the naturalness of spirit and self to express, the forms of love take shape fitting into ideals and concepts. If that is or is not loving remains to be seen. Often times, the belief needs to be yielded. Only love itself can allow that.
The shadow-construct of love may guide a person in the ideal direction, yet itself is not the illuminating power of love.
Recognizing that relationships are a vehicle for spiritual growth is beautiful. Making the relationship the primary focus as a means for spiritual growth is close to the mark, though not complete. It alleviates personal responsibility for god-discovery. Self-knowledge is always a personal journey, a continual unveiling and delving into spirit through ones own soul. Spiritual growth and self-discovery only happens through will, intention and love.
Reframing the ideal of relationship as a spiritual vehicle is only a small shift in consciousness.
Seeing the power of relationship and honoring its potential is truly divine. To see the goddess or god within the beloved is unique and special beyond comprehension. It is fertile ground for illumination, and to nurture the growth of that union is a spiritual practice. When infused with love such a relationship transcends the illusions of the time-bound mind, healing the deepest wounds and integrating heart, body, mind and soul.
Commitment to love enables the divine relationship to blossom and thrive in every dimension.
The vehicle of relating becomes powered by the infinite fuel of love, brightened by possibilities, and liberating in the longevity it grants. To know love, one needs to recognize how it feels within and with the beloved. The rest is simple. The only work required to sustain a loving relationship is to yield what does not serve love.
Do what sustains and nurtures love. Do not do that which diminishes loves light.
The focus on love is effortlessly enduring. It is the true sustainable spiritual practice.
For who can pass up love?
Love relationships last for lifetimes.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman