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Do Relationships Hinder Spiritual Growth?

Nov 28, 2007
There are those who hold the opinion that if you are on a spiritual path you should stay away from people of the opposite sex, as relationships can distract you from your path. I do not personally believe this.

One thing I have learned over the years is that relationships bring us our greatest lessons as well as our biggest challenges. People around us provide us with mirrors of our own beliefs and experiences about life and our role in it.

Many people who have been working on developing their spirituality become concerned when their romantic partner does not seem to share their enthusiasm for their interests and sometimes even laugh at or belittle them.

It is important to remember that like attracts like and when you originally met your spouse or friend they may have come at a time when you had one set of beliefs, now that you have expanded your conscious beliefs the match is not so comfortable.

If your partner has not been doing the same reading and growth work as you, they may feel that they do not recognise the person they first chose to share this part of their life with.
It is easier for them to just think this is a weird phase and hope that you will go back to your old self than to face the reality of the changes taking place and that the two of you may split.

As we grow and change we bring new people into our lives that reflect this and yes some of those we previously were involved with leave our lives if the connection was unhealthy or pertaining to a particular set of circumstances. This is more positive than it sounds.

Let me give you an example if you were a goldfish you would pick a goldfish to marry, if that goldfish suddenly turned into an eel you would feel cheated and then you would have to make the decision am I going to try to turn into an eel or would I rather find another goldfish?

As far as spiritual growth is concerned I believe that life is a rich experience and part of the joy and wonder of that experience is having relationships of all kinds.

We are not Monks or Nuns, if you want that experience then that is alright but otherwise you are avoiding the joy and the lessons such interactions provide. You can hold your own spiritual space and honour someone elses and love and support each other as you journey.

Having said that it is not necessary to have a relationship to experience joy and love and of course the most important relationship we have is with ourselves.

So after all that, allow for the fact that your partner has a right to all their feelings and choices just as you do. Try not to feel hurt by their reaction to what you are doing, there is no need to convert them. If they see you happy and healthy then they are more likely to want to experience that too.

This is not a battle with one of you being right. This is your opportunity to practise unconditional love.

I have found in my own experience and those of people who attend my workshops and courses, that those who clear out their own emotional barriers, blocks and issues find an abundance of love in their life and an enormous amount of healing takes place in their relationships.

Quite often those who have been on a spiritual path previously alone suddenly find that they are joined by a new likeminded partner and this helps them to take big strides forward in their spiritual development.
About the Author
Gillian is an internationally renowned metaphysical teacher, workshop leader and author.
For more information visit http://www.aplacefortheheart.co.uk
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