Of all the various topics out there, the one I find myself talking and writing about the most is relationship. And there’s a very good reason for this. Relationship plays such an integral part in our lives and contributes a great deal to our personal spiritual growth.
We are all in relationship with one another, in some form or another. Relationship doesn’t just refer to intimate partners. Relationship refers to the connection between any two things and the way in which they interact with one another. For us this includes friends, family, strangers, insects and animals, and even the earth we live on. So you can see that relationship covers a broad spectrum and is inclusive of all living beings. So it’s no wonder that this topic is of such great importance.
Now, of course, when we talk about relationship, we often focus on friendship and romantic relationships in particular because this is where most of our energy is involved. And there isn’t anything wrong with that. In fact, it is our most intimate relations that offer us the greatest opportunities for personal growth, and also serve as a foundation from which we can build better relationships with everyone else.
When we’re consistently engaged in an intimate exchange with another person, this brings all kinds of stuff up to the surface. It is those people closest to us that trigger us the most. We’d like to believe that our friendships and romantic relationships will be a constant flow of blissful loving energy, but reality paints a much different picture. Romantic relationships are filled with all kinds of unexpected challenges, and this is precisely why the topic is so popular.
We often think that when difficulties arise, the relationship just isn’t working out. But the truth is that the relationship is working perfectly. The whole function of the relationship is to teach us by offering us lessons in order that we might grow more fully in love. Those difficulties are in fact lessons. They are integral to our personal growth. The only real problem in relationships is that we fail to see the lessons in these challenges. We have some idealized fantasy of how relationships should be, and when we’re faced with reality, we think that something is wrong. Well, something is wrong, but it’s not the relationship. What is wrong is our fantastic expectations about the relationship. And for most of us, this is the most important lesson. If we can learn that relationships aren’t supposed to be smooth sailing, and that they are meant to offer us lessons for personal growth, only then will we be capable of learning from those lessons to come. Otherwise we just go on repeating them, over and over again, and never making any spiritual progress.
So instead of seeing our partner as someone who is supposed to fulfill all of our needs and desires, we can see instead someone who is going to bring all of our baggage and issues up to the surface where we can then begin to do the necessary work to heal ourselves. And this, of course, means that rather than depending upon them to make us feel happy and secure, we have to take responsibility for our own emotions, our own wounds, and begin to rewrite our story.
When we are able to see our partner in this light, and we begin to do the inner work of healing wounds and breaking down barriers, we learn to have greater acceptance, compassion, patience and understanding. And when we are able to interact with our partners from a higher space of love, rather than from fear and ego, this transfers over into all other aspects of our lives. The relationship we have with our most intimate partner will be reflected in the relationships we have with everyone else.
When we become more loving with our partner, all of our exchanges will be more loving. If our relationship with our partner teaches us compassion, for example, then we will become more compassionate toward all living beings. If our relationship is teaching us forgiveness, then we will be more able to forgive others.
Our most intimate relationships will affect our friendships, our family relations, our business relationships, and even our interactions with strangers. And when our relationship to each and every person in our lives is improved, this inspires each of them to improve upon the relationships that they have with others also. So you can see that this influence carries over even to other beings which you may never come into direct contact with. The loving energy which you exchange with one person gets carried over to the next like ripples going out in all directions, and those ripples can travel on into infinity. They can move across the surface of the world and come right back around to you.
So it’s very important to realize how our personal intimate relationships affect, not only our personal relationships with everyone else we come into contact with, but with the entire cosmos itself. So if we desire to live in a world that is exuding love then we must simply learn how to be more loving in regard to our most personal relations.