Relationship and the Spiritual Path

While driving home from an invigorating walk at our favorite beach (one that allows Charley and Ginger, our two young golden retrievers, to run free), we were enjoying listening to a well-known spiritual teacher on an audio tape — that is, until she brought up the topic of relationships. We listened as she said, “The road to the Self can only be taken alone. If you are with a partner, that relationship will interfere with your true discovery of your Self.”

We turned off the tape and thought to ourselves, “There’s that old message again.” We reminisced how many times over the years we have received that message from well-meaning friends and teachers. One person insisted that our closeness was the very thing blocking our spiritual progress. Somehow, these persistent messages did not ring true in our souls, so the rebel in us both set out to disprove them. We became convinced that we could find a way to maintain our closeness while still evolving on our spiritual journeys.
We had to shift from only looking into each other’s eyes to also looking into the eyes of the world.
So here we were, hearing the same message twenty years later. And here we were, closer than ever before and, at the same time, more deeply rooted to our spiritual path. Yet, to achieve this closeness both within our relationship and to our own inner Selves, we had to make an important shift in our relationship. This shift, for which we had no role model, we now see was essential for the deeper connection to our spiritual Selves. We had to shift from only facing each other to also facing a mutual vision, a higher purpose. We had to shift from only looking into each other’s eyes to also looking into the eyes of the world. This new vision was inclusive of our previous vision. It didn’t mean we stopped looking into each other’s eyes. Rather, it enlarged our vision, which has served to actually deepen the closeness in our own relationship.

Our deepest vision is uniting our hearts as an act of service to the world. By our loving one another, we feel we are giving an important gift to the world. And by our continual striving to integrate our relationship into our path of consciousness, we feel we are providing a vital model for others. Each year we consciously set aside time as a couple to crystallize our vision of relationship and spirituality and then look for ways to apply this vision to our daily lives, our work, and our spiritual quest. We often take this time between our birthdays in May, at which time we embark upon a shared vision quest in nature.

Taking the time to connect with your common vision as a couple could be the most important thing you do together. Feel the higher purpose of your being together. Feel the gift you are bringing to the world just by loving one another. This reflection will not only bring you more love as a couple, but will also connect you more deeply to your own heart and spiritual path.

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