In Sweet Company

In Sweet Company


Deeper than the Hearts and Flowers: Relationships as a Spiritual Path, IV

posted by Margaret Wolff

“My husband — because of who he is — helped me see myself, helped me know myself.  … You don’t stay married for thirty-nine years because of sex or even because of love, but because your partner is a real friend to you, because they respect and regard you.” — Olympia Dukakis, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE

Piece of Advice # 8: Be a great listener. Nothing validates a person more — especially when they are feeling vulnerable — than when we put aside our own thoughts, agendas and solutions and be there just for them with our whole heart. As some wise and, no doubt, longtime married person once said, “You don’t have to be perfect in a relationship; you just have to be present.” Often, once a person feels as if what they have to say is “heard,” they relax and make the space within themselves for the answers they are seeking to arise.

Being a good listener is not about being passive. Sometimes you smile, you nod, you offer a few words of consolation. or encouragement Nor do you let the other talk themselves into something you know could be truly detrimental to them. There are times when a listener must say, “I understand your frustration, your sadness, and I think you’re off track here.”

Piece of Advice #9. None of this is easy. It takes time and practice, trial and error, to really get the hang of being “in relationship.” We are so used to the view from inside our own head, so convinced others MUST or don’t see things as we do, so afraid to go out on a limb and risk our hearts, so brainwashed by the media and movie stars and what our parents did or didn’t do, it’s hard to discern what an authentically good relationship really is! We peel back all these layers, then the layers of our own mastery like we peel back the layers of an onion. But it’s worth the time and trouble — and the occasional tears!

Piece of Advice #10: A good marriage benefits not just the two people involved, but all those who cross your path. Especially the children. It gives people hope. Sometimes others consciously follow our example; sometimes they pick up on how we live our lives by osmosis. Either way, the better we are, the better everyone around us becomes.

Last, but by no means least, Piece of Advice 11: A spiritual relationship is a vehicle for God’s love to manifest not only in our own hearts but in the world. It’s a conscious covenant between both parties and God, a triangulation in the highest sense of the word, where both parties in the relationship understand and commit to striving to see God in the other — Her presence and also Her handiwork. They understand God uses the other to teach them what they need to know, and that God can work miracles in another who has faltered. This love , when it manifests in your life, is deeper than the hearts and flowers.

Your thoughts?



Advertisement
Comments read comments(1)
post a comment
ginger child

posted February 19, 2011 at 10:24 pm


My two sisters and I are moving in together in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains. This relationship advice is not just for marriage, is it? It’s the only way we will be able to be happy together. We are 56, 65 and 69. A new adventure! We never dreamed we’d do it! Thanks for this great message. Hugs….



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

In Sweet Company
Writing to an invisible audience, sweeping your heart out into a boundless Universe not knowing who is listening to it beat or whether the thump will be embraced or cast aside, is a courageous act. Fortunately for me, at some point during the writing of my last book, In Sweet Company: Conversations

posted 11:49:59am Aug. 29, 2012 | read full post »

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting In Sweet Company. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 2:07:03pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Hardwired for Compassion
... we grow in our understanding of God as we come to understand our own stories more fully. -- Rabbi Laura Geller, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE Recently a small group of kindred spirits gathered together at our house to celebrate the succ

posted 11:50:47am Jun. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Daddy's Girl
“... for me, spiritual practice is making the bed, defrosting dinner, and so on. It’s not magical or removed; it’s about how I discover and reveal myself as I do things that are ordinary.” -- Miriam Polster, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING THE SPIRITUAL

posted 5:35:03pm Jun. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Courting the Divine Mother
“Getting in touch with [this feminine, receptive side of our nature] can be a life-transforming experience because what we’re really talking about when we talk about receptivity is how we can be open to growing and evolving into more enlightened human beings.”  -- Lauren Artress, IN SWEET COM

posted 12:03:32pm May. 09, 2012 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.