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Principles In Relationship: A Spiritual Perspective

 Finding one's way in relationships can feel risky and even bewildering. In an attempt to provide a compass to make it through this land of peril and possibility, I would like to suggest a few basic understandings, that hopefully will allow one to make more sense of it all.

I. The outer world is a reflection of the inner.

Everything outward corresponds to and results from something inward. The personality is a reflection or expression of an inner self or spiritual being.

Our particular experiences and relationships result from what we hold to be true and real and therefore identify with. Our inner images, assumptions, beliefs, attitudes and values give shape and interpretation to the circumstances and events in our relationships.

One's experiences in relationship externalize one's mind and therefore allow one to come to know its contents -- which is more than one's conscious set of beliefs. In this process we must own our projections, that result from unconscious fear and denial. We have to reverse the usual assumption that the beliefs we hold are the result of experiences -- rather they have created those experiences.

Everything that happens in relationship results from preexisting conditions or decisions we have already made about who we are and what we believe.

We are responsible for our role in creating our experience in relationship. Others cannot be blamed for problems in relationship although they also have a role in the drama.

II. One's inner Self is a totally positive and integral aspect of a larger, beneficent, purposeful , eternal spiritual life.

We are inherently safe and our self worth and purpose are intrinsic.

Suffering in life and relationships result from false negative, fearful and separative identifications.

Pain allows us to find the false assumptions, beliefs, attitudes and values that are out of accord with the truth of our Self and spirit. These need to be made conscious before they can be released.

Problems in relationship and the pain associated with them are useful learning situations to discover and release the blocks to our growth and happiness. In this respect being real in relationship is more valuable and spiritual than either trying to abstain from relationships because of past painful associations or playing roles of being good that are not authentic.

III. Relationships reflect the process of transmission of increasingly conscious life force throughout the world.

Relationships need to embody openness and conscious sharing to realize their potential.

Trying to get and not give; being closed, secretive and selfish rather than loving; or being manipulative or coercive rather than trusting are counterproductive strategies that lessen rather than increase the amount of life that the individual experiences.

When we feel some particular feeling, thought, attraction or connection with another, it is an opportunity to bring something to conscious articulate awareness, and to communicate for mutual benefit.

Relationships can be looked at as opportunities to learn to discover, express, be and realize oneself and one's spiritual identity.

IV. All needs are abundantly fulfilled from within. Inwardly, we already have everything.

Letting go in openness and trust, without attachment to specific expectations of how one's needs may be satisfied will allow appropriate conditions to be drawn to us and our real needs to be met.

If another person doesn't want what we have to share we may let them go and trust that the universe/life will give us what we need.

If we are experiencing a lack in some area of our life or relationships we need first to give to ourselves what we want from another. Then that state of fulfillment will be reflected in our relationships too. The self-love, self-respect and self-completion we want result from believing and trusting in one's self and one's potential and not trying to get these things from another.

We are not dependent on any person or situation for our happiness.

V. We seek to unite with the larger spiritual life of which we are an expression and thereby to become whole.

Sexual attraction and falling in love result from the projection of our urge to inwardly unite and become whole on to another person. This is an attempt to outwardly integrate something that is really within us, but that we feel separate from. Realizing this can free the other person from our demands and expectations -- and unavoidable disappointments -- and make us more aware of our real need and responsibility.

What we choose to see in another is really within us. And everything that we experience reflects our choice of what we want.

Relationship is a path of Self realization. As we learn to experience the other in love as an equal expression of the same inner spiritual Life as our self -- and thereby release false projections -- we must realize that Life ourselves.

VI. Conflicts in relationship result from lack of consciousness in some particular area.

Momentary disagreements are a natural part of our life and learning and help us to become aware and more authentic.

Conflicts are not resolved by getting agreement or by the other doing what one might want but by each person clarifying and sharing their own feelings, needs and expectations. Then changes can happen that honor both individual's truths.

Patterns of conflict in relationship reflect conflicts within oneself and the investment in fears, demands, unrealistic expectations and attachments (false identity) that are in conflict with the reality of who one is as a spiritual being. Differences themselves, between oneself and others, are enriching and don't imply conflict.

What is in the best interests of one individual and that reflects their truth, must ultimately be in the best interests of both. One need not feel guilty about being true to one's higher self.