By John Ashbrook
When two people make a conscious decision to enter into a spiritual relationship, they commit to traveling a path together. That path is one of self-exploration, and it requires a mature deliberate effort by both parties to look inward and with an attitude of honesty and acceptance. A true and spiritual relationship can only be achieved when the depth of intimacy is one of deep sharing. There can be no secrets in such a relationship. The level of revealing is total. Every hope, dream, and fear must be acknowledged, examined, and shared openly, honestly, and without judgment.
It goes without saying that the building of this kind of relationship is not easy, but it is also easier than it might seem. If two people are truly committed to creating such a relationship, and they approach this goal with patience, faith, and the understanding that this is a life-long journey and not a final state, then not only is such a relationship possible, but the effort put forth becomes self-nourishing and totally fulfilling.
The working parts of this kind of relationship are infinite, and trying to list them individually would be both frustrating and futile. However, one can reduce the complexity of such an exalted state by relating to several basic principles. I have chosen nine guiding principles to provide the framework for creating a lasting spiritual relationship. The number nine is the number of completion, so if a couple adheres to the following list, they should be able to create a complete spiritual relationship.
The first principle is one of RESPONSIBILITY. Only two independent, self-responsible people can come together to form a healthy relationship. It is not possible to take on the responsibility for another person’s life without seriously compromising the responsibility you have to yourself. Relationships are about enhancement, not dependency.
The second principle is about COOPERATION. Cooperation is more than just working with someone. Indeed, true cooperation is about being sensitive to your partner’s vulnerabilities. This means that you do not deliberately provoke the fears of someone you love. You work together to ensure that this doesn’t happen. No matter how hard you try, this happens occasionally, even in the best of relationships. If it does, invoke the third principle.
The third principle is COMMUNICATION. When your relationship suffers from friction, do not ignore or sweep them under the rug. These friction areas must be acknowledged and discussed openly as soon as they occur. The key here is immediacy. The sooner these things are brought up and discussed, the sooner they will be dissolved. Also, in the area of communication, mental sharing (talking about ideas, current issues, philosophies, etc.) is an absolute necessity to keep your relationship vibrant and fresh.
The fourth principle is DISCIPLINE. Of course, adherence to all nine of these principles requires the discipline to be mature. Only a child demands to have their own way all the time. An adult knows this is not possible and accepts that other people are in the world, namely your partner. The discipline of patience in the formation of a spiritual relationship is critical.
The fifth principle is FREEDOM. Love is freedom; therefore, love can never be controlled. Control is a fear – the fear of loss. That means that when issues of controlling behavior come up, they are symbolic of someone’s fear. There is a direct connection between responsibility and freedom. Give it some thought.
The sixth principle is COMMITMENT. Think of commitment as a two-way street. You make a commitment to your partner, but you also have a commitment to yourself. Know what it is and communicate it to your loved one. If you only speak of your commitment to someone else, that person may think that you don’t expect anything from them. Do not assume that they know what you expect their commitment to be.
The seventh principle is TRUTH. Only in truth can a human being experience constant growth and true fulfillment. It takes great courage to find, face, and expose the truth about yourself to another person. Still, it’s the only way to once and for all eradicate the fears that arise in a monogamous, committed relationship. Truth builds trust, and trust builds strong, lasting relationships.
The eighth principle is JUDGEMENT. Spiritually speaking, a judgment should always be expressed as nothing more than an assessment in time. It should never be presented as a condemnation, which is permanent. When making statements or observations about your partners’ behaviors, it is very important and motivating to express them calmly and clearly with positive encouragement and support that you believe in their ability to change.
The ninth principle is COMPASSION. Real compassion is a function of both understanding and forgiveness. If we are to be more understanding of our partners, we must first be more understanding of our own shortcomings. Forgiving someone requires that a state of self-forgiveness exists within your soul. If you cannot forgive your partner’s mistakes, it means that somewhere in your being, you refuse to forgive yourself. Find it and let it go.
John Ashbrook is a professional numerologist and intuitive spiritual counselor. He teaches a comprehensive Spiritual Development Program that combines ongoing classes with Individual Guidance sessions to maximize personal growth. For information about private consultations, please call him at 734-326-3433.