Can you have a relationship and still develop your spirituality? …

Dear Gillian,

This may seem a strange question but can you have a relationship and still develop your spirituality?I have been reading and learning about metaphysics and spirituality and have noticed that my partner gets very uncomfortable around me when I discuss anything to do with it.  He says that i am going through “some weird phase” and laughs if I try and have a discussion around any of the topics I am interested in.  I have joined a meditation group and have noticed that they are all single older women and the group leader (also divorced) told me that relationships interfere with our spiritual growth and that we can develop more on our own.

Do you believe this?

Dear Tammy,

One thing I have learned over the years is that relationships bring us our greatest lessons as well as our biggest challenges.  People around us provide us with mirrors of our own beliefs and experiences about life and our role in it.

Your partner came to you at a time when you had one set of beliefs, now that you have expanded your conscious beliefs the match is not so comfortable.  Your partner has not been doing the same reading and growth work as you and so he is starting not to recognise the person he first chose to share this part of his life with.  It is easier for him to just think this is a weird phase and hope that you will go back to your old self than to face the reality of the changes taking place and that the two of you may split.

As we grow and change we bring new people into our lives that reflect this and yes some of those we previous were involved with leave our lives if the connection was unhealthy or pertaining to a particular set of circumstances.  This is more positive than it sounds.  Let me give you an example if you were a goldfish you would pick a goldfish to marry, if that goldfish suddenly turned into an eel you would feel cheated and then you would have to make the decision am I going to try to turn into an eel or would I rather find another goldfish?

As far as spiritual growth is concerned I believe that life is a rich experience and part of the joy and wonder of that experience is having relationships of all kinds.  We are not Monks/Nuns, if you want that experience then that is alright but otherwise you are avoiding the joy and the lessons such interactions provide.  You can hold your own spiritual space and honour someone elses and love and support each other as you journey.   Having said that it is not necessary to have a relationship to experience joy and love.

So after all that, allow for the fact that your partner has a right to all his feelings and choices just as you do.  Try not to feel hurt by his reaction to what you are doing, there is no need to “convert” him.  If he sees you happy and healthy then he is more likely to want to experience that too.  This is not a battle with one of you being right.  This is your opportunity to practise unconditional love.

Your group leader has found a place where she is happy and that is great but that is her space and experience and you must make your own choices based on what is right for you.

With love,

Gillian

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