People have a tendency to assume that if they are pursuing a path of self-improvement that every area of their lives should automatically improve as well. Resultingly, one of the most common questions I hear from students and readers is, “Why is my relationship still so difficult?”
The best way to answer that question is to describe what a truly healthy relationship looks like.
Most people mistakenly believe that a relationship is a commitment between two people that necessitates a sense of belonging to one another. The problem with that model is it fosters possessiveness which always leads to some form of disappointment.
It also generally smacks of ownership and selfishness. It is a fundamental misunderstanding that makes it nearly impossible to achieve the shared happiness we all hope for.
Conversely, a healthy relationship has a far more spiritual component in play. It is a steadfast dedication and vow to support one another in spiritual evolution and practice.
While it is brimming with love and compassion, it is largely free from expectation and conditions – it is unconditional. Through vigilant observation and sustained effort, the ego of each partner plays a greatly reduced role. The doorway to this kind of relationship is again a spiritual one. Communication must be non-violent (violent communication includes accusations, meddling, unsolicited advice, yelling). It must also be compassionate, patient, vulnerable and trusting. There is simply no room for jealousy, mistrust, petty grievances, insecurities or indifference.
There is only one way a couple can aspire to and ultimately achieve this kind of union and equality and that is if they are both conscious, awake and striving toward the shared goal of an enlightened state of awareness.
In other words, they must be joined in a systematic effort to dissolve their egos and live from their higher selves. This is the only path that will enable the release of all the poison of the past and prevent it from contaminating the present. It requires each partner’s clear understanding of this. If only one is evolving, growing and waking up, the relationship I have described will be out of reach.
In the end, a truly healthy relationship is a deeply spiritual one. When a relationship finally breaches the levee of past hurts, anger and animosities and becomes two souls inextricably linked in their efforts to make both themselves and the world around them more loving, it is indeed breathtaking to behold.
~Edward G. Dunn