The Power of Spiritual Practice in Healing Relationships: Part 1
The Power of Spiritual Practice in Relationships
Turning to a spiritual practice or a Higher Power (HP) or the God of your understanding provides that force. Or you can turn to the God that you can’t or don’t understand. It can be the ultimate first aid for heartache; a clearinghouse for your resentments; pain and upset; a balm for your spirit; and the source of a renewed faith in love.
“For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you./Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.…/And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may/ become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.” ~Kahlil Gibran
Love, as Gibran wrote, is designed to elevate us to the highest peaks and plunge us to the depths of despair. Love truly leads to the greatest joys and the most profound sorrows of the heart. In facing and overcoming those pains we need faith. The very person who we love the most, to whom we are most attached, is only human. And he or she will bounce up against our wounds from our childhoods, dating years, previous bad matches and challenging exes. Even if our Beloved does not re-create the exact same disappointments we have suffered before, we are wired to re-experience the old hurts. Love relationships inevitably bring wounding, disappointments, and betrayals. So we need a big-time force to help us heal, grow, and learn to trust and love again.
We need More than What Human Beings Can Give Us
That force is either a meditative practice or a spiritual practice. While seeking help from others is obviously important, probably no human power can fully remove our suffering.
You might think of yourself as an agnostic, atheist, or rationalist. Maybe the God thing turns you off. Perhaps you gave up religion as an adolescent. Maybe you believe that the only god is humankind—that we are the greatest power in the universe.
If so, the only thing I want you to consider is that there seems to be much more going on here. Maybe you have noticed synchronicities: You think of a long-lost friend and he or she suddenly contacts through Facebook. Or you get a gut feeling that a particular event, like bumping into your ex, is going to happen, and there he is right in the middle of the street in a bustling city. These coincidences or synchronicities suggest that there are things happening that are beyond our awareness and understanding. And just maybe a power or force underlies all there is.
Research on the Benefits of Spiritual Practice
Solid research shows tons of benefits from spiritual practice. First of all, studies clearly show that prayer and meditation can and do heal. For example, even when prayer takes place at a distance from a sick person, and those who are praying do not know those they are helping, there can be a positive and healing physical effect. Literally thousands of studies show that meditative practices of all kinds lower stress, anxiety, fear, and even blood pressure, while increasing feelings of being in the present and in a state of connection and serenity.
Even if you consider yourself an agnostic, atheist, or a rationalist, please be willing to open yourself and your love relationship to a Higher Power or Something Greater than yourself.
Tip for Today
Just for today, ask (even if you don’t know who you’re asking) for a small miracle or sign that helps you in the way you need to be helped right now. If you look for it, you will find it. For a simple guided meditation go here.
Be sure to read part two on the power of spiritual practice in healing a love relationship.
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Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a relationship advice expert, frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show and the creator of a globally available dating coach and Love Mentor® program. Dr. Diana is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed best-selling relationship and dating book, “Love in 90 Days”. Love in 90 Days was the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter.
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