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May 10, 2007

THE SPIRITUAL PRACTICE OF CREATING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

Pia Mellody and Terry Real often state that creating healthy relationships is a spiritual practice. Pia says that love is about living more in truth than in lies. Terry will say that being relational is about living a non-violent life in your actions and in between your ears. Put them both together and it’s truly a difficult walk.

It’s also life altering when you begin to not only embrace this, but live it.

If I’m living more in truth than in lies, I’m sharing what is true for me—even when I know it may not be what my partner wants to hear. If I’m also practicing the spiritual aspect of being relational, then I’m sharing my truth in a loving, relational way. My truth is not a weapon, it’s a gift. I share it because it’s my truth; I don’t censor myself out of fear of conflict, not feeling worthy enough, or because I want to be nice. When I share it from a centered place, it is an opportunity for growth for both me and my partner.

Living a non-violent life in my actions and between my ears is a moment to moment practice that requires extreme relational muscles. It’s also an amazing relational gift to my partner, friends, children, and the world at large. This requires that I stop judging, retaliating, and being contemptuous towards others—at all times. Wow, what a feat that is. Talk about a spiritual practice! Even when someone is acting in a way that I believe deserves contempt, judgment and/or retaliation, I simply choose to turn the other cheek, so to speak.

The spiritual practice is I take the high road—not because they deserve it, but because I deserve it. I deserve to live in a non-violent, relationally cherishing world. I cannot begin to expect or even hope to have that, if I can’t even remove violence from my own actions.

Gandhi has a great quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” When I move to apply this concept to relationships it’s quite simple: If I want a loving, authentic, non-violent relationship, I need to be loving, authentic, and non-violent—even between my ears.

When I begin to go astray on my spiritual practice, I remind myself that I need to treat my relationships with reverence. On a good day, this grounds me and reminds me that the relationships I have are gifts I need to cherish.

What grounds you?

Challenge: Take a moment to make an honest assessment of how you are in your relationships. Do you live more in truth than in lies? If not, what gets in the way of this? Also assess where you are in terms of living a non-violent life in your action and between your ears. Choose one are you need to improve on and start taking steps to improve it... Remember to treat your relationships with reverence—you may be surprised by what you get in return.

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FYI - A book related to this topic:

"Nonviolent Communication: A language of life" by Marshall B. Rosenberg.

I haven't read it yet, it's in my queue, but I've heard very good things about it.

Consecrating a Holy vessel for my eternal consciousness.
A new body and a new mind.

Be thankful. Blessings unto you and yours.

so true. thank you for your deep & wise entries. i definately need to remember "don't attack" & watch what's going on between my ears isn't attacking either.

if i want others to think good of me, i need to trust God and think the best of others, too.

gosh, i can't even remember how i stummbled onto your site?? it's so precious the things you share here. thanks again! Have a Happy Mother's Day!

I love this one Lisa!

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