Building the Spiritual Relationship for Couples and Groups
A New Type of Spiritual Relationship
We have romantic relationships, business relationships, and, some of us still have the friends from our youth. But, there is another type of relationship to help us move forward in life. That is the spiritual relationship. A spiritual relationship with a romantic partner or within a group of like-minded individuals is not only uplifting, but it is emotionally healing. The spiritual healing groups on Facebook, YouTube or other social media networks have become quite prevalent on the Internet. Group attendees meet regularly at spiritual group websites, forums or in chat rooms. These attendees have agreed to the terms of their groups and have entered into electronic contracts to create the spiritual relationships. The spiritual group provides a listening platform for those who need to be heard. The spiritual couple provides a platform to experience life’s most personal challenges on a spiritual level. Both the spiritual group and the spiritual couple provide the space and energy for emotional healing and personal development. It is the aim of the spiritual relationship to heal past hurts and create a wondrous new life worth living. This essay provides an introduction to the spiritual relationship and its functions.
The Spiritual Group
This special relationship develops when two or more people consciously come together for purposes of spiritual development. Group members meet online or offline at workshops, local meetups or through family and friends to share concerns and receive new insights into their lives. They come together to study various ways of improving their lives by learning different spiritual practices and perspectives. Some may learn to chant, while others learn to pray. Some may develop new spiritual rituals to help them through their week. And still, some come together just to talk about their day. The spiritual group may be able to help its members heal family situations, problems with romance and work issues. Some groups even teach members how to develop personal financial mastery. People from various walks of life come to join a spiritual group for the knowledge, experience and solace they cannot get anywhere else.
Some join as individual members while others join as couples. Then, there are individuals who come together and become partners who wish to develop spiritually as a single unit. And, there are also some couples who are interested in joining the spiritual group. However they come together, their purpose is the same: to develop to a higher spiritual level.
The Spiritual Couple
The spiritual couple usually joins the spiritual group to learn how to heal or enhance the relationship. There may be as many spiritual couples as there are spiritual interests. One spiritual couple is interested in tantric spirituality where the two can learn how to blend their sexuality with spirituality. Another spiritual couple may wish to learn couples yoga or meditation for couples. While still another couple will join a spiritual group to travel to sacred sites around the world. Then, there is the spiritual couple that stays to themselves to explore many different spiritual traditions of the world, all on their own. Whichever direction the spiritual couple chooses, as long as they have the commitment and intention to spiritually grow as a unit, they will advance more quickly together than the individual group members. However, it is not as easy nor is it as whimsical as it sounds. Being in a spiritual couple takes a great deal of emotional work.
In all honesty however, it must be stated that as rewarding as a spiritual partnership can be, it is also more challenging than being a part of a group. Unlike the spiritual group, the spiritual couple has the challenge of practicing unconditional love daily with one another, while facing the most intimate of challenging situations. The spiritual partners have the obligation and responsibility to flag each other when one is being unloving. Consequently, the poor partner that is catching all the heat is the one that must manage to rise above the abuse and hope that the significant other can pull themselves out of their negative space, when gently prompted. Only by staying in the present and voicing how (not what) they are feeling can the couple succeed at this. This is not easy. It is not for everyone. And, it does not always work with couples because one may not be as commited as the other. But, when it does work, when the two become one, it works extremely well. Sometimes, it works so well that the spiritual couple may successfully establish their own spiritual group to help other couples.
Establishing a Successful Spiritual Group
Establishing a spiritual group is easy. Sustaining the group and keeping it moving forward is a different matter. Groups such as these tend to attract hurting people as well as people who want to hurt. Therefore, to have a successful spiritual group, the purpose of the group must be clear to all involved. A commitment to the group is necessary, whether it is written or oral. Some may even need a written contract to take the group seriously. The contract explains the responsibilities of each member, as well as their required conduct. Violations of the contract would result in immediate dismissal from the group. Individual couples would have to negotiate their way through the consequences of misconduct within their specific partnership. Acknowledging commitment to the group and securing an agreement on behavior is required to protect group participants and insure that no one tries to exploit vulnerable members. This also holds true for couples, monogamous or polyamorous.
Group participants should not be required to share the same religion or spiritual practices as other group members. Also, keep in mind that sexual activity may or may not be a part of the partnership or the group. Each spiritual partnership and spiritual group will have its own specific focus. For example, if there are couples who wish to study tantra, then of course, sex is going to be an integral part of that chosen group experience. If self-mastery is the focus, then that spiritual group will be focused on personal empowerment in daily living. If the partnership or group is focused on the Divine Feminine, the spiritual empowerment of the female is the focus. Every spiritual partnership and group will be different because of the variety of interests of the participants.
Next, during open membership, it is critical that the prospective group members must already have an awakened spiritual consciousness. New members must be screened carefully by the leader. These new members must then agree to develop a relationship with each other that places their healing and spiritual growth as a priority.
In addition, it is most important for the spiritual partners and spiritual group to exercise emotional honesty among its members. It is that emotional honesty that creates the safe space for the members to express their perspectives and feelings. This in turn helps to establish a shared, unique emotional intimacy within the partnership and/or the group. Establishing emotional intimacy by having the partners and members express their feelings within their respective settings requires advanced communication skills. Therefore, one objective of the group is to show its members how to speak what they feel and instead why they think they feel. Talking about why they feel the way they do is no more than an ego defense mechanism that masks their emotional truth. Through their shared feelings and experiences, partners and members reveal who they truly are and what areas in their lives they need to heal. From this point on, the group dynamic will be one of personal healing and growth. This is the purpose of the spiritual relationship.
These are only a few ideas for laying the foundation of a successful spiritual partnership or spiritual group. By now it should be obvious that such an undertaking takes work. And, most of that work will come from the heart. Being a part of such a relationship is empowering and uplifting, as well as heart-wrenching and irritating. However, if the purpose of joining a spiritual partnership or spiritual group is personal healing and growth, then it is well worth it.
© 2017 Carole Smith-Rea