This is an excerpt from Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D. in her book “Love Between Equals Relationship as a Spiritual Path” (page 118).
Personal love becomes true love, as you recall, when you can feel at home with your beloved because you trust what you see in the mirror: it’s not too wonderful (or demanding of perfection) nor is it too awful or dispiriting. It’s important to remember, when you are on the path of true love, you both have come to trust what you see in the mirror of each other’s eyes. In order for personal love to become true love, the relationship has to have equality, reciprocity, and mutuality, and the reflections of each other need to be Whole Self to Whole Self, which includes what is ideal and what is limited in both people. Why is equality important on this path? Why do partners have to be equals in order for disillusionment to transform into intimacy and ongoing trust? Because the equality signals that both partners want primarily to be with each other in the reality of what they both are – strengths and limitations. The relationship does not feel like a prison but instead feels freely chosen on the basis of knowledge of the self and other.
If love never fails, according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, then why does it? Why do men or women simply give up and walk away rather than choosing to work on themselves and their partnership? To say “I love you,” signifies that this other being holds value for you. That this person is significant to you.
However, just as a person says they are a Christian (or a Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, etc…) does not mean that they hold this value as sacrosanct. Someone said to me that many people hold the word “integrity” as a shield in front of them. I know this to be true because the person who said that was holding a shield in front of them about many things. The concept of being fraudulent and not having integrity is a foreign thought to me. Being mindful about what I say and do is something I hold very dear. However, I see couples in life and in my practice who fall apart because they are stubborn, egotistical, fighting to be right, or they are just not meant to be.
I embrace this post with all my heart as it spoke to me and where I am at in my life right now. A holy relationship is a relationship founded in mutual trust, respect, love, passion, commitment and spiritual direction – serving whomever you serve and having a relationship that embraces your beliefs. It is much more but these are just my thoughts in this moment. The special relationship is that which serves the ego.
The new beginning you are called to now is a new beginning that, like all others that you have offered or attempted, will take place in relationship. The difference is that this new beginning will take place in holy rather than special relationship. (A Course of Love, T3:15.9)
We have arrived at a good place now. We are beginning anew, as we have in the past, but with a difference. Our new beginning will no longer be housed in special relationships that only promised us the good but did not deliver consistently. Our new beginning, this time, will come in the warmth of holy relationships. We have found the elixir, and we will not turn back from its bounty now.
How do we know that we are surrounded by holy relationships? We are not out for #1 anymore, at least not exclusively. We love others as we love ourselves, for…
Two years ago, my uncle died. A beloved past-minister, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, son, and so on. He was well known in many communities of people. When I called my mother to ask about the funeral arrangements, she informed me there would not be one. I was really upset to hear this. It was because the family, with his knowledge, had felt that they did not want to do this. They didn’t want a bunch of commotion. I was furious with this but my words could not be heard because his family are people that when they make a decision, they are not detracted.
As a psychotherapist, who deals with death and dying quite frequently from survivors who come into my office, I know the importance of grief. A funeral is not for the dead, it is for the living. It is for the people who love the departed one and who need to come together in memorial of this person to “sing” their praises. When you deny a funeral from your loved one’s and those who knew of you, you are keeping them from being in congregation with one another and withholding their ability to have closure.