There are countless ways to experience spirituality in our diverse world, but it seems all paths share some common wisdom—and influence on relationships. We asked several YourTango Experts to share their opinions and stories on how spirituality can affect our personal growth, love life and other relationships. Here's what they had to say:
Counselor and author Dr. Ram Giri Braun shares his "Recipe for Unconditional Love":
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Spirituality is about love—about how to experience pure, ever-increasing love in your relationship with your Higher Power, your Self, and your human beloved. This is what all people yearn for, but most are looking in the wrong places and in the wrong way. They want love and end up with frustration and pain.
This is not necessary. Unconditional love is the essence of your being; it is present in everyone in its totality. Anyone can learn to drink from this inner Source and free themselves from what burdens and closes the heart. Yes, you can live with an open heart, in peace and harmony.
Imagine what this would do to your relationship! Without the stress inside you, your love would be an unbroken stream. It would make you radiant as it shines into the world. This is true happiness and abundance.
Genuine Self-love gives you the power to fix what isn't working in your life. Without it you are not capable of having an unconditionally loving relationship. How can you give to a partner what you yourself do not have? You need to start with yourself. First and foremost, you are the love of your life.
There are four necessary ingredients to unconditional love:
- Have a clear view of divine love as your highest goal
- Find the determination to do whatever it takes to reach that goal
- Learn and practice the skills to open the heart and remove the obstacles of stressful thoughts and emotions
- And most importantly: seek out people who can be companions and guides on the way.
We unconsciously cling to old patterns that make us unhappy. These self-sabotaging thoughts, feelings and behaviors need to be changed into positive ones. To accomplish this effort, determination is necessary. This is the only ingredient that cannot be taught. Clear understanding, revolutionary skills and excellent guidance are available. But the determination to use them must come from you. In my experience, we either make the decision to change, or we continue to suffer.
When you are tired of suffering, become inspired to help yourself. An unlimited abundance of love lies hidden in you to be discovered and shared. You are the architect of your own destiny. You have enormous love to gain and only your misery to lose. The immense beauty and grace of your being are waiting for you. Soul Mates: 10 Steps To A Spiritual Relationship
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How Can I Up My Spiritual Connection, You Ask? Psychologist Dr. Ben Cohen adds some practical advice:
There are two practices that are central to virtually every major religion and spiritual tradition and they are both crucial for sustaining healthy relationships: