Tag Archives: relationship

Spirituality & Holding Space III

Spirituality

What happens, over the course of time, when a relationship’s solidity in the exploration of life’s questions begins to fall apart?

The “togetherness”–we once agreed to–gives way to one or the other of us choosing to strike out on a solo expedition to continue the process of life exploration. This exploratory process is not really being done alone, but in relationship with the Self.

Departing a relationship to contnue exploring on one’s own  does not mean that the person remaining at base-camp has necessarily ceased growing, changing or venturing out. Sometimes the base-camp holder has actually already worked through and found his “answers,” as well as having developed a sense of contentment within his life circumstances as they stand.

If we go back to the original example of the life-partner, who comes home to announce that she will be taking a six-month leave of absence from work to tour the country on a new motorcycle with an old friend, all anyone can do is ask that person whether or not it would be helpful to pack up a batch of sandwiches for the road.

In other words, we must let go, trusting in the fact that our road-warrior partner is answering some deeper, haunting call from within her own Spirit and knowing.

Spirituality & Holding Space II

Spirituality

Holding space–in the context of a relationship–is something close friends do naturally for one another, when one person is working through a moral dilemma, trying to make a major decision, arranging life priorities or otherwise attempting to move toward internal resolution between every-day concerns and the desires of  your highest Light or Spirit.

There are so many components to an intimate relationship, whether that relationship is internal–between the every-day part of personality and true Spirit–or external, between two partners.

In almost every relationship there are issues of emotion, aesthetics, creativity, intellect, physicality, fiscal concern, as well as the honoring of pure Spirit.

On the most basic level, for example, there is the issue of touch. How do we want to be touched?  How often?  Where do we want to be touched–both in terms of a person’s body and in terms of appropriate social locations?  What types of touch do we desire?  How do we balance and honor our desires with the desires of another person?

In consideration of all of these things, it is nothing short of a miracle that any committed relationship lasts more than a short time.

And, I would argue, one of the reasons committed relationships span years is that two people have agreed to step onto the path of self-discovery–together.

People enter into intimate relationships and close friendships specifically to entertain these basic life questions, learn how to set boundaries, refine their desires and explore their limits and limitlessness, while discovering their personal “answers”–together.

Sacred Space & Intimacy

Sometimes, when I am preparing food in the kitchen, my husband comes in with a book and sits down to read to me.  If I am not being read to while preparing food, my husband might read to me over a hot breakfast or while we are riding together in the truck on a long road trip.  We usually have two or three books going, so there are subject options depending upon the place we find ourselves.

As it turns out, this tradition of reading together is a key component in building a sense of continuity and thematic commonality within the passage of our days and the context of our relationship.  Reading and being read to is a habit which developed early in our being together.  And, finding the appropriate parameters for receipt and extension  of such a gift took time.

Spirituality

One morning, very early in our relationship, my husband trotted innocently in to read to me while I was in the middle of a steaming bath.  Not very skilled at setting boundaries in this new relationship, I rudely sent him packing with his stack of books and several words of frustration.  It was a moment of learning. The first thing I learned was that my solo bath time is sacrosanct.  Ablutions are much more than a matter of physical cleanliness; ablutions are a gateway to  spiritual preparedness for an entire day.  Thus, bath-time needs to remain private and free from words.

Each of us possesses a space or an activity that is somehow sacrosanct—whether it is working in the wood shop on Sunday afternoon, a private yoga practice or a solo walk in the woods.  Individual, internal communion grants us the ability to become intimate—with ourselves.  And, it is only when we have achieved intimacy within that we are able to move forward in wholeness toward a relationship of  intimacy with someone else.