One Sided Spirituality
When Your Partner Doesn’t Care To Find Their Inner Bliss
It is easier to explore your spirituality when you are single. There I said it. A sweeping statement that will no doubt both offend and possibly enlighten at the same time. Well, it’s true. When a person is single their time is their own. It seldom matters how much of your free time is taken for meditation, yoga classes, or blissful retreats. There is no one else to worry about, no one else to debate as to the best location for your latest Buddha figure, and no one to make faces at you as you say “OM” loudly whilst meditating.
Why, the single life sounds like heaven doesn’t it? It can be for many people and there is nothing wrong with being single and loving it if that is the direction you have chosen for your life. For those who are not single though, negotiating time and energy for spiritual discovery can be a difficult thing, especially when your partner has no interest in finding their own inner bliss.
So what is a person to do? Do you force your partner to meditate with you? Do you give them gifts of books on Chakras and energy work? No-You-Do-Not. Repeat after me. Do not try to force your personal views and beliefs onto you partner. Do not berate them for their choices or start to feel superior because you have decided to explore a new avenue of belief and learning. Do not cover every corner of your home in symbols and artifacts of your choosing with a total disregard of your partners’ personal space. Your partner is on their own path, just as you are, and both of you have to concentrate on your own individual journeys.
For most couples, this will be a difficult time. The transitions in thinking, the emotions, and the excitement in learning new things can be overwhelming for the partner who is, for lack of a better term “left behind.” The method for dealing with this period, is working on finding balance. For the person who is exploring their spiritual path and the person who is not. If you learn something new that you want to share with your partner, then share it, lovingly and gently without forcing your beliefs onto them. Let me show you an example of what NOT to do: You have just taken a class on Chakras (energy centres in the body). You are super excited and want to share all that you have learned with your partner. In your excitement you have run out and bought a collection of gemstones which relate to the Chakras. You rush home to give your partner “their” stone, the stone you are sure is theirs as you are convinced a certain Chakra point in them is not functioning well. You then thrust this stone into their clothing pocket and insist that they have this “problem” which you begin to describe in detail to them, pointing out all of their “issues”. You then order them to carry the gemstone with them at all times. Well, that made me want to learn….not!
Try this approach instead: You have just taken a class on Chakras (energy centres in the body). You are super excited and want to share all that you have learned with your partner. In your excitement you have run out and bought a collection of gemstones which relate to the Chakras. When you get home, you really do want to share what you have learned with your partner but you recognize that they may not be receptive to what you have just learned. You love your partner very much and although you want to share your new found knowledge right away, you decide to find a beautiful bowl to display your new gemstones and place them on display somewhere your partner is sure to see them. If your partner asks you about them you will explain what they are for in a brief description, relaying more information IF and WHEN you are asked. You decide to leave the textbooks from the class on the table as well so anyone visiting you can look at it as they wish or discuss it with you as they desire. You know that just like water flowing down a river, it is best to let people find their own way, at their own pace, offering guidance only when they desire, and ask for it.
What about the partner on the receiving end of all this spiritual enlightenment? How strange it must be to perhaps have a partner you do not recognize at times. You may begin to feel left out, alone and perhaps no longer compatible. Only you can decide what path your life will take, but if you decide that you still love your partner, then try to support them in their exploration. (As long as it is legal and no one is getting hurt of course) You don’t have to commit to meditating with them or carrying a gemstone if you don’t want to, but don’t put them down. Do not belittle their choices or make faces when a new decorative piece enters the home. Create a space for yourself that is your sanctuary, and set firm boundaries with your partner that your space is sacred to you, and not to be altered without your consent. Compromise and continue to communicate with each other.
Just because two people who are committed to each other are on different paths does not mean that they never overlap. Don’t just walk straight ahead and never look around. Experience different views, share new discoveries with each other at a leisurely pace, and hold your partners hand as you journey together.
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