Self-love is talked about a lot in the spiritual community. Its real meaning is actually the key to fully integrating a spiritual awakening. This is most needed in our relationships, especially intimate relationships – the most challenging aspect of the spiritual integration process.
If you are reading this, I am assuming a couple of things. One is you have had a spiritual awakening on some level and two, you have an interest in integrating this awakening into your relationships.
SELF-LOVE IS THE KEY
What is this thing called self-love anyway?
My definition is ‘the ability to fully accept and nurture one’s sense of self (i.e. the very human part of you)’. Spirituality can be something of a paradox. On one hand we are seeking to tap into a state that is beyond the self and touches some sort of Divine Love yet on the other, even after awakening, there will still be some extremely human parts of our self. The body, the emotions, the thoughts, the life challenges and relationships, all remain.
I have seen many clients using spirituality as an escape mechanism to avoid the challenges they faced in their relationships, especially intimate ones, trying to gloss over problems with sexuality, relationship trauma and intimacy through the clever game of spirituality and ‘being in a space where nothing matters’. I did it myself for a long time too.
WE NEED TO GET REAL AND PRACTICAL
There is an absolute need for a healthy and strong sense of ‘self’, underpinned by a gentle self-love to not only fully embody a spiritual awakening but also thrive in the demands of this world, especially intimate relationships.
WE NEED AN ACCEPTING AND NUTURING QUALITY TO THIS SELF-LOVE
Awakening uncovers historic, unhealed darkness and trauma which needs to be forgiven and healed. For this pain to be fully processed and the light to shine in its place, we need to fully accept it. Only then will there be less internal resistance and a softening of the heart and only then can we achieve successful relationships.
With a healthy mix of firmness, clear boundaries, gentleness and compassion you will be comfortable with yourself and others and begin to allow human love and life back into your world.
Leaving your comfort zone is, of course challenging, you are a human being who has needs that must be nurtured. Look after your body with diet, exercise, rest, sleep etc and be gentle with yourself. You are going through an amazing spiritual awakening process and developing a real love for all aspects of the human experience – vital if you are looking to achieve successful relationships.
Learning to really receive love, in whatever form that may take is only possible when you have learnt to love yourself. There is a softening.
So, when the acceptance and nurturing qualities of self-love have been properly implemented, what happens to our relationships?
There is eventually a lightness, grace and ease that is very rare in most human relationships. There will be a much greater awareness of what is really happening in the dynamics of your relationships which can lead to some very tough questions about yourself. Do these friends really support my highest path? Is my intimate relationship really a soul to soul connection? Are my parents really to blame for my problems?
You are going through huge transition and as you change, other people might not change with you, there may be some resistance to the ‘new’ you, it might unsettle or challenge the people around you. You might need to let certain people leave your life and begin to establish firm boundaries for what you now want. This process takes healing, perseverance and time. Relationships can either end entirely or with patience and tolerance, a natural evolution might allow both people to continue to grow together.
Gradually, you will start to fully accept and nurture yourself from a place of deep self-love and begin to recognise an undeniable new quality about all your relationships. They will be more spiritual and based on either a deeper soul connection or, on a practical level, to meet our acknowledged human needs. The patterns of past relationships are no longer needed – there isn’t a perfection but there does seem to be a light within the imperfection.
This silence/bliss/divine love is precious and to achieve it takes commitment and discipline. It can be difficult to integrate something so divine with the harsh realities of human life. Self-Love based on acceptance and nurturing is the key. Without it, there is too much of a disconnection between the spiritual experience and the reality of your human life.
Love yourself like the child of the light you are and allow your relationship life to thrive!!
More to Life Elder
Relationship Expert and Creator of the “Find Lasting Love” Program