If you do a search on the positive impacts of spirituality, a long list of articles - scholarly and otherwise, will come up. The benefits are numerous. This time of year has many special days for many faith traditions and even spiritual reminders like Thanksgiving, regardless of your religious choices.
The family I grew up in offered me stark contrasts in both faith and spirituality beliefs. I had a mother who was filled with faith and who had frequent spiritual practices that truly sustained her. My father had been deeply hurt by the faith community that he used to be part of and divorced himself from all things religious or spiritual.
Since this is a blog for couples I want us to talk about how to support each other’s choices around spirituality and/or religious affiliations. My family of origin did not figure this out and there was a lot of tension, conflict and pain around different spiritualities and the role that they played.
There is a wise old saying to “not be unequally yoked”. This is often interpreted to mean that your spirituality should be the same as your partners so that you can pull through life together.
I actually own an old yoke. It is a single yoke. No problem. A double yoke is attached to two animals so that they pull together. Their strength gets unified. Imagine a double yoke with a small goat on one side and a work horse in the other. It’s not going to work. I think in relationships we may often feel like our partner is another kind of creature. That’s okay. What matters is shared intention of pulling together and sharing the load.
You may be with a partner who has very different spirituality than you do. The key for a healthy relationship is to encourage the health of each other’s spiritual life and practices. I don’t believe they need to be identical. Research shows us that healthy spirituality does a lot to help us be resilient and strong. It is in your best interest to help your partner be strong. A committed relationship means that you share a yoke and will be pulling together.
Let’s define spirituality with help from Wikipedia:
Spirituality places an emphasis upon the well-being of the “mind-body-spirit" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_but_not_religious)
What can you do to improve your spirituality right now?
How is your partner’s spirituality different from yours?
In what ways can you encourage your partner’s spirituality even if it looks quite different from yours?
How can you encourage the spiritual well-being of your partner without needing it to look just like yours?
What will supporting your children (should you have some) look like?
As we enter this season filled with reminders that there is more to life than just this physical world, may you find peace and strength in your faith and spiritual practices!
Until next time,
Luv Life Coach Marilyn
Marilyn Orr is a relationship coach with Luv Life Coaching, passionate about equipping couples with the tools for real and lasting intimacy.
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