Today is Valentine’s Day and maybe everyone wants a fairytale love story, but I think it’s more fun to go against the grain. Let’s talk about when spiritual growth changes relationships.
It’s a really important topic.
Personal growth leads to massive internal changes and it’s only natural that this spiritual growth changes relationships, too.
You’re not only more aware of your bad habits, but your partner’s. You’re mindful of your habits and how they affect you, the people around you and even the world. You see where these habits come from. Your entire value system changes.
All of these things can carve you into a very different person in a short amount of time. You may begin to lose patience with your loved ones and *eek* even think you’re better than them because you’re on this path.
Sometimes spiritual growth breaks people up. But other times it’s just a call to open your heart even more.
Of course the answers to these questions and how to proceed when spiritual growth changes relationships always lie within. Nobody knows the right steps forward but you.
But it’s interesting because the journey in navigating these shifts is also a journey of owning your stuff. Your neuroses, your flaws and weaknesses and realizing that nobody controls your level of content but you. Nobody limits you, but you.
Relationships are our greatest teachers.
In fact, in this universe of duality, everything is relational. We have relationships to ourselves, our friends and loved ones. We have relationships to food and money and health and our thoughts and work and mother Earth.
For many of these relationships, we have a great degree of control. But in our relationships with other people, that control goes out the window and that’s the hardest part.
Spiritual growth changes relationships. It’s inevitable.
For example, I love analyzing every little thing and looking at the root cause and triggering all my own pain points, not from a sense of liking suffering, but from a sense of knowing that addressing these things is the best way to heal them.
I have a deep desire to cultivate unconditional inner peace and achieve the most expansive version of me possible in this lifetime, and that requires an ongoing commitment to dig through all my own inner stuff.
But what about when your significant other just isn’t into it?
Can you have a relationship with someone who isn’t into spirituality and digging deep within their souls?
In my experience, absolutely.
One thing I’ve noticed is that when I’m frustrated with something but focus on my role in creating the problem, often the problem goes away on its own. When I focus on changing myself first, everything around me changes. This is how spiritual growth changes relationships.
When I try to change other people, all hell breaks loose. Instead of focusing on how other people are irritating me, I ask empowered questions like:
- How can I be more true to myself in this situation?
- What power am I giving away? What am I trying to control?
- What false perceptions/unhealed wounds are influencing how I’m interpreting and responding/reacting to this situation?
A lot of times wanting to change other person out of so-called concern for their welfare is really just us thinking we’re better than them. Or that our way of life is superior to theirs.
This is a call not to brainwash others to think like us, but to appreciate the people we love for who they are, not criticize them for who they’re not. Just like we have to learn to do for ourselves.
This is an exercise in releasing control and not obsessing about the inner work someone else needs to do all while avoiding our own stuff.
Thinking you’re more evolved or better than someone is all ego.
True love sees someone for who they are and has compassion for all the ways they’re wounded, just as you would want someone to do for you. (So full disclosure: I am totally still working on this.)
Trying to change someone or tell them how they live is unconscious or low vibe shows a deep lack of respect for our partners or loved ones and an absence of compassion for the journey that they’re on. Because everyone is on a journey of growth — which can also include stagnation — whether they’re aware of it and consciously guiding it or not.
This is why the saying, “good vibes only,” drives me crazy.
My husband stood by my side during a few very tumultuous years of my life. I was angry and crazy and I’m sure not very easy to live with. (And maybe I’m still not easy to live with!)
But everyone has their times of struggle and I’ve also been by his side during tough times. I feel like pop spirituality (and Instagram) sells this image of never-ending nuptial bliss that is truly only a snapshot.
Real life includes dirty dishes, clashing desires, love through tragedy and sometimes messy moments figuring out how to create a life that serves both parties equally. Spirituality doesn’t take that away, but only gives you tools to better navigate it.
True soul mates are designed to illuminate all your deepest pain points so that you can evolve.
This life isn’t about filling our neurotic needs, but evolving past them to become empowered creators.
In truth, if our lives don’t look the way they do, it’s easy when you’re in a relationship to blame your partner. If you didn’t do this, I would be happy. If you could give me this, I wouldn’t feel this way.
This is absolutely giving your power away and bypassing your own responsibility for creating your life. No one can tell you what to do with your days or how to live your life, and if they are, then maybe — maybe — that’s a sign you’re not in a healthy relationship.
Spiritual growth changes relationships, but it’s not always by destroying them. Strong relationships are a container for both people to explore and express who they truly are. That doesn’t have to be through a conscious spiritual journey.
Nobody is perfect.
It’s easy to blame all our problems on other people, analyze the shortcomings of others, but at the end of the day, we’re shining the spotlight on another person all while that light should be firmly pointed on ourselves.
By all means, take care of things when they come up. Offer your loving viewpoint when things come up. Be there as a fountain of unconditional love and support, and if it supports you to leave, then maybe you should leave.
Ultimately spiritual growth changes relationships and that’s a good thing! Whenever you’re annoyed, it’s another opportunity to look within and see what part you’re playing in the irritation.
And make no mistake — although inner turmoil seems like it’s caused by outside circumstances, the root is always within.
If you don’t seize the opportunities to heal and you choose to leave, you will carry your existing dysfunction into your next relationship, re-creating the very thing you were trying to run away from.
So on this Valentine’s Day, love who you are and love your partner as they are!
I hope this served you!
Suzanne Heyn is a spirituality teacher and online course creator. Her life-changing online course experiences and popular blog help people heal their hearts and love who they are. With an online community of more than 20,000 people, Suzanne is known for her practical, authentic take on spirituality that creates space for deep healing and heartfelt connection.
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