Part 5 – When you don’t have a partner on your spiritual journey

Garden of the Gods mountain range

Garden of the Gods mountain range in Colorado Springs. A sacred place full of energy.

This is Part 5 in the series ‘Is your partner with you on your spiritual journey?’.  This post: How about when you don’t have a partner?

This topic is a simpler one.  When you are in the situation of not having a partner, and want to pursue your spiritual growth, what do you do?

* * * Go for it! * * *  That’s what you do!

There are so many ways to grow. Here are some ideas:

  • Try out different community groups, meetup groups and events – whether it’s for meditation, listening to a speaker or attending a workshop, there are so many activities out there in the world to try. The key is to keep an open mind, go with no expectations or pre-judgments and allow yourself to explore, learn and be opened.
  • Do not make a generalization based on one event. Sometimes a particular event may not be right for you, maybe you interact with people that you don’t like,  but do not let this close your mind. For instance, not all meditation courses or sitting groups are the same. If you go to one that makes you feel uncomfortable, try another one.
  • Seek out like-minded people. Broach conversations with people to discover what similar interests and beliefs they may share with you. Having a coffee or talking a walk with like-minded people is invigorating. You will find the conversation can go on for hours.

When I was younger, I did not have the benefit of understanding how to seek out like-minded people or how to go about expanding my spiritual interests.   Not only didn’t I understand how to go about this, I also did not have the self-awareness to realize this was an area of interest for me. But I think it was life’s hard knocks and maturing that gave me the insight to realize what I wanted to explore.

If you are seeking to find a partner, what a great opportunity to get out there to interact with like-minded people; maybe you will find someone who wants company on their spiritual path too.

This concludes the 5 part series about spirituality and partnerships.  I hope you enjoyed reading them.

~Wendy

Part 4 – When your partner rejects your spiritual journey

The sacred Garden of the Gods - "Sleeping Giant"

The sacred Garden of the Gods – “Sleeping Giant”

This is Part 4 in the series ‘Is your partner with you on your spiritual journey?’.   Do you have a partner who rejects your spiritual interests?

I have talked to many people who steer away from talking to their partner about spiritual topics, because their partner firmly rejects or mocks it all. Typically, here is how the rejection looks:

  • the partner talks about spirituality as ‘woo-woo’, ‘Oprah-ish’, believing in angels, ghosts, auras, witchcraft, etc.
  • makes jokes about it
  • makes the person feel silly, and that it’s all a waste of time

The partner’s rejection becomes obvious pretty quickly, which creates a negative, unsupportive environment.

I’m talking about outward rejection, not just indifference.

Whether the person seeking spiritual growth admits it or not, I have found that they feel somewhat rejected and diminished, as they take their partner’s verbal lashings to heart. It typically causes an unfortunate, underlying distance between them.

I have seen cases where the spiritual seeker essentially abandons their interests because they don’t want to pursue it without their partner,  simply don’t want to be ridiculed, or don’t want their differences to ruin their relationship.  Sometimes it causes the seeker to go ‘underground’ – reading books, surfing the internet or engaging in conversations unbeknownst to the partner. I’ve seen the odd case where it contributes to the breakup of the relationship.

However, I would say most often what I see is the seeker longs to connect with like-minded people, trying to find a community of people to growth with, and hopes that maybe one day, their partner will open his/her mind and curiosity as well.

To anyone who might be the ‘partner’ in this case, meaning the one who is not interested in spirituality but their partner is, I ask you to be open to allowing your partner to explore in a supportive way.

Have you experienced rejection behaviour or witnessed it in other couples?  If so, I invite you to share things that you have done to get your partner interested in spirituality, or how you feel if your partner rejects your beliefs. You can leave a comment without using your real name if you so desire.

Please click the ‘Comment’ link below to join in on this conversation.

Part 3 – When your partner is indifferent to your spiritual journey

The sacred Garden of the Gods

The sacred Garden of the Gods

This is Part 3 in the series ‘Is your partner with you on your spiritual journey?’.  In this post,  let’s specifically discuss ‘when you partner is indifferent to your spiritual journey’.

So if you have or had a partner who looks at your spiritual journey with indifference or apathy, what’s really going on about that?

  • Maybe the situation is that the two of you really haven’t discussed this very much, so you are assuming he/she doesn’t really care.
  • Maybe he/she really doesn’t care!
  • Maybe he/she ‘lets’ you do whatever you please in your journey; perhaps you could even say he/she ‘supports’ you but just doesn’t want to be an active part of it.
  • Does it make you feel that you are less connected with him/her?

I have spoken to a number of people who are in a relationship such as this, and some people really do not care if their partner is along for the journey or not.  However, in these cases, I tend to see that the journey tends to be a bit lonelier, and the motivation to pursue it is somewhat diminished.

Then again, I’ve spoken to some people who already live their lives quite independently from their partner so seeking spiritual growth does not threaten the relationship whatsoever.

For someone whose spiritual journey is very important, I would suggest that having an open conversation with your partner can be very helpful.  Don’t assume that if your partner is indifferent now, that he/she will be indifferent sometime in the future. People change all the time.  I think if someone is not interested but is open-minded, you can slowly introduce ideas and experiences, and you never know what may catch their attention!

Here are some things in my past experience that caught my partner’s attention and helped him ‘open up’:

  • bringing him to a welcoming beginner’s meditation class
  • introducing him to Eckhart Tolle’s ‘A New Earth: Awakening to your life’s purpose‘.  This is SUCH a terrific book, and much better and easier to read than his previous book called ‘The Power of Now‘.  Please note that the person needs to be ready to read this, and if they are not, usually it is tossed aside. This is what initially happened, but then after about a year, I re-introduced it and he saw it with new eyes.
  • introducing him to spiritual people who are down-to-earth, easy and fun to be with, so he could see that spiritual people are not stereotypically ‘woo-woo’ or strange!

At this point, I invite you to share things that you have done to encourage your partner’s interest in spirituality, or how you feel if your partner is not interested. You can leave a comment without using your real name if you so desire.

Please click the ‘Comment’ link below to join in on this conversation.

Part 2 – When your partner joins you on your spiritual journey

At the sacred Garden of the Gods, Colorado SpringsAs I had hoped, this topic is an intriguing one, and I love seeing your comments and talking to some of you. 

This is Part 2 in the series ‘Is your partner with you on your spiritual journey?’.  In this post,  let’s specifically discuss ‘when you partner joins you on your spiritual journey’.

This post is specifically about the scenario of when your partner is also on a spiritual path, and you two intentionally are taking actions to learn and grow spiritually.

But what does that look like for you?  For me, before I married my partner I had broached the subject of my beliefs and curiosities because I needed to know where he stood on this. I had discovered that he hadn’t really thought too much about it, seemed somewhat skeptical and rather uninterested, but absolutely respected my beliefs and I could tell his stance would not hold me back, and likely would actually encourage me to explore even if he chose not to.

After we got married, our eyes were opened more with each meaningful event we experienced in our lives, such as the death of a parent, watching world disasters, meeting people who impacted our lives, and my stint with cancer. I received many gifts with my cancer experience, and perhaps one of the most significant was the the joint spiritual acceleration my partner and I experienced together.

As life continues, we encounter various offerings to learn and grow spiritually.  Sometimes we both gravitate to such offerings, and sometimes only one of us does. For example, my partner really resonates with Ken Wilber’s teachings, but for me, Ken’s much too technical and theoretical, so most of it just whizzes over my head. I tend to spend a lot more time than my partner learning & talking to others,  but we both enjoy and receive great benefits from meditation & mindfulness and have gone to many meditation groups together.

I can say with certainty that my spiritual journey is accelerating and more fascinating because I am so fortunate to have a partner who actively encourages me and experiences the journey with full interest right beside me.  Enduring the cancer experience last year together really projected us down the path at full speed; we were fortunate to be introduced to InspireHealth right at the onset of my cancer diagnosis, and they helped us learn how to manage through cancer together.

I know that many couples do not talk about the subject of spirituality. If you haven’t yet, I suggest it is worthwhile doing so, because if you find ways to explore it together, it can enrich your relationship in profound ways.  In today’s society with so many breakups and people living in dead relationships, isn’t it worth exploring what this could do for the two of you?

Keep in mind that cultivating a spiritual journey together is like taking a walk through a maze – you will have dead ends, clear paths, and times where you may walk alone and times you walk together.  In my relationship, I would say it took a few years before the light turned on for both of us together and we intentionally decided to grow together.

At this point, I invite you to share your experiences and thoughts if your partner IS on the spiritual journey with you (current or past partners). You can leave a comment without using your real name if you so desire.

Please click the ‘Comment’ link below to join in on this conversation. I would love to hear from you!

Part 1 – Is your partner with you on your spiritual journey?

At the sacred 'Garden of the Gods'I’d like to discuss a really important and intriguing subject:  Is your partner with you on your spiritual journey?

As this is a very big and meaningful topic, I will break this down into a 5 part series, and I invite you to join in on this conversation by adding your comments.

Spiritual growth is such a deeply personal decision and experience. Every person walks a unique path.  I imagine that most of you who read my blog are in some way already on your spiritual path.  You might be well on your way, or you might just be peeking through a door at the path that intrigues you, or you are not yet sure what it is or what to do about it.

In one of my past serious relationships, I felt a deep but suppressed interest in spirituality, and I didn’t even really know what to call it at the time. I wanted to discuss my curiosity with my partner but based on what I knew about him, I suspected that he would just raise an eyebrow and wonder if I was running a high fever.

In my current relationship, my partner started out years ago rather indifferent and skeptical, but going through my cancer journey last year really opened his eyes to the possibility and benefits of joining me on my spiritual journey.

Personally, I feel that if your partner intentionally decides to grow with you spiritually, it enriches and accelerates your growth, and deepens your relationship.  After all, partnerships do need long term visions in order to sustain and be fulfilling.

How did I broach the subject in my serious relationships? Here are some ways I did:

  • I started off with a discussion on whether or not we each believed in reincarnation.  Whether you believe in reincarnation or not isn’t the point here, I’m just pointing out this is how I started opened up a spiritual-type conversation.
  • When we experienced a death of a friend or loved one, or heard that someone was very ill, we would remember how short life really is.  This was a window of opportunity to talk about what we thought our life’s purpose might be.

So have you truly talked specifically to your partner about exploring your spiritual growth together, or have you just talked about various topics here and there, but not made the big jump in raising the question of deciding to journey together?

  • Have you talked about what it means to grow spiritually together?
  • What life means to you?
  • Living life with self-awareness, intention and meaning?
  • What it means to your relationship to journey together or separately?

I invite you to share how you have broached this subject with your partner, or how you have not as yet (current or past partners).  As this can be a very tricky subject, I would love to hear about your experiences, or you can describe the challenges you are currently having.

Please click the ‘Comment’ link below to join in on this conversation!