Marriage as a vehicle for deeper self awareness, pleasure, enchantment, and perhaps enlightenment? Why not?
You’re married, committed, at least for now, but you are craving something more from your relationship. You look at your partner and think that the moreness that you are craving should come from him or her. You think,”If only he’d talk with me more, share more of his feelings with me, then I would feel more fulfilled.” Or, “If she would take better care of herself, laugh at my jokes like she used to when we were dating, or just lighten-up, then I would feel fulfilled.” Really?
What if your marriage really is the key to a more fulfilling life, but you’ve just been approaching it in the wrong way? What if what you most need from your partner is what you have been unable or unwilling to give to yourself? What if what you are really craving is already within you and is spiritual in nature?
Being married for spiritual practice means that you are willing to be your absolute best self, alongside your partner, for the purpose of mutual joy, love, and spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical fulfillment. This is an intuitive practice of living and problem solving; it means looking inward first rather than looking to your partner as your source of pleasure or pain. Marriage as spiritual practice isn’t a flight from reality rather it is a complete and total engagement with reality.
There are four keys to this practice and subsequently to a terrific marriage:
1. Getting in touch with your intuition. Intuition is your partner and your guide through the windy road of marriage. It is through the gate of your intuition that you’ll be able to see yourself and your marriage in a new revolutionary way.
2. Practicing Self Awareness through seeing yourself in your partner. This is the most vital and challenging aspect of this practice and I’ll be talking about it more at a later date. Of course meditation, contemplation, spiritual study, therapy, prayer… whatever you need to have a better understanding of who you really are, is also necessary.
3. Clear truthful communication. That is, speaking and listening from deep within the body. What is it you really need to communicate to your partner? To find out, you will need to feel your way to the truth through the body and the breath. Truth is not in your head, but in your heart. Listening too requires that you are grounded in your body. This way you are completely present to yourself and your partner.
4. Having a clear and mutual vision for your marriage or having a big picture regarding your marriage. What do you both want your marriage to look, feel, and be like? Has it changed? Are you on the same page regarding your vision?
Your marriage is organic, unique, and alive. While you are in it, be in it consciously. Use the challenges in your marriage and with your partner to deepen in empathy, patience, and love. When you are not being challenged, take pleasure in one another’s company, don’t take the gift of a pleasant evening together for granted.
Be present, be mindful, breathe…
Photo Credit: Alex Holt