The people we are in relationship with
are always a mirror, reflecting our own beliefs,
and simultaneously we are mirrors, reflecting their beliefs.
So… relationship is one of the most powerful tools for growth….
If we look honestly at our relationships,
we can see so much about how we have created them.
~ Shakti Gawain ~
It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I really connected to my own form of spirituality. That’s when I found yoga. I started the practice to heal an overuse injury caused by packing a laptop to training classes. What I found was a spiritual practice. I found a way to explore my inner self and melt into my own heart. Yoga can be part of a religious practice, but it’s not affiliated with any one religious practice. For me, yoga is a physical path to release the trappings of the world and sit in my my own silence. If I don’t get physical, I can’t do that. For others, they may be able to meditate or pray and create that space, but I have to do something physical. I am Type A to the core, and my physical body and brain drive me freaking crazy if I don’t exercise and practice yoga.
It’s not what you call me, but what I answer to.
~ African proverb ~
My childhood beliefs were rooted in Christianity, and, to a large extent, my beliefs are Christian. However, through 12 step work, I’ve been encouraged to find a God of my own understanding. My God and my understanding of God is very personal to me. I have a belief that God appears to each of us in a way that we personally can understand and embrace. That just seems like the kind thing God would do. Why would something so immense and powerful as God be limited to one manifestation? I am created by Him, and I believe He built a channel that is just right for me and me alone.
I believe that relationships are important parts of spiritual growth because I believe we are all spiritual beings. I think we are divinely connected, and when we are attracted to someone or repelled by someone there is a spiritual element attached to those feelings. And, I think the longer we are in relationship with someone, the deeper our souls are touched and changed by each other. One of the reasons I longed for a long-term relationship was that I wanted to be known fully by another human being. And, to be known fully, I needed to know myself. I wasn’t capable of knowing myself in my first marriage, and, in the second I was in the process of discovery. My second husband wasn’t able to know me because of his walls protecting himself. It was not a spiritually enriching relationship although I learned a great deal spiritually and grew spiritually from the relationship’s impact on me. When we were in close relatioship, the relationship was such a big distraction that I didn’t grow very much. It’s in hindsight that I began to truly get in touch with my spiritual self and start to trust my intuition and my inner wisdom.
Remove those ‘I want you to like me’ stickers from your forehead and, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good — on your mirror!
~ Susan Jeffers
Since I’ve been single, I’ve been able to explore my own version of spirituality. I have more time to connect with friends who have similar spiritual beliefs. I’ve been involved in women’s spiritual groups and retreats that provide opportunities for me to grow and explore my beliefs about myself and my spirituality. I spent a large portion of time immersing myself in deepening my yoga practice and then began marathon running which is also a spiritual practice for me. The biggest gift of being a single has been the time and freedom to do what I damn well please. If I feel pulled toward something, I can throw myself into it without impacting another person. It has allowed me much more room to become who I am.
Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Your words are the greatest power you have. The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.
~ Sonia Croquette ~
The first time my sister walked into my house, she exclaimed, “This house just SCREAMS Sharon.” I giggled with delight at that insight. It does. My life just screams Sharon. When my world was shared, I had to compromise and take another person’s path into consideration. I am very spiritually connected to my house. My house found me. Yesterday, some furniture found me. I’ve had paintings find me. I do miss the things that I learned being in connection with a partner, but I would hate to give up any of me again. Tonight, I’m giving away a tan couch that was purchased with my ex, and he had to have something in muted colors. I’m replacing it with a red leather ottoman, a turquoise and white chair and a chair with burgundy, orange and turquoise designs. I want color. I want to be awash in it. My walls are bright blue, deep golden yellow and sage green. My front room is an open yoga space with Be Still and Know That I am God scrawled on the wall. I am discovering my home as I am discovering myself, and I like it. I like me. I think I’m freaking cool. And, like my cousin Jerry told me the other night from the another dimension, I’m funky. I’ve been told I have a spirit living in my house. They say she’s there because she likes my energy and is waiting to go heaven because she likes hanging out with me. Whether it’s true or not, I kind of like that idea. I like hanging out with me, too. What’s more spiritual than that?