Living My Spiritual Partnerships Every Day
Frequent Questions and Concerns:
Responses from Gary and Linda
I am concerned that I will be judged as crazy, odd, different, and preachy or even seem like a zealot.
This is not only what a frightened part of your personality fears others will judge you for, but it is also how it judges you! It feels that you are odd, crazy, different, or a zealot and cannot imagine that others do not feel the same about you. This part of your personality will not change its perceptions of you. You must decide whether or not to challenge it.
If you decide that you don’t want it to control you, you create the possibility of relating without its limited perspectives. You will also recognize that it is afraid of being judged harshly for becoming emotionally aware, choosing responsibly, and consulting intuition! These are things to rejoice about.
What do I say when my partner says something like, Why do you have to talk about this and make our lives complicated?
You might say, for example, I would like to create a relationship of substance and depth with you and that requires going beyond the obvious and what seems simple. However, I understand that this is not your desire. But I am available if you should decide otherwise in the future. The issue is not complicated for me. It is a deep and meaningful exploration of what happens in all relationships continually. In the past I have not noticed these things, but now I am becoming interested in being more aware so that I can choose constructively as often as I can. I care about you, and I invite you to experiment with me in a different way of relating, if you choose.
How can I express myself clearly without using the vocabulary of authentic power?
You do not need the vocabulary of authentic power to describe physical sensations in your body, share thoughts, or articulate your intention. You can simply say, “There is a part of my personality that at this moment has become angry, or wants to withdraw. This is what that part feels like to me.” You can describe the physical sensations that you feel and ask, “Have you ever felt something like this?” In other words, you can say whatever is appropriate to lead into a discussion that is caring and real.
I’m afraid of a negative reaction if I ask someone to be a spiritual partner.
Creating relationships of substance and depth often starts with small steps. You can intend to have a more meaningful relationship. You can ask intuition to support you in seeing the best steps. A spiritual partnership always begins with a genuine interest in the other person, her history, family, aspirations, and more. It is the deepening of a connection that wants to happen. If you are attached to an outcome, you will fear a reaction. If you are truly interested in someone else, whatever that person does will be interesting to you.
I’m concerned that the other person might not keep what I share private.
You do not need to share everything with a potential spiritual partner. The things you will share as your partnership develops are the things that keep you distant from the other person when you don’t say them (for example, I am concerned that you will not respect my privacy.) If you have something to say that you don’t want other people to know about, and you are not sure that the other person will respect your privacy, you do not need to say it.
I’m afraid of being rejected if I open up to other people.
The fear of being rejected or abandoned is a very common fear. If you do not challenge it, you won’t be able to be open to people. It is not possible to create a spiritual partnership if you’re not willing to challenge a part of your personality that is afraid of being rejected or abandoned. So when you feel this part become active, you know that you have a wonderful opportunity to challenge it.
I’m concerned about opening myself up and being vulnerable if I reveal myself.
When you are experiencing this concern, scan your energy centers, look at the thoughts you are thinking, notice the intention this part of your personality is holding, and then challenge it by making the connection anyway. In other words, decide whether or not you will be controlled by a part of your personality that fears being vulnerable.
Interactions are experiments. The rewards of spiritual partnerships are gratifying and exceptional, but they are not created overnight. The part of your personality with this concern has distorted your experience and behavior many times before in order to avoid judgment, confrontation, abandonment or any other number of experiences that it does not want to encounter. The question for you is, do you want it to continue to distort your experiences and make your choices. If not, experiment. You can do this gently.
I’m really concerned about losing my relationship if we try to become spiritual partners and it doesn’t work out.
This is one of the most common reasons for maintaining a dysfunctional relationship. Frightened parts in you interact with frightened parts of others. Any time you change a status quo, you create the possibility that your relationship will change. However, when you’re willing to challenge the frightened parts of your personality that are afraid of losing a relationship, new possibilities come into being. For example, you may find that the very relationship you are afraid to lose becomes more intimate, or that other relationships open up to you. Look at the Benefits of Spiritual Partnership in Chapter 17 of Spiritual Partnership: The Journey of Authentic Power.
What do I do if my partner doesn’t want to grow spiritually?
Be patient and don’t try to convince them. You can still create authentic power yourself. Coming from love will have a positive effect on your relationship. It is always constructive to keep the door open to spiritual partnership.