Spirituality-Can It Help Relationships*
By Michael Isaacs
Absolutely! After all, spiritual discernment leads to more love, compassion, and often wisdom. And, is not true that relationships thrive with more love, compassion, and wise judgment towards to each other?
Let me quote related gems from various spiritual souls. I believe you will agree with me that if incorporated to a degree into the lives of partners what a positive effect it would have! I am sure many of you also have your own favorite quotes on the subject of how spiritual principles and truths can help relationships.
Here is the well known Sioux Indian prayer: “Great spirit, help me to never judge another until I have walked two weeks in his moccasins.”
Sarada, the “Holy Mother”, the wife of the Indian Saint Ramakrishna, said: “I tell you one thing-if you want peace, my child, do not find fault with others. See your own faults instead.”
The Western mystic Joel Goldsmith: “Love is of God. The moment we turn our thought away from the idea that a person can give or withhold love, we find love pouring itself out to us. If we are not receiving enough love in the world, stop looking to people for it and look to God.”
Psychiatrist Dr. Gerald Jampolsky, influenced by “A Course in Miracles” wrote:” I realized that all I had to do was to make peace of mind my top priority and my only goal…No one ever told me all I had to do is to live one second at a time, being kind, gentle, tender, and loving to all that is living---and to exclude no one from my love, including myself.”
From the Talmud we have this Golden Rule: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. That is the entire law. All the rest is commentary.”
The ancient Greek Seneca said “The greatest remedy for anger is delay”.
The Tibetan Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron: “Refrain from the discomfort of the immediate urge to react to criticism. Avoid being hooked into self-denigration, blame, anger, jealousy-emotions that end up poisoning us.”
The Dali Lama has said: “If you want to love and be loved be compassionate to another and to one’s self.”
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do and forgive as much as seventy times seven.”
Again, Joel Goldsmith writes: “Begin your spiritual life with the understanding that all conflicts must be settled within your consciousness.”
The Lebanese poet, artist, and, philosopher Kahlil Gibran writes: “Stand together, but not too near together, for the pillars of the temple stand apart.”
Lastly, Paramahansa Yogananda, the Indian saint: “I will speak the truth, but I will at all times avoid speaking unpleasant and harmful truths. I will offer no criticism that is not motivated by kindness”
I rest my case!
* Michael S. Isaacs, LCSW, NCPsyA, JD., Berkeley, California, May, 2013 Published in Spring-Summer, 2013 issue of the Association of Spirituality