Well, of course, it helps! But, it begs the bigger question, what is enlightenment? What can we say about enlightenment that can be helpful in the context of partnership? Let’s start with this. ENLIGHTENMENT IS THE PROCESS OF WAKING UP TO LOVE AS THE UNIFIED GROUND OF ALL LIFE. The operative words here are process and waking up. There is little usefulness in thinking of enlightenment as a static state of unending bliss, unless perhaps you are a recluse living alone on a mountaintop somewhere.
But, most likely you aren’t. Like us, you are probably in the world, engaged in the hustle and bustle of the modern marketplace with diverse value systems in which a permanent state of bliss can seem challenging, if not impossible. Or you might be sharing life’s path with intimate others who regularly “push your buttons.”
So, for now let’s allow it to be a process in which we are all in various and changing states of wakefulness. And we can help each other to become more awake.
For those of you who have known us for a while, you probably know already that
our specific goal for our love relationship was to bring out the best in one another. For us that included attaining higher levels of consciousness, sometimes referred to as the Higher Self, Buddha Mind, Christ Consciousness.
What does the dictionary have to say about partnerships? Partnership is a relationship between individuals or groups that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility, as for the achievement of a specified goal.
The key thing here is mutual cooperation and responsibility. We would also add commitment. Partners usually have something at stake, whether money or heart or both. Partnerships are intentional relationships. People enter into partnerships because they choose to create a future together.
Well then, what makes for enlightened partnership? First, let’s distinguish between the partners and the partnership, for they are not the same. The partnership is a completely separate entity from the individual partners. We think of our relationship as a garden that we both nurture and receive from. So, there is Paul, Layne and our relationship.
We say a relationship or partnership is not a “thing” you can own or be owned by. Rather, a relationship is a “space of possibilities”; it is a living, probably evolving, process in which you participate. For many, this concept represents a paradigm shift in their thinking about relationships. Relationships are alive and they have a flow of life in them and that flow has a direction.
What is the direction of the flow in your partnerships? Where is the partnership headed? What is the partnership focused on? It is the flow of a partnership that determines whether the partnership is enlightened or not. What distinguishes an enlightened partnership from an ordinary one is that it is always headed in a direction that honors the Spirit. Enlightened partners are motivated by a vision and passion that results in an extraordinary level of cooperation and creativity.
As teachers of spiritual relationships for over 35 years we have demonstrated the essence of our Spirit is love. When we make choices out of love we elevate our spirit. The opposite of love is fear. When we make choices out of fear we diminish the expression of our spirit in the world.
Therefore, an enlightened partnership is one that is committed to making choices out of love and an elevated vision rather than fear. In an enlightened partnership we ask ourselves, “What would love see here? What would love say here? What would love choose here? What choices honor the spirit in all of us?” These questions help us gain some spiritual altitude that delivers uncommon and inspiring solutions.
We use the terms enlightened partnerships and evolutionary relationships interchangeably. We also use the terms spiritual or soulful relationships to define relationships that honor the incandescent Light of spiritual awareness. No matter what term you use, we know that the awareness of your internal landscape and an experience of your Higher Self come into play.
We have found there are relationship savvy skills that take us far beyond the ordinary relationships that we used to settle for. And the learning of those skills requires regular practice to master. Just like playing a musical instrument or martial arts requires practice sessions to be as good as you can be, so does the art of spiritual relationships.
If we all learn the practices of enlightened partnerships and we used the skills, what kind of future could we create for ourselves and others? In our experiment with this idea, we have found that we can enjoy intentional creative relationships that foster the development and evolution of everyone involved. We continually dedicate ourselves and our relationships to a soulful wisdom, compassion and trust.
Are we enlightened? The most honest answer is yes and no. Remember we consider enlightenment as a process of awakening. This process is never ending because it involves the eternal nature of our individual souls. That means as advanced as we may get in our comprehension of Truth and Sprit, it can always get more sublime.
It can always get more expansive. The possibilities are truly infinite.
There are times when we easily shift the gears of our awareness to a soulful wisdom and love. There are other times when we are stretched to the limit of our capacity and we fall short. Falling short is a familiar experience for us because, as conscious evolutionaries we are living at the edge of our capacity.
But, if you ask us do we enjoy an enlightened partnership, we would unequivocally say, “Yes!” We have been loving and learning together for over 35 years. We are wiser and more loving because of what we are dedicated to in our relationship. We’ve had lots of ups and down, hard times and good times. We keep falling deeper in love with one another. Our experiment was to find out how to keep the love alive in our relationship and we discovered how to do that. It was to connect with a soulful love that never ends, within ourselves, and then to share it with one another.
We know that the kind of relationship we are talking about here may seem impossibly on the moon for some of you. It certainly was for us before we met. But, now we know it is possible for anyone who is sufficiently motivated, willing to let go of the past and preconceived notions and willing to learn and be coached in learning the skills of enlightened partnership.
So, what do you think? What does this bring up for you? Please share . . .
Paul & Layne