Cultivating deeper relationships
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
BOSTON — A lot of people are looking for just the right life partner. They want to cultivate a special relationship. They feel they're missing out on meaningful friendships.
I made a list one time of the qualities I thought were important in any special relationship. Fidelity, devotion, permanence, respect, and love were all on it. Past relationships had not delivered all that I felt was necessary. And it helped me to find out where those qualities really come from.
They are in my relationship with God. Since the divine Spirit is permanent, these spiritual qualities are permanent and complete - right here. Jesus taught this when he said, "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21).
This statement from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, inspired me: "As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible" (pg. 264). God would reveal the good relationships I had been looking for, which at the moment I couldn't see. Wow! I got right to work on getting "more correct views of God."
But, just as quickly, I realized that understanding God more clearly wasn't a one-time event. It was actually my life-work, a purpose that would constantly be refined as I continued to expand my spiritual understanding. Finding God's love deepened my love for Him and awakened me to the many blessings around me.
I saw that I reflected God. God didn't create us to search for each other in order to be a complete expression of Him. God created us in His likeness as whole, complete, and satisfied.
As I looked at other people, I began to see more than just human characteristics. Beyond the beauty of appearances, for example, was the beauty of wholeness that all of God's children reflect universally. Soon my mental checklist consisted of examining every thought to see if I was really seeing spiritually - seeing that God is the one source of good.
Also in Science and Health I read: "Through divine Science, Spirit, God, unites understanding to eternal harmony. The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace. Thus the dawn of ideas goes on, forming each successive stage of progress" (pg. 506). As the children of God, we share with others "through divine Science," or through our spiritual nature as God's creation, which we all have in common. We are never separated from each other, since we are never separated from God. As I understood this more deeply, I felt at peace instead of alone. That was great because I knew that, no matter what, I wasn't missing out on anything good.
Well, "more correct views of God" did change what I saw in front of me. All my relationships began to improve.
In less than two months, I met a woman, and we fell in love. I knew she was right in every way. We both felt this way and were married within three months. I was able to glimpse our complete, spiritual identities, including all goodness. We agreed that we were at peace in our relation to God first, then at peace with each other.
Now, 11 years later, I'm even more convinced that when you know God better, you know good better. And your life necessarily responds. Recently I've seen this happen in improved relationships with co-workers and family members. This helps me in supporting the relationships my children are developing, too.
Whatever relationships you're cultivating, you can raise your standards. Find out how God made His creation, and you'll find that you aren't missing out on anything.
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
I Corinthians 1:10
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society