To have a sacred relationship is to be a friend of the soul of another being. It is to see the other as a soul, and to meet the other as a soul.
Sacred relationships are based on devotion — on seeing God within Creation and wanting to love and serve all of life.
This desire to support, heal, love, and uphold others because they are part of God and carry a seed of divinity within, is what lies at the root of a sacred relationship. Such a desire comes from the heart, from a sensibility that perceives an invisible layer of truth behind the visible aspect of life. It does not come from knowing details about another, nor from the length of time spent with another. It does not come from considering the other a personal friend, nor from their being part of one’s family. A sacred relationship comes from the recognition of another as a soul.
To have a sacred relationship is to be a friend of the soul of another being. It is to seethe other as a soul, and to meetthe other as a soul.
Most relationships in life are not established in this way. Most are based on personal preference, linking one personality with another. This is a limited way of seeing people, though an authentic one. It is a way that corresponds to a level of consciousness which has not yet achieved a certain spiritual depth. Here, what is presented as reality, namely, the persona or external face of another, is accepted as who they are. When we view others in this way, we do not see who they aremeant to beor who they will eventually become. We see them in terms of who they thinkthey are or who they believe themselves to be. This is the most common form of relating today, reflecting a level of development that will one day become something else. For it is not the most profound or truest way for us to know another. It is not a friendship of the soul.
To experience a friendship of the soul, one must have the desire to do so. One must have the desire for a deeper and purer love that does not exist in the realm of need or at the surface of the self, but rather in the realm of radiance and of blessing. Love such as this seeks to give to others and to participate in God’s love for Creation. It does not seek another’s company in order to fill the holes within the self or the empty places within another. Such purity of love can only blossom in the absence of need when we experience the other as a beloved. When this happens, a loving heart can form sacred friendships in its meetings with anyone and everyone.
Yet, how is it possible to be with others beyond need? This can only take place when two who strive for wholeness within themselves are centered in God and seek wholeness within, rather than making it dependent upon someone else.
By contrast, what much of the world currently calls ‘intimate relationships’ are built, instead, on need. They are built on efforts to heal parts of the self through the agency of another person. In the process, the other becomes a vehicle for working out personal difficulties, with all the attendant projections and distortions that this entails. Though there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this way of relating which is a stage in the development of awareness of the younger spiritual self, such a relationship is vulnerable to the many restrictions that are often placed around giving and receiving love. The fact that some relationships turn out well despite this, is often because both persons can be aware of the process and can try to engage in it respectfully.
In a sacred relationship, the desire for healing, both for oneself and for others, is met in a different way. Here, it is God who is sought at times of need, replacing projection and distortion with the possibility for clearer sight and knowledge. For this to occur, inner space is needed, a space in which clinging to another to satisfy some need is let go of in favor of clinging to God and to the pursuit of inner truth.
Friendship of this kind can exist within any relationship, whether with a parent, child, co-worker, teacher, friend, or any other. Indeed, in order for such a friendship to take place, it is only necessary that one person be conscious of the intention. If only one in a relationship carries such an intention, the friendship will be limited, yet it will still allow for the outpouring of love, generosity, and blessing on one side that the other may not yet be ready to express. When such an outpouring becomes part of any relationship, it cannot help but transform the other, bringing them into a higher state of being and consciousness, with more openness of heart.
One of the primary foundations for a sacred friendship is the ability to accept the other as they are now, yet simultaneously to be able to see beyond this to who they might become. If our need of another is great, we will not be able to see the other as they are now because our wishes for how they should be will get in the way. Our clarity will be limited by our needs and fears. Similarly, if our need of another is great, we will not be able to be ourselves with another because we will strive, always, to be who we feel we are needed to be, or who we are expected to be, not who we are. Need limits our ability to let others just be themselves and to let ourselves be who we are as well.
Therefore, to be a force for healing and blessing others, central to the motivation of a sacred friendship, it is necessary that we do not need someone to be other than they are. It is necessary to be able to embrace whatisand to love within the context of what is. To do this requires an identity that is firm because it is rooted in its Divine source. This is an essential aspect of being able to be a force for healing in the world. Choosing such an identity enables the emergence of the Divine within and reveals the place of rootedness which already exists. To have a sacred friendship is a matter of learning to draw from the well of our inner being in order to find nourishment and love.
In the end, embodying healing love defines the nature of a sacred friendship and the nature of a sacred human. Such a nature seeks to radiate blessing to the world and to participate in the life of the planet — a life in which the consciousness of one is offered to the consciousness of another so that humanity can be changed one by one. Out of this intention, life becomes transformed so that it is no longer a personal life that we live, but a universal life — one that seeks to give to all and to share love with all. Such a life is wedded to the goal of happiness and healing for an entire planet.
As we strive to meet others in this way, we assist in the becoming of others so that each may recognize the deeper truth within. Whether within a marriage, between parents and children, or between strangers who meet for a fleeting moment in time, to assist in the becoming of another is what it means to participate in a sacred friendship. It is to give wings and light to what may be heavy or covered over in another, so that the soul of the other can emerge into the light of day and, through love, can learn how to fly.