Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Sacred Space of Relationship

Linda said...
You say, "in the sacred space, anyone who understands can become your twin..." Please explain what is meant by "sacred space."

Hi Linda: When I refer to “sacred space” I am referring to the conditions that people allow for relationships to flourish. To achieve this, the people involved need to create the space for themselves that includes complete honesty, appreciation and (psychological) safety for one another. This space allows for self exploration and connection with spirit. It can only occur when each person is first able to witness themselves and maintain an internal balance that allows them to experience without “charge” or judgment of positive or negative.

This means that before we are ready for a sacred relationship, we each have to have done the internal work necessary to allow the sacred space. A good understanding of anger and how to effectively process it is essential. An understanding of our shadow aspect is necessary, that part of us that holds the unrecognized fear, and projects a victim – villain - hero triad or good and evil dynamic into relationship. It is also important to have an understanding of golden shadow, and how an over involvement with the beautiful parts of ourselves can interfere with the appreciation or psychological safety of another. It is widely thought that once we have “readied” ourselves, we have cleared the way for twin flame and soul mate relationships to enter our lives.

Having sacred relationships does not mean that problems or crisis will not enter our lives. As long as we are alive we are drawn to all levels of the mirror experience, even what we judge in the moment and the dark night of the soul. But the sacred space in relationship provides the foundation for our experience to be clearly realized. We must make sure that our partners are provided honesty, appreciation and safety at all times and that includes not assigning blame for deconstructing circumstances or emerging shadow. If we can provide our loved ones with the room to explore all aspects of themselves and appreciate who they are and who they are becoming, they can do the same for us.

Once we have learned to create a sacred space for relationship, it becomes easier to walk away from relationships incapable of providing it. It becomes the kindest thing to do because it establishes the model for all relationships to follow. You will be surprised at how many people can rise to the understanding, if given the time and sacred space.

The characters in my book, Chasing Twilight, are discovering how to create this sacred space. Thanks for asking. Molly Brogan

8 comments:

D.H. Pang said...

I agree completely. It's basically the principle that one cannot truly love and forgive others unless one first loves and forgives oneself.

Molly Brogan said...

Yes! We can only provide what we already own. In this case, reverence. Thanks for chiming in!

Derek said...

It took me a long time, but I can now see my relationships as processes of growth and development. As we share absolute truth, the struggle this can sometimes bring strengthens relationships. If we can bring unconditional love (the subject of your other post), into our relationships, the integrity of each relationship is expressed outwardly into the world and we are then totally supporting each each other in what we create in the world. Then all relationships will become special, and in true Zen fashion, "special" would disappear as it would no longer be needed as there would be no opposite.

Anonymous said...

Relationships have problems. People go through troubled times with each other. Are you saying that unless we follow this prescription for love, we have never had a "sacred" relationship? It bothers me that some folks feel they have the answers and the rest of us are idiots.

Molly Brogan said...

Thanks for this post because it brings up an important point. I think that all relationships are important, no matter how casual or deep. The real trick to establishing and maintaining a "sacred" relationship is maintaining those three essential elements - honesty, appreciation and psychological safety. This was SO hard for me to establish, because of the years of defensive behavior that had developed in my growing up years, before I noticed them. Things like avoiding, blaming, dramatizing all prevented my loved ones from feeling appreciated and psychologically safe in the relationships. Believe me, it took a great deal of self realization work to understand and get rid of the destructive behaviors. Not only that, once I reached a point where I was able to love in ways that allowed the sacred space, maintaining it became a challenge in my closest relationships, especially during times of stress or loss. I think that it takes constant effort, and of course, the willingness to forgive and be forgiven when we fall out, and need to re-establish the sacred nature of our love. Molly Brogan

Linda said...

Would you tell us more about what you mean by "psychological safety?"

Molly Brogan said...

Providing a space that includes psychological safety for our loved ones means that whatever happens and however they behave, we do not respond with criticism or shame or blame or aggression or in a way that would violate trust and well being. Having grown up in an Irish Catholic family, it took me awhile and a good therapist to understand the concept of shaming, a behavior prevalent in the Irish culture. It's not that we're all bad, but we hand it down through generations with a brand of sarcastic humor designed to belittle or diminish a person. Some of us don't see it until an outsider points it out to us. We just think it is funny, and don’t see the destructive effects. If you feel bad after someone has made a comment or told a joke about you, you have been shamed. Once I could spot it, it was easier not to let it affect me and I learned to draw boundaries that took it out of my relationships. This is especially important because in our closest relationships, our shadow emerges. These relationships are the safe spaces for those repressed parts of ourselves, good and bad, to come into the light and be integrated. We can't do this unless our relationships provide the psychological safety necessary for us to recognize and process these parts of ourselves.

Linda said...

What happens when shadow emerges? Why does it happen in our closest relationships?