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Do You Long for Divine Qualities in Your Relationships?

Find the divine in yourself

Large willow tree growing in shallow lake.
Old willow surviving in the winter lake at Evergreen and expessing the divine quality of stability.

Are you longing for divine qualities in your relationships?

In a Sounds True podcast, Tami Simon talked with Terry Real, an internationally recognized family therapist and author of the audiobook Fierce Intimacy. His revolutionary Relational Life Therapy methodology is changing the way couples relate to each other to reach higher levels of honesty and intimacy. He said:

I believe that what we long for is the divine. What we long for are gods or goddesses that are going to complete us and never let us down and perfect us. And what we’re stuck with is an imperfect human being who has all sorts of warts and moles just like we do.

But today I want to address the concept that we are, at our deepest level, divine, and that those we have relationships with could find in us what they are longing for — aspects of the divine.

It’s arrogant to assume I can define the divine. However, I decided to look to nature for qualities of the divine. If I were to meet the divine in Rob, my partner of 43 years, this is what I’d expect to find:

  • The stability of a tree

  • The strength of a rock

  • The expansiveness of the sky

  • The constancy of the sun

  • The quietness of the moon

  • The delights of stars

  • The resilience of grass

  • The peacefulness of flowers

  • The easy flow of water

  • The support of space

These things sound grand, almost grandiose, but it’s what we all want in relationships.

We think that if only our partners could be all these things all the time, then we’d be divine too. So, we wait for them to express perfection, to be the God in the room. Then we’ll step up and be divine too. But why wait for our partner to express the divine before we do? Why put off joyful personal growth?

When we are those things that we long for our partner to be, then the miracle of reciprocity happens. (Maybe not always, but most of the time.)

Another snippet from Terry Real’s podcast:

The real work of relationships are not even day by day, it’s minute to minute. In this minute right here, am I going to do the same old same old or am I going to take a breath, get relationally mindful, and then choose something that’s more functional?

Being divine can seem like an impossible order. A thought in my head shouts: It would be easier for me to plant a flag at the top of Mt Everest this afternoon than to be divine in my relationships! But as Real points out, it’s a moment-by-moment thing. It’s about paying mindful attention to what is happening in the relationship now.

Express the divine now. Not next week or next year. Just now. Be the tree, the rock, the sky, the peace, the support. Be what this moment requires, for the sake of the relationship.

Experiencing a relationship problem? Take a breath. Tap into the divine in you and see what it brings to the moment. You might be surprised.

Be what you want the other to be.

Express the divine because someone is longing to experience the divine in you.

With love, Marlane

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