The Roots of Spirituality
“To relate effectively requires emotional strength, because we must learn to listen. And listening involves patience, openness, and the desire to understand.” — Stephen Covey
Life’s central challenge (and opportunity!) is building and maintaining real relationships…
And real relationships are built on the foundation of love (which is more of an action than a feeling).
It is said that the first duty of love is to listen.
True listening facilitates and conveys understanding… and understanding is at the center of expressing love and care.
Just as a drowning person only needs to come above water for air to feel immense and immediate relief, so a person experiencing (or drowning in) emotion just needs to feel understood to feel relief.
To truly and completely listen is a great art that requires constant practice and a sincere desire to understand and empathize.
Listening is at the root of emotional strength because to truly listen necessitates to being open. And to be open means we are taking the chance that we (our perceptions, conceptions, understanding, etc.) might be influenced and changed.
If we are not grounded to that which is changeless (God and our inherent loving relationship with our Divine Source) we will feel too insecure to be sufficiently open to really listening to others.
Therefore our depth in our relationship with God is the foundation for depth in all other relationships.
And by increasing the depth and intimacy of all other relationships, we continually become more open and capable of hearing the personal, guiding voice of Divinity in our own hearts, and then, as we are more heavily anchored to our relationship with God, we can show up even more fully to our other relationships.
In this way the cycle of deepening relationships continues and grows, and our capacity to truly serve rests on the foundation of strong relationships which nourish and bring out our best qualities and abilities.
This is why spirituality and spiritual growth is rooted in the seeds of healthy relationships.