Tell me whom you love, and I'll tell you who you are.

  • Creole proverb

The character of our relationships ranges from the heights of enlightenment to the depths of destruction, and most of us have been privy to both at some point in our lives. As with any other situation, the key to making and keeping relationships harmonious lies in placing them in the hands of God.

  • Marianne Williamson, Everyday Grace

A belief in the Fatherhood of God leads naturally to the idea that humanity constitutes one great family, born and destined to encounter suffering and sorrow, and therefore bound together that we might sympathize with one another.

The idea is readily grasped, as profound as it is simple: we are souls that aspire together. We have our communities as our cradles, and humanity as our mother. Just like growing up in a family with brothers and sisters, where we eventually find our place in the family and make the best of it, so we seek to find our place in the midst of a sea of humanity.

Similar to the example of Nature, whereby the systems of animals, plants, winds and waves, air and dirt, and so on, can thrive because of their inherent cooperation, as if they are different parts of the same body, so it is that the interdependence of the members of a family keep a family functioning together. In the same way, we human family members do not live this life alone (nor should we), but derive our support and assistance from one another, and from the family of humanity as a whole.

I had no brothers, but my two sisters were more than sufficient. Family life was what it was (and continues to be, in some cases). Speaking for my sisters and I, we found our places as members of our immediate family, and within the scope of our extended family. I am grateful that I have these two women in my life, for they have taught me much, and it is with pleasure that I find my Path bound with theirs.

As I expand that line of thinking, I find I have a grateful appreciation for all of the relationships I have or have had, and I think of all the different kinds of relationships there have been. Incidental, casual, friendly, personal, close, intimate, physical, emotional, and more ... they raise by degrees, it seems. None are without significance to me. Not one.

At what point does a relationship become a true spiritual partnership? Must such a concept be a black-or-white, yes-or-no question? I believe that all who cross my path do so for a reason. Were it not for my connection, to one degree or another, with all of humanity, I would be utterly alone. It is the duty of each, you - her - him - them - all of you people out there, to play the part that has been wrought for you by our Creator, great or small, in the lives of others. It is my duty to honor appreciate that which each individual in my own long chain of close and more distant connections brings to my party.

Are they all spiritual partners? Yes, to a greater or lesser degree, in my estimation. (By the way, this means you, reading this right now. Too late, I'm now a part of your life, as you are of mine. That's how it works.)

I seek those who are like-minded, those with similar interests and life goals, that I might feel at ease because of that commonality. I look for special individuals with whom I can form partnerships of trust, respect and love, so that I might not have to make my way alone on this difficult journey. But, my qualifications for what I might be looking for in my relationships don't seem to amount to a hill of beans to the Universe.

What I get is everyday life, everyday people. My brothers and my sisters of the common cradle. My friends, family, lovers, acquaintances, children, parents, shipmates, wives and ex'es, victims, perpetrators, subscribers, adversaries, confidants, mentors, coaches and teachers, co-conspirators, co-workers, and of course, my fellow travelers. All right, I'll take 'em. It isn't a neat package, but then, neither am I. A soul mate for me? Probably in there, somewhere. Whatever, wrap it up.

We all struggle. Thank God we are there for each other. The struggle, and the solace we offer one another - both are our birthright!

Author's Bio: 

Friday's Inspiration offers a broad variety of practical and inspiring topics, based on common sense and sound philosophy. Outstanding contributions by some of the best self-help authors in the world accompany this author's own thoughts in his newletter about what works in his life, and what doesn't. Visit for more!