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"All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come." Chris Griscom, Spiritual Leader, Author

"Eloquent and comprehensive, showing how your primary love relationship may be a sacred vessel that transports you and your partner to a place of mutual healing and expansion." Robert Schwartz, Author: Your Soul's Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born

"The Tao of Spiritual Partnership is a unique blend of wit and wisdom; Dr. Kortsch encourages us to take responsibility for our relationships, while recognizing and seizing the opportunities for our own personal spiritual growth." William Buhlman, Author of Adventures Beyond the Body

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Does Love Imply Sacrifice?


This question has plagued humanity for millennia. And it should be of no surprise to anyone that the arena where it most often plays out is in that of relationships: with our partners, with our parents, and with our children.

Have you ever heard someone say: 'If you really loved me, you would do ___________ for me'? Or perhaps this is what is said: 'When you love someone it means you're willing to give up your own desires'. And another frequently heard version might be: 'If you weren't so selfish, you would do _______________ for me.'

Let's examine this more closely:
  • is it a sacrifice (implied by love) if I care for my child with Down's Syndrome?
  • is it a sacrifice if I care for my parent with Alzheimer's?
  • is it a sacrifice if I care for my partner who has been in an accident and is now a quadriplegic?
  • is it a sacrifice to cook meals for the family every day?
  • is it a sacrifice to spend money you had tucked away for a special treat for yourself in order to pay for music lessons you can scarcely afford for your - apparently - gifted child?
  • is it a sacrifice (implied by love) to financially care for a child - now an adult - who refuses to get a job?
  • is it a sacrifice (implied by love) to have dinner with a parent every night (and not have a life of your own) because your parent is lonely but refuses to get out and meet new people?
  • is it a sacrifice (implied by love) to put up with a partner's lack of motivation and low mood (due to job difficulties, for example) over a long period of time because your partner refuses to seek help?
  • is is a sacrifice (implied by love) to cook separate dishes for everyone in the family because they all like different foods?
  • is it a sacrifice (implied by love) to spend money you can scarcely afford for an expenisve brand-name pair of sneakers for your child (as opposed to a more ordinary pair)?
You probably agree with me that in the first set of examples love does imply sacrifice, but it is a sacrifice that is given gladly and generously (we might also think of a Mother Teresa-type sacrifice with the poor and sick in India, born of love for humanity), and that although it may frequently be very hard to continue, it is a sacrifice, as said, gladly given.

But in the second set of examples, the sacrifice that is made is given - in part perhaps due to love - but in great part as well due to poor boundaries on the part of the person who makes the sacrifice, and therein lies the great fallacy and incorrect understanding implied in the questions asked in the second paragraph above. 

Our culture has often created a false or wrong idea of sacrifice in our minds which then creates guilt, if we don't walk down the road another expects us to traverse ... and of course what is happening - at least in part - is that because we have not learned to love ourselves, those poor boundaries we may have will lead us to do things for others or to comply with their requests and demands in ways that are ultimately damaging to ourselves. 

Think about it (and I use this example frequently with clients): imagine being in a plane with two small children. The barometric pressure has fallen and oxygen masks are now dangling in front of all of you, but you are the only adult. One of the children says: 'put mine on me first, please ... I'm so scared', or something of the sort. Of course you wouldn't comply with your child (or at least I hope you wouldn't)! Not because you don't love your child, but precisely because you do. So you put your own mask on first, in the full knowledge that if your child should lose consciousness due to a lack of oxygen, it will only be for a moment, and then you'll get that oxygen mask on him/her, and all will be well. But if you comply with the frightened request, you may lose consciousness and then your children are on their own ... love yourself first - not from a selfish or egotistical point of view, but from a healthy one.


For much more about love and about choosing your reactions, and how awareness about this can help you move towards spiritual partnership and inner peace, see my new book The Tao of Spiritual Partnership is now available in print and Kindle formats.

To download the first chapter, click here
To see the Table of Contents click here

From the Description on Amazon: More exciting than any other kind of relationship you have ever known, spiritual partnership is a path, a Tao, available to you so that you may transform your life. Spiritual partnership becomes background music to daily life allowing you to enhance the process of your growth and evolution.

This ground-breaking book addresses:

• relationship patterns that hold you back from a truly fulfilled life
• the strong connection between sexuality and spiritual partnership
• communication leading to true connection & lasting transformation of your relationship

It is precisely at the problematic crossroads so often encountered in relationships that we are offered the opportunity to create a new foundation based on mutual complementarity rather than need; a free relationship between two people who want to be together, rather than two people who need to be together. Needing another, we are told, is the measure of love, but for a fully conscious individual nothing could be further from the truth. And therein lies part of the secret and healing power of spiritual partnerships. 


Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership 

“All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come." 
Chris Griscom: Spiritual Leader, Author 

“Eloquently and comprehensive, showing how your primary love relationship may be a sacred vessel that transports you and your partner to a place of mutual healing and expansion.” 
Robert Schwartz: Author of Your Soul’s Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born 

"The Tao of Spiritual Partnership is a unique blend of wit and wisdom; Dr. Kortsch encourages us to take responsibility for our relationships, while recognizing and seizing the opportunities for our own personal spiritual growth." 
William Buhlman, Author of Adventures Beyond the Body 



For more about focusing on making conscious choices that will enhance your life and promote greater inner peace and freedom, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self (paperback or Kindle).

To download the first chapter, click here
To see the Table of Contents click here

From the Description on Amazon:

Ask anyone, whatever their circumstances, if their life is vibrant, fulfilling, harmonious and happy. An honest reply is likely to be 'no', because to answer a truthful 'yes' is no mean feat. Only to grow psychologically and emotionally is not enough. And only to grow spiritually is not enough either. All three dimensions need to be developed in order to realize your full potential. If you are willing to assume total responsibility for the self and to start what is an on-going journey, you will quickly begin to glimpse the first fruits of the ultimate goal: inner well-being, freedom, peace, harmony and joy. This book sets out the pathway to self-mastery and self-discovery and walking that pathway will be the most exciting adventure of your life.

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