Someone in the Spiritual Networks community ran this poll:
Celibacy in a relationship: if one person goes with this option, can the relationship be sustained?
And the choices read as follows:
a) Yes, the other partner should respect it
b) No, it's too much of a sacrifice
c) It can, but the other partner may seek sex elsewhere.
I thought for a moment about it, and responded that all three choices are possibilities. It all boils down to what's your mission is in life. What does our soul want to express? Is your partner your soul mate? There is no wrong or right, not even for us spiritual travelers. We are God's Co-Creators, and we have to figure out how we personally want to manifest love here on earth: physical, platonic, passionate or romantic.
When I was reading the different responses of the people in the Spiritual Networks community, I was reminded of George E. Vaillant's book, "Adaption to Life", in which he followed the life of a group of selected Harvard graduates from the 1930s and 1940s over many decades and tried to understand their life stories, their struggles, their psychological challenges, and their overall adaptation to life's events. The conclusion he came up with was that repression, denial and projection, if maintained over time, will bring havoc, while good old fashioned sufferance and sublimation of life's tragic events don't have to imply psychological damages as long as the individual is able to re-channeling the experienced frustrations and lingering passions into other creative outlets.
We in the spiritual community don't like to hear about depression, obstacles and broken dreams, yet, they are part of our life too. We all face them, whether we like it or not. So it's not about what kind of hand God has endowed us with, it is about what we make with it. George E. Vaillant's point is that adaptation to life is the creative power at our disposal.
We all have our fair share of burdens; maybe we are in a loving but sexless partnership; while that is depressing in itself, just maybe these latent energies can get channeled into some great professional or spiritual endeavors. Or perhaps it is the other way around: we have to face some tragic life events, but they can be eased by the passionate and loving partnership we have with our soul mate. All of us have a chink in our armor, the question then is what to do about it. There is no wrong or right in any of this; there is only our story and we can make of it what we like it to be. We are God's Co-Creators and God will be happy to wrap life just perfectly around us to make our soul mission meaningful.
I think the poll from the beginning reveals something else that is powerful and perhaps sometimes overlooked in our spiritual community: there is not an evil "ego" that we can somehow unmask and put on ice to live happily ever after with our Self. Instead, there is a personality structure that we have been endowed with and that we need to refine moment by moment. Our choices defines us, and your intentions - subconscious as well as conscious ones - attract our life's story line just like a powerful magnet. God has only one recommendation for us, "choose love!". How exactly we do that is entirely up to us. This is our story, let's make it a good one!