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Love, Romance and Spirituality

What happens to a woman's spirituality when she gets involved with a man, is it enhanced, stunted in its growth or does it begin to wither? These are important questions that we must ponder as "modern women" who are affected by Hollywood and all its romantic stories, and westerns influence on "third world" cultures.
Daily I examine the news papers of Uganda, providing advice to young couples that are nearly all laced with western recipes to cure relationship problems.

So, how does spirituality come into the picture, you might be wondering? I once had a good friend tell me that romance is synonomous with the Trojan house that destroyed Troy. It comes all laced, dressed up and ready to kill the creative spirit of a woman if she surrenders her entire soul to a man. Seldom are we taught to reserve ourselves in relationships, most times we are told to love til death do us part, but what about the death of the soul before the body has given way.

How does one balance love, romance and spirituality? Have you ever pondered this question? What do you do, to ensure that you preserve that most precious and pure part of you, while at the same time being in a relationship?

Comments

JaniceW's picture

Interesting topic

For me, it is important to never lose my sense of self in a relationship. From a spiritual standpoint, that means taking the time to re-centre myself spiritually by spending moments alone when I can attain mental peace and spiritual self-awareness. But it is equally important for me to engage in spiritual discussions with my partner, exploring ideas, thoughts and perspectives. A woman's spirit should become stronger in a relationship, because of the love that is shared and the respect given to the woman for who she is.

I agree. The deep love of a partnership in balance makes your spirit stronger and more confident. It is a beautiful thing. However, when dreams and intentions are misaligned in a relationship, it can be stifling. That's why we have to be honest with ourselves about what we need to be happy. Being in a bad relationship is certainly not better than being without a partner.

Lili Miller

I agree with you in whole. I am just wondering what we are doing to facilitate passing this knowledge on to the next generation, who are movie, t.v babies? With so much fiction taking precedent over reality. I am asking myself this because, in Africa, where the tradition has remained in place, the elders are passing on knowledge about love, and marriage to their daughters, but in the West there is such a generation gap. When youths most need the information, they become rebellious and tend to reject the advice of parents because of the pull of peer pressure.

aliĝngix's picture

Trinity

I know love, romance and spirituality are all a part of life, and people have different ways of expressing it. But recently, instead of love, people promise themselves to marriage before finding themselves, and that can lead to problems. I guess they feel bound by their promise and, if left untreated, will slowly melt away, if they don't have the energy to grow, or can't find their way to live their lives instead of living everyone else.
I have this view because I grow up with seeing this in almost every culture, the woman is the honor of the family, and it is her fault of whatever the family commits, bearing all the children and taking care of all of them...the double-standard of no birth control but you keep getting pregnat which gets you into a kind of trap.
I believe that woman do need to have strong roots and a system of support in order to grow; just like anyone else. It is important to not give themselves until they have this.
Too many people are eager to share their life with someone they love, and swear an oath to show it. What I think they forget to bear in mind is different types of love, and responsibility and a respect for your partner and your duty to each other and family. I don't think it all should fall onto just one person, the female, but instead of assert that they are two of us, and that the family belong to both of us, not just one.
Kinda lost my track there, but yes, all in all, I believe love is beautiful, and romance is strong, but owe it to ourselves to be a person, not taken-for-granted aspect of all the people's live we are in. Not to lose ourselves, for that is all we have left in the end, taking our experiences with us.

Yes, it is true that especially in indigenous cultures, women are expected to carry the burden of the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of the family or relationship, while men carry only the financial responsibilities. But while the woman is doing that who is left to nurture her and replenish her when she runs dry. However, we must empower ourselves and not take the victim role realizing no one can ride your back unless you bend over.

Rachel C's picture

Meeting up with Araceli

Hi Dr. Edonna,

I like your thoughts on how to maintain one's sense of self in a relationship, and I think that concept extends beyond just spirituality, but includes our intellectual, physical, and emotional lives. When too much is intertwined with our partners, we lose ourselves and it is unrealistic to expect our another person to fulfill our every need. It's quite a balancing act, and one that I am working on now. My goal is to live as mindfully as possible, particularly when it comes to my relationship. I wish there were simple answers.

In other news, I am actually writing to find out if you've met up with Araceli yet! I've become a volunteer writer for WorldPulse and my first assignment is to identify connections and 'success stories' made on this site. The WP team was very excited to hear that you and Araceli may be meeting up during her trip to Africa. I believe she is there now. Has that meeting taken place? If so, would you like to share some thoughts on the experience? What emotions, ideas, projects came out of it? I would love to share this story with our members and readers in a short, 300-word piece.

Best wishes,
Rachel C

Rachel Clift
media for CHANGE
www.media-for-change.com

Araceli's picture

Meeting dr edonna

Hello Rachel,

I am in Kampala and I am trying to contact dr edonna. I haven't been able to open my university email, only my yahoo account and the email I have listed in the world pulse is the university one. I still don't have her phone number, I gave her mine.

I am her for a week, working at the Mulago hospital, visiting clinics, talking to women on reproductive health. It has been an amazing experience.

I already contacted Nalubega (World Pulse too) because she sent me her phone numbers and I am going to meet with her tomorrow. We are planning to go the villages to work with the women on reproductive health. I will write to you soon to share the experience, you can also talk to Nalubega.

Much joy for you my dear.
Araceli

dr edonna's picture

Archeli

Look forward to seeing you on Saturday. You can stay with me or at a guest house nearby in case you get this and if you can open this call me at 0783361565. look forward to hearing from you. again, call me when you reach the bus station and I will get there to meet you. Look forward to seeing you!

Rachel C's picture

You and Nalubega

This sounds amazing, Araceli!

Please do share your experience with me, as I would like to post a story about this on World Pulse as soon as possible. Kindly also send a photo or two if you have them.

If you don't mind, can you send me your yahoo email or university address as well? I'm finding it easier to communicate with those I am writing about in regular email format, as it is sometimes difficult to track down comments.

Thanks, and I so looking forward to hearing from you! (I will also contact Nalubega.)

Best wishes,
Rachel

Rachel Clift
media for CHANGE
www.media-for-change.com

dr edonna's picture

For Rachel

You can contact me. I will certaintly take pictures to post to you!
Dr. Edonna

dr edonna's picture

Meeting up with Araceli

No, I am still waiting to hear from her. I will let you know what comes of our meeting.

Araceli's picture

Araceli in Kampala

Hello dear friend,

I am very frustrated because I cannot open my university email, I have tried since I am here and every attempt has failed. I don't know if you tried to contact me at all. I can only open my yahoo account.

I could open the word pulse and I posted a note there hoping that you could call me I will cll you if you send me your phone #

My phone # is 0771845259

I could go to Mbale Saturday morning and come back to Kampala Tuesday. I would need a place to stay that is not expensive, I am happy and content with very little. On Monday I would LOVE and NEED to go the family Planning Association to talk to the women there or go to a maternity clinic or a family planning clinic.

I've been here for a week and it seems a month to me. I have been running around like crazy, visiting hospitals, clinics, medicine women, witch doctors. All my experiences have been very intense.

I hope we can communicate soon to make plans. I can't wait to meet you.
Looking forward to meeting with you
Araceli

Dando's picture

Hi

I agree with trinity, you have brought up some thing very important on a part of a woman. I was once in a relationship where i lost my self, The only thing I thought of every day was my boyfriend, I loved him so much such that I didn't care whether he communicated or not. since he asured me of marriage I gave up my personal goals. This man left the town and after some months only tell me his girlfriend was pregnant. I couldn't believe it and cried till I cried no more! But through the confort of my family, friends and prayer I managed to get over it. I later decided to gather myself and start my life all over again. I started dreaming and believing that I can make it in life even on my own. Some times we may lose our selves in a relationship and become too dependent on these men, hence it becomes too difficulty to make it in life if these men decide to leave us. Am glady to say this July am completing my studies.

My wish is that every woman can attain some skills which will enable them to be indepencent and not too dependent on their men.

Dando

Araceli's picture

I am in Kampala

My friend, I am in Kampala. It hasn't been easy to access my email. I don't have your phone number.
This is my number: 0771845259. I could go to Mbale this Sunday or better next Saturday and stay until Sunday.

Please call me to coordinate. I didn't bring your email today and just by chance I found a cybercafe.
Looking forward to MEETING YOU. I CAN'T WAIT.
Araceli

It is very true that we women sometimes lose ourselves in the men who come into our lives and i tend to think that this is because many of us feel like we will only be complete if we have a man in our lives. It may be the culture we have been brought up with or the peer pressure. I was once in that place, i gave my heart totally to a man believing that he will marry me but in the end he was unfaithful and we had to break up. I was so heart broken and didn't know that someone would feel so much hurt that you actually feel a physical pain but the Lord gave me strength to come out of it. And i was totally healed, and through my experience i teach young girls and friends to find their purpose and not give their hearts totally to men. Its very important to feel complete in yourself and self sufficient, and God helps us to come to that place.....single and satisfied so that you're not looking for that in all the wrong places. Once you've found that satisfaction in who you are, when you get married or find someone to love, it will be a joy because you will not be having a long list of expectations for the man to meet, which if not met, then the relationship gets bitter. I am now happily married and i love my husband and who he is. I am comfortable with who i am with him and i don't seek to change him and be different in his presence.

My prayer is for women to know that they are relevant and they're complete in who they are, and when married, they only come to compliment the other person and also add value to them! There's no limit to what you can be as a woman! The Bible says that the older women should teahc the younger, so its our responsibility to mentor and teach our daughters and the younger girls what will build them up and not allow them to rely on the world to teach them! I feel you Dr. Edonna.

Terry Shiundu

Terry's picture

Have a wonderful experience

Hi,

Araceli and Dr. Edonna, i wish you all the best and hope you have a wonderful experience sharing and being together. Its wonderful that two people who've only been communicating through WP can meet face to face. Thank God for World Pulse. Its the best! Thanks Jennifer and team.

Shalom!

Terry Shiundu

dr edonna's picture

Yes, Dando

That is why I posted this topic, because I know it is real and I am just starting to innerstand the importance of holding on to self while loving another. Thanks so much for sharing from such a real place, because that is the place of true healing and nurturing. I am so glad that you came out of it, it is important to have such dialogues so that we learn the lessons and not repeat them. One position I have always had on relationships is that what ever my goals or dreams were not matter how much I love a man, I had to complete what I started, so I have left many in the dust in the pursuit of my happiness and to fulfill my dreams and goals, of that I have no regrets. However, I can say that I have often found myself giving too much of myself especially when I find myself getting depressed as things not going the way I want them to in a relationship.
Now I have resolved myself to having a relationship but never allowing myself to love to the point of deep pain, it isn't work it. That is a sign that I have given too much of myself, and always to be strong enough to not allow them to convince me to change my plans because of love.

I have come to see that we women are much more self-less and men are more selfish, therefore, I now go into relationship with that as basic knowledge, and also knowing that they are programmed to get their way. Hence, I keep my eyes, ears and heart open to their manipulation, that they are so good at. I love them, but now, I know them better and the puts us on more equal footing.

dr edonna's picture

The Greatest Love of All

Glad to see people taking such interest in this topic. Last night it occurred to me that many of the lessons I learned about love, were incorrect, and it is only with time and experience, that I am beginning to understand things. In my first posting during the application phase, I wrote about coming into my own physically, mentally and spiritually. I feel that this experience of being able to share and post has contributed even more to this process. I wrote on this topic because I see the effects of the power to speak ones truth and how it brings healing and growth.

I realized that the greatest love of all is that of self, because no one knows you better than yourself. Although we are taught to love for love outside of ourselves. Especially when you innerstand yourself as a spiritual being inhabiting a physically body, which in my opinion has nothing to do with the religion one ascribes to but to the development of the soul. I have finally come to realize that no one can love me as much as I love myself, given my knowledge of self. In ancient Egypt, over the universitys was a simple inscription "Know thy self". In ever religion and spiritual tradition, there is a proverb that speaks of this truth, and when that happens, then the soul is content and can achieve all that it desires.

I just had the most amazing meeting with my newest sistafriend Arceli, it was like a match made in heaven. We shared our lives like long lost sisters who were reunited. What a vibrant, spirited soul, so real and down to earth. I was like receiving manna from heaven. I am so thankful to world pulse for giving me the opportunity to meet such a blessed soul. We shared, a scenic walk on the mountains of Upper Mooni in Mbale Uganda, where I live. We shared conversation, meals together and some wonderful Ugandan, organic passion fruit wine. She stayed at Sunrise Inn, that has a beautiful view of Mt. Elgon, and was refreshed from her bustling days in Kampala.

We are now in the process of designing a project to assist Uganda Space women in an economic development program to raise money for their children's school fees. We will keep you posted and I am sure she will share more about this project.

Again, thank you WorldPulse for such a wonderful opportunity!!

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