Spiritual symbiosis helps us gain the greatest benefit from challenging relationships.
Our Beloved Family:
If you’ve ever had the chance to watch one of those nature documentaries on TV that are produced by National Geographic or the BBC, it doesn’t take long to realize that the natural world works in a perfectly coordinated and effortless manner. Much of this balance is the result of what’s called symbiotic relationships between animals, insects and even types of algae and coral. Two creatures come together in an unlikely pair to provide each other with a service that’s mutually beneficial to both.
Hermit crabs often use their pincers to poke sea anemones to get them to release their grip on their current rock of residence and then hold them in place over their own shell, so they can reattach to it as their new home. Although the result is a very ugly looking hat for the hermit crab, the anemone’s stinging tentacles provide it with a form of portable protection to fend off predators. In return, the anemone gets to feast on the crumbs of the crab’s daily leftovers.
Another example are cleaner fish like wrasses, catfish and gobies that wait in special neutral zones along the coral reef. Eventually, much larger fish like parrotfish, damselfish and even sharks stop by. Although they could easily eat them, the much larger fish adopt a specific pose that tells the cleaner fish it’s safe to approach them. Once they do, the cleaner fish pick the bodies of the larger fish clean, feasting on dead tissue and parasites, as well as cleaning any wounds. This unique relationship keeps the larger fish in excellent health, while giving the cleaner fish a steady source of food.
No matter how odd or uncomfortable it might seem that you’re paired with certain people in different parts of your life, each relationship exists to serve your personal good in some unique way.
Another fascinating pairing is the honeyguide bird that leads honey badgers to beehives. Once a badger breaks open the hive with its large claws to gain access to the honey, the honeyguide can easily claim its prize, the waxy honeycomb.
Much more is accomplished in nature by cooperation, rather than competition. Because humans are also part of nature, we too enter into symbiotic relationships where we offer services and receive benefits all the time. Of course, it’s easy to see how relationships with people we love are mutually beneficial to us and others. Still, it’s the most unlikely pairings that can provide us with the biggest benefits, but only if we’re willing to take a closer look at the dynamics of the relationship and see the service that’s being provided on each side.
What benefits might your overbearing boss be providing to you? Perhaps it might be to stop underestimating yourself and settling for a lower position so you can advance your career or maybe even start the business you always wanted and be your own boss. What things might your relationship with your irritating mother-in-law or busybody sister be revealing to you about yourself, and how could you use those realizations to move your life forward?
No matter how odd or uncomfortable it might seem that you’re paired with certain people in different parts of your life, each relationship exists to serve your personal good in some unique way. Nothing in nature is random. Your business isn’t to be preoccupied with what kind of awareness or opportunity for awakening you’re providing to someone else. That’s they’re personal puzzle to figure out. Your job is to glean the greatest benefit from the relationship by examining it not from a competitive consciousness, but from cooperative consciousness. When we can recognize and work with the symbiotic spirituality that’s built into our most difficult relationships, we quickly find that once we stop fighting the associations, we’ll be fed by them.
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Light & Love in the Month Ahead,
Dr. Habib Sadeghi & Dr. Sherry Sami