Finding Miracles in Relationships

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When miracles in relationships happen they aren’t always what we expect.

Roberto Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy recently aired on TCM.  Made in 1954, it stars George Sanders and Rossellini’s wife, Ingrid Bergman.

The story takes a slice out of the life of a wealthy English couple traveling in Naples, Italy to take possession of a late uncle’s villa.

The change in habit and locale seem to enable them to take stock of their marriage relationship.

As their communication deteriorates they spend most of the rest of their vacation apart.  She becomes fascinated with the local archaeology and he goes off into flirtatious adventure to Capri. Upon his return from Capri they argue.

George’s character rushes into the judgment that divorce is the only option.  As they left Naples they got caught in a religious procession and Ingrid literally gets swept up by a crowd running down the street after a man claiming a miraculous cure.

When miracles occur…

Running to save the panicked wife, the husband wraps her in a firm embrace, both realizing after all that they did love and need each other.  Thus a real miracle occurs.

The brilliant Rossellini offered me a fresh way of looking at relationships that emphasizes their power for spiritual transformation.

Every relationship has the potential to bring new awareness and miraculous change

I realize that I can view every relationship from its potential to bring about new awareness and miraculous change in me.  Even the ones that don’t seem to work out or cause me considerable agony or pain contain within them a moment that can shift my life in a new direction.  Therein can occur an intersection of energies and of spirits that can inform, educate, enlighten, and make me a better person.

Coincidentally I’ve recently encountered the two poles of this phenomenon, one arising from suffering, another from joy.

The first was when I allowed my older brother, the source of much sadness over my lifetime, to express his concerns after an almost two-year estrangement.  I decided to approach him from my strength so as not to react defensively.  I quietly listened as he tore into me for half an hour with a laundry-list of my character flaws and offensive behavior as he saw them, concluding with an admonition for me to change. Part of me was slightly bemused by his monologue.  He seemed to be describing my experience of him!  I was able to let him vent and then leave him, possibly for the last time.

I now have closure on a relationship which I had wanted badly throughout my life but now know I could never have.

The second regards Jay, the man I will soon marry.

I’ve noticed how my relationship and interaction with him over the past year have been opportunities for self-examination and a change in my perspective, especially in my tendency to catastrophize.  His quiet, calm, and patient demeanor helps me to see myself in a new way, to notice when I’m being selfish and self-centered, to ratchet down my desire to control and my fear of change.

I have a long way to go in this process but Jay is a miracle in my life that I cherish and am privileged to know as my partner.

EXIF/JPEG image with thumbI’m convinced that miracles are not some kind of supernatural occurrence, but rather transformative moments in time when I’m aware of a shift that will bring me a deeper sense of wholeness and peace.

Who in your life have been or yet might become catalysts for change, growth, and miraculous healing?


About Michael Parise

Michael Parise is a highly sensitive person who has the emotional “wiring” and insight to promote soulful healing. He does so through his Life & Spirit coaching, spiritual direction, and integrated energy work. His keen intuition, deep empathy, and spiritual consciousness enable him to discover hidden factors in our lives that need attention. Michael’s training and experience in pastoral ministry and spiritual formation gives him access to the mysteries of the soul. He has assisted hundreds of people to cope with being overwhelmed by life, to find stronger connections with themselves, others, and God, and to address the inner critics that can sabotage happiness. Michael works in person as well as on the phone.