As a review, it is suggested that loving intimate relationships require a sensitivity and an intimate communion that bonds individuals at the deeper levels of the psyche. These profound inner regions of the self are not accessed through the intellect, but through feelings and emotions. One primary level of the LFI is the psycho/spiritual and assesses the qualities that enhance one’s ability to connect and bond with another human being.
The theory presented within the LFI suggests that an individual who is comfortable and has access to his/her inner life of feelings, emotions, and intuition is better equipped to access and understand the deeper aspects of another individual as well. It is inferred that the deeper bonding that occurs in this process enhances one’s ability to be available for a loving intimate connection.
However, there is another level touched by this scale as well.
There are a few items in this scale that provide a glimpse into the possible integration of our spiritual development with everyday life.
- I do not trust my intuition.
- I try to hide my emotions.
- I like to know other people’s feelings.
While these items address emotions and feelings at a psychological level, we might infer, “As above, so below;” our style, ease, and acceptance of our emotions at a human level, might also reflect how closely connected we are at a spiritual level.
Paramahansa Yogananda speaks to this issue in God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita. The Royal Science of God-Realization.
The human father, if he is wholly guided by the masculine principle or reason, will judge his son’s fault according to the law. But the mother, filled with the tenderness of feminine feeling, is a symbol of divine compassion; she will forgive the son even if he is a murderer. Devotees find profuse remission of sins in worshiping God as the ever merciful Divine Mother instead of as the mathematically minded Divine Judge who dispenses justice through karmic law. P, 965
How we are vis a vis our “feminine” side, might allow us greater access to the Divine Mother quality of God. A high score on the scale is not enough to fully reveal the full extent of our expression in daily life. However, if we also look at the Compassion scale, Psychological Adjustment scale, and Spirituality scale, we can perhaps see a clearer picture. If all these scales are high, then it is likely that you are able to bring an integrated expression of your spiritual realization into everyday life
If we attempt to hide our emotions, then we create separation and distance from those we love. This obviously is not a good thing for intimate loving relationships. When we feel at peace within, trust ourselves and have a positive self-esteem, we feel safer to share our inner life.
If your score on this scale is lower than you would like, there are some things you can do.
Raja Yoga, the complete system of yoga which includes moral direction about right living, breathing techniques to control life force energy, techniques for concentration, the internalization of consciousness, and meditation, are all designed to achieve oneness with God. The practice of these methods neutralizes the waves of emotions. We actually become less reactive, more present, and more peaceful in everyday life.
Our emotions do not have to be volatile and control us. Raja Yoga can transform our consciousness and remove the fear of our inner life. If you are interested in learning more about the system known as Raja Yoga (the complete Eight Fold Path), you can find more information in my book, Sacred Healing: Integrating Spirituality with Psychotherapy(available on amazon.com) or through the Self Realization Fellowship.
A strong spiritual practice yields a calmer emotional life and a greater acceptance and love of self. Hence, there is less of need to hide one’s emotions from others. If you do feel the need to hide your emotions, perhaps you could introspect and discover your underlying concern: fear of intimacy, shame about your feelings, fear of intense repressed anger, or feeling uncomfortable with being vulnerable.
A more highly developed spiritual life often results in feeling less identified with the ego and more of a free flowing expression of Spirit. Very advanced souls often explain that they feel their ego has dissolved and they are an instrument of the Divine. This type of selflessness allows for actions to flow without a personal need to censure for fear of rejection or humiliation.
Finally, the item, “I like to know other people’s feelings,” may be some indicator regarding a level of unconditional love and desire to serve others. Of course, your intent for wanting to know more about another person is paramount. If you want this information so you can add to your store of gossip or the emotionally hurt someone, then we have a problem, I am assuming your motivation is pure and positive.
Many people feel a lack of support and connection with others. They are actually quite touched when someone demonstrates real interest. A more developed spiritual life typically yields a great sense of compassion, an ability to be very present, and a desire to serve others. The simple act of fully listening to someone can be a great gift! If you find yourself being distracted and disinterred in deeper conversation with those closest to you as well as people in general, then it might be useful to explore why your heart seems closed and your attention seems to wander in this respect.
Your Masculine/Feminine Score shows your tendency to be either more comfortable with your emotional life or perhaps more inclined to be more emotionally contained. A high score suggests a higher degree of comfort with your emotional life and the emotional life of others. If your score is lower, you might reflect on the possibility that you are not as available to others as you could be. Perhaps you are less present and less interested in serving others.
Once again, the section on Further Growth and Development has some good suggestions on how to improve in this area. A strong spiritual practice, combined with some good coaching or therapy, will typically enhance your comfort with this aspect of yourself.