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Excerpt from:

Sacred Psychology of Love
The Quest for Relationships
That Unite Heart and Soul

by Marilyn C. Barrick, Ph.D.

Introduction
      As a child growing up amidst orange groves and desert flowers in Phoenix, Arizona, I had a recurring dream of a beautiful etheric world where everything radiated with a shimmering pink glow. The feeling was one of purest love and beauty, and I felt bathed in love and light and wonder. I could scarcely wait to go to bed because I knew I would visit my "pink world." All of this happened at a time that was difficult in my childhood and the memory of that special world carried me through every hardship.
      In 1973, twenty-five years ago, as an adult living in Boulder, Colorado with my three children, I had a remarkable visitation—and the same heavenly feelings. As I sat in meditation in my living room, I once again experienced the joy and promise of my pink world. Only this time it was a blissful sense of union with a being whom I knew as my divine lover, my twin flame—that special one whom some call their twin soul and others think of as their soul mate.
      I say "being" because he was more spirit than earth. As we gazed into one another's eyes, an arc of light enveloped us and we became one. While my thoughts, feelings and sensations felt like my own, I was transported into a tranquility of oneness and a rapture of love beyond the description of mere words.
      In those few moments, time stood still and the eternality of God's love and our echo of that love enveloped us. We were one in soul and spirit and divine love—two beings, one glorious sphere of light—loving and being loved.
      The heartfelt depth and tenderness of our love for one another was beyond any human realm. I do not know how long I was enfolded in this ecstasy of love, but all too soon I gradually came back to an awareness of my surroundings. I was still sitting in my chair in the living room of my home. Even as I felt a certain sense of anguish or loss as the precious moment faded, I also felt an inner joy and sense of comfort.
      I realized, although I did not fully understand, a spiritual and emotional connection between my enchanting childhood pink world and the profound heart and soul union I had just experienced with my divine lover. The bliss of our reunion still lingers and will carry me for the rest of my life-until we meet again in the glory of the heaven world.
      I share this now as my witness to the inner perfection of divine love that transcends time and space. For in those moments as a child and as an adult, heaven and earth were truly one. I felt no longer human-but transformed into the divine as I was given a glimpse of Love's eternal promise fulfilled.
      Over my thirty-three years as a clinical psychologist and twenty-two years as a minister, I have come to know many individuals and couples who are searching for answers to relationship issues. Many of these wonderful people are trying to find a partner with whom to share their spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical life. Others are seeking a way to create loving and lasting friendships. Those already involved in a love relationship are usually looking for a way to deepen the connection between themselves and their beloved.
      What I have learned is that many people have an inner vision or recurring dream about an ideal partner even as I had my own secret experiences. And they find themselves saddened because somehow real-life partners do not quite measure up to the inner ideal. They talk it over with their friends or family-only to find, ultimately, that the answers they are seeking can be found in their own heart and soul.
      As a psychologist and lifelong spiritual seeker, I have learned that life and relationships mirror back to us who we are and what we need to learn. Who we are is a combination of the magnificent soul and spirit that God originally created us to be plus our human experiences that have left an overlay of seemingly indelible memories, thoughts, feelings and physical experiences. Sometimes we find that combination rather confusing, but I have discovered that it needn't be.
      The "what we need to learn" part has to do first of all with understanding and appreciating ourselves spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. At the same time we also seek to understand and learn the lessons of our past and present relationships with family, friends and loved ones. Each lesson learned helps us to claim more of our loving, accepting, creative self.
      Ultimately we find ourselves putting a more positive spin on the way we think about ourselves and others, discovering new ways of handling both good and not-so-good feelings and recognizing and changing negative habit patterns that sabotage our relationships.
      God inspired me to write a book about all of this. I wanted to share what I have learned from all the beautiful people who have been a part of my life-and from my own mystical experiences.
      What do I mean by mystical? I mean the inner, intuitive, subjective perception we all have that goes beyond the range of our human experience to embrace the sacred mysteries of love that adepts, saints and sages have taught over the ages. Through our mystical nature we may meditate, intuit and contemplate love as the inner reality of God-and as our own inner reality.
      These mysteries may seem baffling or enigmatic to the human mind but are very real to our awakened soul—our very own inner mystic who, hand in hand with our Higher Self, may walk and talk with God and the angels.
      I am excited to share with you what I have learned about love and relationships as a path of discovery and self-transformation. A path that leads us through valleys of travail and mountains of attainment to the starry heights of claiming and becoming all of who we really are.
      Each of us in our own way yearns to love and to be loved, for this is the way that we nourish our heart and soul and touch the hem of the garment of God's love. In each love relationship, we seek to recapture the mystical experience of our soul's original love union with God and our twin flame-the divine romance we once knew in the heaven world. Therein lies the problem. And the solution!
      Yes, we all search for divine romance—and we feel somehow let down when we do not experience it. Yet romance on earth can approach the bliss of the divine if we choose to create it.

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