Holy Relationships vs. Special Relationships

“Your natural state is one of union, and each joining that you do in holy relationship returns a little of the memory of union to you.  This memory of your divinity is what you seek in truth from each special relationship you enter into, but your true quest is hidden by the concept of use that gets in its way.  While your heart seeks for union, your separated self seeks for what it can use to fill the emptiness and ease the terror of its separation.  (A Course of Love, 9.36)”

Affirmation:  “holy relationship = union”


1 – ACIM vs. ACOL

The concept of “use” is new in A Course of Love,  not mentioned at all in A Course in Miracles.  But the other concepts in this paragraph are reminiscent of ACIM and follow precisely some of the familiar terminology.

2 – The Gap

A holy relationship does seek union as its goal, but special relationships are first sought to fill a gap that we might sense in ourselves.  Yet gaps cannot be filled by special relationships, because the special can so quickly turn to unpleasantness and even hatred.  Holy relationships are not seen as always romantic relationships, though romantic relationships are certainly not excluded.  We need to change the goal of our special relationships from a focus on finding what we lack to sharing what we both have.  We don’t gain by taking from the other, something that we seek to do when the relationship is only a special one.

3 – “Using” Another

We use the other person when we seek to find in him or her something that we lack.  We are seeing to be made whole through the other person.  And our secular psychology has even made clear that it takes two whole people to form a new whole in a relationship that will seek to be permanent.  In special relationships, we may think that our “half” added to the other’s “half” is enough to form a bond that will be a whole.  This is a fallacy, though, and most individuals who have formed special bonds with another, over time, come to see the fallacy of this sort of thinking.

4 – Transform the Special Relationship

So seek to make of your special relationships a holiness that will stand the test of time.  The Holy Spirit (re ACIM) will not snatch our special relationships from us, but will seek to transform them into the holy.  At this point, many relationships are broken off, but the greatest blessings await those that survive this change in focus to the holy.  And then we will know truly what it means to love unconditionally another person.


Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to turn all of my special relationships into holy ones, excluding no one.  Thank You for the holy relationships that I have known.  And thank You for the ones that have endured, as well as the ones that have not.  Be with me as I seek to live the life that You intended for me.

May we all turn our special relationships into holy ones, for special relationships, we find, hold much pain.  When the pain is realized as inevitable, eventually, we will know that there is something better awaiting.  And that something better is a holy relationship.


Author: Celia Hales

I intend "Miracles Each Day" to offer inspiration and insight into A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, The Way of Mastery, Choose Only Love, Mirari, and similar readings.

6 thoughts on “Holy Relationships vs. Special Relationships”

  1. Please clarify the meaning of the 2nd line of the 2nd paragraph of the prayer that states “When the pain is realized as inevitable, eventually, we will know that there is something better awaiting”.
    Why is pain inevitable? What does this mean really?

    1. Reading between the lines of what you say, and rereading what I said, I think that you are thinking of the joys of a romantic love when it is first in bloom, but A Course in Miracles is talking more of what will make that love last. In the beginning, a romantic love is nearly always a “special” love, and the ego is strong, seeing in the other, completion. ACIM says that we need to move our special loves into holy ones, when the ego is reduced. This is not a diminution of real love, but an enhancement. Note that when we are fully in romantic love, in the beginning, we alternate with joy and pain, for we are not sure of the other. When love has been sustained in a holy relationship, we don’t know these highs and lows. There is less drama, and in the beginning we may not see less drama as a happier situation.

      Pain in special relationships is inevitable, for our special relationships are out to get something. Once we have transformed our special relationship into a holy one, we want only what is best for the other–even if this is an end to the relationship. Special love doesn’t think like this.

      I am not downplaying romantic love. It just needs to grow beyond being a special love.

      Thank you for your comment. I am replaying here much of what is described in A Course in Miracles regarding the need to transform our special relationships into holy ones, and the transformation itself is frequently painful and disjointed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: