InterVarsity Press

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The Relational Soul

Moving from False Self to Deep Connection

By Richard Plass and James Cofield

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The Relational Soul

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The Relational Soul

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What does loneliness tell us?

"Be it chronic or acute, slight or significant, loneliness is proof of our relational design. At the core of our being is this truth—we are designed for and defined by our relationships," former pastors Plass and Cofield write. "We were born with a relentless longing to participate in the lives of others. Fundamentally, we are relational souls."

Our ability to make deep and emotionally satisfying connections rests on the capacity to trust, and we all know trust can be difficult. Early-life relational "programming" and patterns of attachment can serve as blueprints for relationships later in life, whether good or bad. But no matter our conditioning, God is out to reclaim and restructure the deepest terrain of the human soul by helping us shed our reactive "False Self" and put on our receptive "True Self." Through spiritual disciplines and a conscious participation in the love of the Father, Son and Spirit, we transform our self-awareness and our connection with other people.

Authored by counselor Dr. Richard Plass and spiritual director James Cofield, The Relational Soul brings together concepts from psychology and spiritual formation. Each chapter includes introductory stories and practical "If this is true, what about you?" questions to help readers engage in relationships in more life-giving ways. When the presence of Christ and community connects with a soul that is open, we witness the miracle of transformation.

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