A year ago today, C.C. and I stood with our children at our sides and in front of family and friends, were married. We held each other’s hands and looked deeply into each others’ eyes and spoke of our commitment to love one another, stand beside one another, and cherish one another, forever and a day.
It was a perfect day. A perfect wedding. A perfect way to commit to be together, grow together and be together.
As it always does, life has served up a whole potpourri of opportunities to grow and share and learn and become the ‘more’ of what we want in our lives separately and together. Here are 10 things our marriage has taught me over the past year.
- Love between two people doesn’t just ‘happen’. Love is everywhere. It’s true. Love is everywhere. In order to know its presence though, you have to be conscious of what it means to you to stand in its embrace and welcome it in. Be an active participant of making love grow stronger between you and within you. You gotta work at it. That’s right. While love is everywhere, we humans need to work at keeping it alive in our relationships.
- Choose Love over fear. Anger, resentment, fear will arise in every relationship. To ‘grow love’ we must consciously choose Love over anger. Love over being right. Love over fear. We must choose to choose Love as our answer to being together, being in relationship, being alive.
- You have to do things differently to make things different. This one sounds easier than it is. Too often we humans get married to our patterns of behaviour we’ve always used and still expect things to be different. You have to consciously choose to do things differently if you are going to change things up. If silence is your game, say the thing you’re afraid to say. If talking is your schtick, listen. Listen. Listen.
- Listen. Listen. Listen. No matter your schtick, don’t just hear with half a mind to what the other is saying. Listen deeply. Hear what is on their heart, hear what is keeping them awake at night, hear what makes them dance for joy. LISTEN DEEPLY. Don’t assume you know. Don’t assume like you already know the answer. Listen and hear what the other has to say.
- Marriage is a state of constant give and take, ebb and flow. You have to be flexible to be successful in marriage. You have to be willing to give up your position to create common ground. Don’t think in ‘winner/loser’, always strive for ‘win/win’ by being like a river, flowing around obstacles, over rocks, under bridges. Be constantly in the flow of Love that is your relationship.
- Always seek common ground. Like choosing love over fear, in Love, it’s important to always seek common ground. To find the ‘circle of two’ you are when you change your glasses with each other to see what the other sees knowing that within your own special circle of love, you are the only two people who matter.
- Play together. A lot! Dance your sillies out together. Sing the blues together. Run around and chase each other all over the house and just be happy and playful and silly together! Have fun together and let Love always be what you give one another the most.
- Plant seeds of love continuously. Which means, it’s important to always look through eyes of Love. No matter if you wear glasses, are just trying on a different pair of glasses to get a different point of view, always let Love be the filter through which you see one another. Remind one another daily of what you love about each other. Write a love poem and leave it on the other’s pillow. Leave a message of love in the other’s car to find when you’re not there.
- Let the last words you hear each day be, I Love You. No matter what, let ‘I Love You’ be the last words you whisper to one another every day. If you aren’t in the same place, phone, text, email, do what ever it takes to let your beloved know, they are the last person you are thinking of as you go to sleep. Which also means you must Never go to sleep angry. Yup. Make up before the lights go out. Whatever the disagreement, find the path to common ground before you turn the lights out. Do not go to sleep with angry thoughts of your beloved coursing through your mind. There is always a way to Love. Don’t let anger pull you from the path into the darkness of resentment.
- Always surrender, and fall into Love. If the story you’re telling yourself about your beloved is not a loving tale, let it go. Do not hold onto the stories you tell yourself about who the other is, why they’re doing whatever they’re doing that’s driving you crazy, causing you hurt, growing your resentment. They are the one you Love. They are perfectly human in all their human imperfections. Just like you. You didn’t marry one another because you believed you would never have moments of distress, moments of discord. You married your beloved because their human imperfections are equally as fascinating as yours and probably a perfect match too! Let your imperfections create one whole Circle of Love. Let go of ‘the story’ and let Love be your guide.
Here’s to many more lesson on what it means to Grow In Love.