Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Marriage, families, all relationships are more a process of learning the dance rather than finding the right dancer. Paul Pearsall

What happens when we don’t live in the now? Right now we can choose to be happy, grateful, and filled with joy. Why aren’t we? Often we are carrying something around that happened long ago into our now. Something we can’t change, something was said, something was done, and it’s over. But, it isn’t over in our mind, we keep going over it, we keep making worse scenarios, we keep blaming, and reading things into what was said or what was done.

It isn’t nice when people say things to us we don’t think are nice, true, and fair, etc. Could there be a kernel of truth in what they said? That makes it worse, doesn’t it? I’ve been told I’m a black and white thinker. This doesn’t seem like it should carry the weight I’ve given it.

I don’t think I look at things as all good or all bad, all or nothing, friend or foe, love or hate, right or wrong. I do think I take things that don’t seem like problems and can see where they become problems. I’ve always thought of that as positive. One more drink is too many. Not, no drinks are too many, even though I know for some people none is the right amount.

At Toastmasters when I was still a new member we did a roast at the Christmas party. The Toastmaster who roasted me said he could see me as the leader of a small country giving orders. My way or the highway might be where I have a little black and white thinking. Is this what the person who mentioned my black and white thinking was talking about?

When I’m right, I’m right. Is that a bad way to think? It’s worked for me all my life, maybe not as good as another way of thinking but it would be hard to change now. We are what we are, and certain characteristics are almost set in stone. What would not being stubborn look like? Would it actually be better? Don’t the people in our lives have to love us warts and all?

Not to say we can’t try and improve ourselves, but what is an improvement to us may not be an improvement to them. I would like to become more disciplined, more knowing what I think since I write about it every day.

We shouldn’t want to become an egomaniac where only what we want counts. Nor do we want to be I want whatever you want. It may seem like we’ve changed when all our energy was put into shared work, family, and our relationship. Those things needed all of us. There comes a time when our children no longer need us, our work life may ease up a bit, this gives space for us to develop interests, passions, and goals we had no time for earlier.

A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time. Anne Taylor Fleming

This doesn’t mean our partner is not just as important as they’ve always been. We are filling some other love tanks, finding meaning and purpose in other pursuits. Bringing a more fulfilled us to the relationship.

It can be scary as we think what if they find someone else, more interesting, successful, adventurous, attractive? We could always go looking for someone at any age. It is a chance we take in relationships; they will end at some point, through death, divorce, or separation. Thinking our partner can’t or shouldn’t grow and develop and become who they think they should be outside of marriage, jobs, and parenthood is stifling.

We had to learn to let our children take faltering steps out into the world. Our partners get to take their steps out into the world too.  Kahlil Gibran tells us, “Let there be space in your togetherness. For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow”.

Some think Kahlil Gibran is telling people to hedge their bets, to not give too much, to guard their possessions and them self, to keep a clear boundary between themselves and their spouse. That individualism is greater than the unit created in marriage.

This isn’t what it says to me. It may be sweet when one spouse says, “You are the cream to my coffee.” Is it so great if individuals do not develop their own interests, gifts, creativity, and find the things that feed their soul? We are expecting too much from one person to be our “everything”.

I believe we can eat from the same loaf, drink from separate cups, have our own interests, grow together in love and understanding, support each other in our endeavors, be there for each other in sickness and in health, be there for richer or poorer, as long as we both shall live.

Marriage is a dance, and if the man leads, the woman must choose to follow. We can’t be dragged into following. We can’t make someone follow. We must lead in a way that the two can dance and both enjoy them self. There is a responsibility on both parties to contribute to the dance. A woman at toastmasters spoke about taking dance lessons, she was told, “She had to hold her own”, so her partner could lead and they could dance beautifully. They gave a demonstration dancing beautifully she was holding her own, he was leading. She was not being dragged along, she was not the lesser of the two, she was a full partner in the dance and they were on an adventure of dancing. We need to do the same if we want adventure in our marriage. We can’t be a lump they just shuffle from pillar to post, we must hold our own and contribute to the happiness of ourselves and our relationship.

Can we dance in the now, grow in the now, laugh in the now, plan for the future while living in the now, living as if today is our last day but planning as if we’ll live forever? What a great life we can have?

Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it be rather a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Kahlil Gibran

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, living in the now, and love.

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The Dance of Intimacy Paperback – Mar 28 1997

by Harriet G. Lerner (Author) 3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews


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