Saturday, April 29, 2017

Relationships and Whole-hearted Living

This morning I woke to the thought, “Do you love the person (s)he is becoming or do you only love the person (s)he was?” 

These are important questions to consider. Are you willing to allow your partner to evolve or are you trying to get your lover to stay the same? And what about you? Have you and are you changing? If you are trying to get your love to stay the same, is that fair to either of you?

Everyone knows relationships are tough, and, as with many things, I don’t know if there is any one true answer. I may believe it one way today, but does that mean it has to be that way tomorrow? I choose not to be in a relationship, and just because I’ve made that decision for myself, that does not mean I don’t admire those who choose otherwise. 

I watch people. I listen to people. I have been in relationships (more than one), and I am old enough and wise enough to see multiple sides to situations. I have seen this scenario over and over (and I’ve experienced it). It is not up to me to tell people what to do when they talk to me. If a couple is struggling with their relations, it is not up to me to judge them or urge them in either direction. I listen and offer insight. And if I should happen to hear from both partners, I’d offer the same kind of insight to both. I don’t take sides. It is up to them to make their own decisions.

I often hear, “We’re trying to make it work,” but it usually feels one-sided. One partner feels there is nothing wrong and can’t understand why the other is not seeing things that way or that the other isn’t working hard enough to make it work. This one partner also usually seems very surprised about the situation. (S)he thought it was a good relationship.

What does this have to do with whole-hearted living? 

To me, whole-hearted living is seeing the other sides. I don’t have to agree or even like it, but I need to think about it so that I can make the best choice for me. Whole-hearted living is allowing the heart to live whole-hearted. When my heart is whole and my soul is happy, then I am able to freely give more of myself to others. 

It’s not easy. Sometimes there’s a lot of soul-searching. However, the end result has to be a decision that I can be satisfied with. The more I practice this, the more satisfied, positive, and happy I am with my life.

This is what I believe for everyone, too. Each relationship is about the people involved and their belief systems. What is right and what is wrong in a partnership can be different to everyone. People change, and if the partner is not able to adapt to the change, the relationship deteriorates. What then? What happens when the relationship becomes stretched like an old rubber band? Is it about sticking it out because of the marriage vows or the children? Do both end up living so-so lives and neither one being totally happy?

Again, it’s not for me to decide or judge for others. These are questions only they can answer. No, not easy, and when I was in a relationship, I didn’t have the courage to sit down with my husband to talk about it. It takes a lot of daring greatly and I didn’t have this knowledge and self-esteem back then – or the relationship reached a point where I had to leave for my own well-being and life.

I changed. I grew. I evolved. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all change as we grow older. We don’t go through life staying the same. Oh, some core beliefs may stay the same, but we change, we evolve. Is it fair to our relationship to expect it to remain what it was?

I’ve always believed marriage or a partnership should be a contract with a renewal every so many years. It’s a time to look at life and decide whether too much distance has formed between the two, or if there is enough love and friendship to work hard to make it work. When it works, it’s great. If it’s not working, move on before the relationship dissolves into hate. I’ve never wanted that and don’t like to see that. 

I believed that early on. To this day, I am still friends with my ex and with his wife.

What would it mean to you to live a whole-hearted life?

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