[image from The Thinking Tank]
I haven't always been open to accepting wisdom from others. Sometimes I just want to figure things out myself. What can I say, I'm the stubborn middle child. My heart clenches when criticized, but still, I try to improve.
In my relationship with Jase, I've had to look in the mirror more closely than I've ever cared to look before. Thing is, I know that there's so much more to discover. That both excites and scares me, to be quite honest, so I take it in doses, working on what I can, when I can, and hope that it's for the better.
This time, it took reading Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP newsletter this morning to realize that my relationship with Jase is going to change, and for the better. The newsletter is articulately written from three male perspectives, and I wanted to share all these golden nuggets of wisdom with you, but also so I can call on it if (and when) I'll need it too. Deepak Chopra touches on so many good points in his essay, but here are a few of the ones that spoke to me personally.
Actually, you know what, I think I'm way more excited than scared. Three years into this relationship, I know my ego still drives my heart more often than not. I won't beat myself up for that. I'm still working on myself and therefore still working on love. And I want to know that sort of love, more than anything. So, bring it on, Deepak. I'm ready.
"Relationships are happy where love is nurtured. They begin to fray around the edges when love is compromised, and they end when love is gone."
"To rescue love, you first must understand what it is. Love includes affection but is more than affection. It associates itself with sexual desire, kindness, compassion, altruism, and mutual regard. With those things in mind, many couples turn love into loving acts and loving feelings. But such efforts are the effect of love, not love itself. You cannot turn an effect into a cause."
"Love as a cause goes beyond the individual. It's transpersonal or as spiritual teachers say, transcendent. That's not the same as mystical. To transcend means to go beyond. In this case, we want to contact love that goes beyond the ego. The ego is often put in charge of love. When love becomes what "I" want, then relationship is a negotiation between two selfish points of view."
"Instead of wasting time with the ego's version of love, return to the place of love. "
"The differences between a man and a woman fade in the light of a shared goal that is bigger than any ego need or desire. Every day becomes both a rescue and a surrender. Not a surrender to another person's ego, which can only feel like defeat. Rather, both partners surrender to the larger goal."
Read all three essays on Sustaining Relationships here.