Today I celebrate eleven years of honeymoons with BF. We met fifteen years ago during the upswing following the darkest period in each of our lives. We were two adults determined to remain independent. And then the Universe surprised us when, together, we learned it was possible to fall in love while nurturing one’s independence. There are a few requirements:
- Two individuals engaged in an individual quest to meet his/her essence and a willingness to encourage each other in that quest.
- As discovery unfolds, bathe each essence in acceptance and loving kindness.
- Curb judgment toward self and then toward the other.
- Be willing to call the other on his/her bullshit and prepare to receive that return call without hauling in the defense.
- Develop an ability to allow and set boundaries.
- Be vulnerable enough to reveal bouts of pettiness.
- Practice granting safety onto the other in his/her vulnerability.
Simple, right? It only requires a metamorphosis of every cell in your body. A retraining of every emotional reaction you’ve used your entire life. At least that’s what it took for me.
Is our union perfect? Heck no! Yesterday’s conversation:
He: “You haven’t gotten mad at me today!”
Me: “You’d best watch yourself then.”
He’s such an evolved individual, and then he commits major sins like flying in the back door smelling of freshly mown grass ten minutes past the deadline I’ve set for pulling out of the driveway. Behind the wheel of a car, he attempts to recapture his dream of driving in the Indy 500. Serial tailgater. It’s a wonder there’s not a hole in the floorboard of the passenger side of our vehicles. He buys perfectly good vintage cars–ones that run–and takes them apart.
But then he goes to yoga and engages with me in a daily Spiritual practice. He encourages me with a verbal kick in the ass or a “no, seriously, this is good” to keep me plugging away at a manuscript I’ve been rewriting for three years. He hopped right on the train with me when we spent thousands of dollars only to have a hippie doctor withdraw gluten and dairy from our lives. He follows along when I insist that dry wine surely can’t convert to sugar in our bodies. He supports me one hundred percent in my great adventures, like the year I flew off to Greece for summer school, and equally in my daily shenanigans.
This February, I called him from St. Pete Beach where I was visiting with my friend:
Me: “Hey, I’m thinking of renting a condo on the beach for the month of November. What do you think?”
He: “I think it sounds like a done deal.”
See how smart he’s become in just eleven years?
Our marriage is far from perfection, but it is a gift I never dreamed possible. A partnership in which two individuals dedicated to fulfilling their life purpose, are just as dedicated to spending the remaining years granted by the Universe, challenging each other to grow as individuals first, and then together as a couple. Strange how well this works.
Here’s to making every single day and adventure!
Happy Anniversary, BF.