A couple in their eighties walks into my office today. Somewhere in our conversation, we find ourselves speaking about their 40-year marriage.
My boss asked what their secret was and the woman responds, "Love. Kindness. And generosity." Later, they come back to see me, said:
"You know, about what I said, that was a general statement. I believe the secret to our happy marriage is that we share everything together." To go all in - uninhibited by the fear that it may all end one day, that it may be taken or lost all together, or that it may no longer be reciprocated.
I openly share my own self observations about wanting to play it safe for those reasons.
The endless temptations to leave something good for something better.
The impulse to exchange the broken for the new.
All behaviours I have acted out repeatedly in past relationships. "Yes, that is part of the problem," they both nodded in agreement.
I contemplate out loud about the culture we live in, the ideals of individualism, the heroic idolization of lone wolves going into battle.
The "I don't need you or anything" attitude.
The "Fuck You" mentality to anyone that threatens our independence. "How can a union form from any of that?," the man asked.
I can't get the question out of my head. So here I am, relaxing into my Being, allowing it to sink a little deeper, into my heart. And it whispers, as it always does:
"Dear, you have been hiding behind the guise of protecting me from experiencing the grief of loss, abandonment, and rejection.
You've built walls and all you've done is keep me from experiencing love in your fear and defence.
Allow me to meet another openly, uninhibited, defenceless.
You can trust me. You can trust yourself. You have learned so much from the past, there is no need to hang onto it any longer.
Will you let the fear go and let me be in love again?" I can't honestly say that it's a full-bodied YES that I experience in response to that heart desire. There is fear. And that's OK.
But I am open, willing, and ready to see my defences for what they are. And I trust that they will continue to fall away as I slowly, gently, and compassionately learn to love anew, and go all in.