I am falling in love with this Modern Love series from the New York Times. So many good, real stories that make you feel as if the author is speaking to you, about you.
These lines from today’s story speak right to my heart.
“But my husband has seen me at my worst, at my most vile. And he has seen me at my best. He knows the things I don’t tell anyone, and the lies that I tell everyone but him. I have made sacrifices for him and been angry about it. Sometimes his flaws are so egregious, so blatant, they are all I see. And sometimes his kindness is so stunning that I am humbled.
And that’s love. Big, epic, fairy-tale love. The kind of love people write about. The kind of love that could inspire a poem.”
I don’t know about you, but when I was about to get married, several people told me that marriage is hard work, but in my euphoric haze, I didn’t heed that warning. Love is all you need to make a marriage work, right? Wrong! Now 9 years into my marriage, I know that it takes more than love to make it work. It takes patience, understanding, compromise, strength and trust, to name a few.
“Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”—~Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859
Am I Looking at What's Right or am I Looking at What's Wrong?
Today’s Positive Thought email by Debbie Ford
Looking for what’s right opens our hearts and allows us to live in a state of gratitude for what we have. It lets us appreciate the little things that bless us every day. It causes us to stop taking for granted the many gifts in our lives. Just think of all the things we have to be grateful for! The state of gratitude lives within each of us, and when we stop and ask this question, we gain immediate access to the level of consciousness where love and gratitude reside. When we look for what’s right, we inspire our children, our friends, our co-workers, and our communities.
It’s easy to look for what’s wrong. For most of us, this is our default way of viewing the world. We are experts at describing in great detail what isn’t right about our jobs, our mothers, our relationships, our teachers, our children, our bodies, our government, and our bank accounts. When we look for what’s wrong, we choose to view our lives through the narrowest possible lens, zooming in on the places where our expectations haven’t been met, where others have failed to meet our needs, where the world doesn’t look the way we have decided it should. When we’re looking for what’s wrong, our eyes focus on the negative qualities of others, spotting their weaknesses and their incompetencies.
In addition to immediately shifting our perspective and thus our mood, what this question does is show us that maybe—just maybe—what’s wrong is not “over there” with others. Maybe the problem lives not outside us but rather in our own lenses, the ones through which we choose to view the world. We can easily argue against this point and say that our spouses are wrong, that our bosses are wrong, and that the waitress who brought the wrong kind of salad dressing is wrong, too. But what we can be assured of is that if we look for what’s wrong in any given situation, we will find it. And then our experience will be one of disappointment and discontent.
It’s so easy to find fault. Finding fault with others is the lazy person’s out. I’ve done it a million times myself. I’ve pointed my finger at others instead of taking responsibility for the reality I see. I have been guilty of blaming my boss, my boyfriend, my coach, and even my mother for my discontent. Making others wrong becomes an excuse we use to justify our moods and bad behavior. By focusing on what’s wrong, we avoid taking responsibility.
We must all ask ourselves what would happen if we changed the lens through which we view the world. How would our lives alter if we saw our co-workers as divine beings who are here to impart essential wisdom to us? What would happen if we listened to our neighbors as though they were the wisest people in the world? Would they show up any differently than they do right now? What would be possible if we approached our partners as though their soul purpose was to bring us ecstasy and joy? What would we hear? What would we see? What would be possible? Looking for what’s right is a life-enhancing choice—a choice that promises peace, contentment, and fulfillment.
There is so much going on in this article on one couples marriage story. After reading the article, I wonder how many broken marriages were due to similar issues and/or could be solved in a similar manner.
I don’t have a full response/thought on it yet, but I felt there was enough power in the words and story that I wanted to share. If nothing more than to create a conversation or provoke a conversation with your spouse on how things are going.
“If you’re reading this, chances are you had enough to eat last night. And last week. In fact—barring diets—you’ve probably always had enough to eat and are often throwing out a lot of food. There are, though, as we’ve been told in countless charity informercials, hungry people all over the world. And as world population explodes, there are going to be more and more. This infographic shows how bad this hunger crisis is, but also that we have the means at hand to fix it.
How many people don’t have enough food? One in seven, which means almost one billion people are undernourished. This number is actually steeply down from recent years, when it soared due to various global food crises, but it’s still drastically higher than it has been at most times over the last 30 years.”
“We call that person who has lost his father, an orphan; and a widower that man who has lost his wife. But that man who has known the immense unhappiness of losing a friend, by what name do we call him? Here every language is silent and holds its peace in impotence.”—Joseph Roux
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”—Steve Jobs (via 90years)
From the time I could speak, I could recite my Papa and Nana’s telephone number. And it has remained the same my entire life. I could call it anytime to hear their voices… to tell them about my day.
This morning, I called that number for the last time to talk to my parents. They leave the farm today. Something that feels so final. It’s not just a phone number. It has been my lifeline- a constant- and now I feel so unsettled.